With the UK government now defending
its actions in detaining
Glenn Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, by abusing an anti-terrorist law, Miranda is now poised to fight back. His lawyers have contacted the government demanding the return of the electronics they confiscated (stole) from him
, and saying that he intended to take legal action over the detainment.
The lawyers say they will also be seeking a "quashing order" confirming that his detention was "unlawful" and a mandatory order that all data seized is returned and copies destroyed.
"The decisions to use schedule 7 powers in our client's case amounted to a grave and manifestly disproportionate interference with the claimant's rights" under European human rights legislation, the letter adds.
Gwendolen Morgan, the lawyer at Bindmans dealing with the case, said: "We have grave concerns about the decision to use this draconian power to detain our client for nine hours on Sunday – for what appear to be highly questionable motives, which we will be asking the high court to consider. This act is likely to have a chilling effect on journalists worldwide and is emphatically not what parliament intended schedule 7 powers to be used for."
Like so many hamfisted responses by US government officials in response to the surveillance revelations, it seems like the monumentally stupid decision to detain Miranda is going to end up doing a lot more harm than good to the UK government. The actual benefit of such a detention to the UK government was basically nil. But the value of demonstrating to the world what thuggish behavior the government will resort to, against free speech and a free press, is quite powerful, but not in the way the government intended.