Chilling Effects: UK Police Admit To Investigating Journalists For Covering Snowden Leaks
from the freedom-of-the-press? dept
Remember back when UK law enforcement detained David Miranda while he passing through Heathrow airport for nine hours, under an anti-terrorism law, claiming that journalism could be terrorism? Apparently, UK law enforcement is really doubling down on that claim, with the new admission that there is an ongoing and open criminal investigation into the reporters who have published Snowden documents.
As you recall, the first such documents were obtained and published by Glenn Greenwald, an American living in Brazil but working for the UK’s Guardian newspaper. There had been a number of bizarre reports about just how far UK law enforcement wanted to go to intimidate journalists from reporting on such leaks in the future — even forcing the Guardian to physically destroy a laptop that had the Snowden documents for no good reason other than security theater.
But that kind of intimidation has been taken up a notch. Greenwald’s new publication, the Intercept, has been engaged in an ongoing Freedom of Information battle with the Metropolitan Police Service in the UK to find out if that organization is investigating journalists, and the police have finally confirmed that they are, in fact, investigating journalists, though it only does so obliquely, but “confirming” that “it continues to conduct an investigation into the events as described above” (with the “above” being the details laid out in the Freedom of Information request).
Of course, it doesn’t appear that the reporters actually did anything wrong, and thus it seems fairly clear that the entire reason for the investigation is to create chilling effects for journalists who might publish such stories in the future and to harass those who published them in the past. The current UK government’s continued move to use Orwell’s 1984 as a guidebook, rather than a warning sign, is really reaching ridiculous levels.