David Miranda ‘Forced To Hand Over Passwords’

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Glenn Greenwald’s partner and occasional assistant claims he was told to hand over passwords for social media and email accounts

David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian’s surveillance reporter Glenn Greenwald, was forced to provide law enforcement with passwords for his email and social media accounts when detained in the UK over the weekend.

Miranda said that during his nine-hour detention in Heathrow he was told to hand over the passwords or face prison, in an interview with the BBC.

He is now taking legal action, challenging the anti-terrorism laws used to detain him and demanding that his confiscated phone, laptop, hard drive, memory sticks and other electrical equipment be returned.

surveillance cyber crimeMiranda’s passwords taken

It is believed Miranda was carrying sensitive information relating to the Edward Snowden leaks that have been so explosive over recent months. Miranda was travelling from Berlin to his home in Rio de Janeiro, and was carrying “journalistic materials”, the Guardian said.

It emerged yesterday the Guardian had its own hard drives destroyed by GCHQ officials in a “symbolic” act. The editor of the paper, Alan Rusbridger, had already explained to government officials the paper would simply do its reporting from outside of the UK, hinting there were copies of relevant data elsewhere.

Now shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has called on Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee to probe the Prime Minister’s role in the campaign to destroy or obtain Guardian documents.

The Daily Mail and the Independent reported Sir Jeremy Heywood, the cabinet secretary, had requested the Guardian hand over or destroy documents after being ordered to do so by Cameron.

Home secretary Theresa May revealed yesterday she knew the police were to detain Miranda, but that they acted independently. The Metropolitan Police claimed they were acting within the confines of the law.

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