Khi nói đến tính phi lý tùy tiện của quyền lực chính phủ, trước đây người ta, do tuyên truyền nhồi sọ, chỉ cho rằng chỉ có các nền độc tài như cộng sản , quân phiệt hay các chế dộ giáo quyền mới sở hữu. Ít ai tham khảo nghiên cúu để hiều một sự thật rằng “tính phi lý tùy tiện của quyền lực” nó chính là bản chất của tất cả các Nhà nước chính phủ. Người ta đã được thông báo giải thích và cảnh cáo về cái bản chất nhà nước này cả hàng trăm năm, nếu không muốn nói là cả hàng ngàn năm nay, qua các nhà tư tưởng và vận động chính trị; và ngay như chính trị gia như Thomas Jefferson cũng đã giải thích và cảnh cáo.
Điều khoản biện pháp 7 của đạo luật an ninh quốc gia gồm đạo luật chống khủng bố Terrorism Act 2000 (trước vụ 911): và Schedule 7 of the anti-social behaviour, crime and policing bill, “cho phép lực lượng an ninh, cảnh sát, an ninh phi trường Anh Quốc v.v có quyền bắt giữ hạch sách BẤT CỨ AI và giam giữ trong 9 tiếng đồng hồ, trong phạm vi KHU CHUYỂN TIẾP QUỐC TẾ, mà KHÔNG CẦN BẤT CỨ LÝ DO nào. Nạn nhân KHÔNG ĐƯỢC QUYỀN GIỮ IM LẶNG; không ĐƯỢC QUYỀN GẶP LUẬT SƯ- không ĐƯỢC QUYỀN GẶP BẤT CỨ AI…Nhân viên có quyền đòi hỏi chất vấn BẤT CỨ ĐIỀU GÌ, có quyền tịch thu bất cứ VẬT GÌ… Nếu NẠN NHÂN không hợp tác và đối kháng sẽ bị truy tố phạt TÙ ÍT NHẤT LÀ 3 THÁNG.
Nói một cách khác, bất cứ ai khi QUÁ CẢNH tại phi trường Anh Quốc tức là tự đưa thân mình vào THẾ GIỚI VÔ PHÁP LUẬT. của BẠO LỰC, nơi tất cả QUYỀN CON NGƯỜI BIẾN MẤT.
vủng chuyển tiếp quốc tế tại PHI TRƯỜNG Anh Quốc là một “vương quốc của cảnh sát an ninh với quyền lực TUYỆT ĐỐI, chúng TÙY TIỆN thích bắt ai là bắt, thích tịch thu cái gì của ai thì tịch thu..
Người viết tôi đây đã từng bị đối xử và bị tịch thu tài sản riêng tư, thư tín điệnt thoại v.v không cần lý do tại phi trường Viêt Nam.. nhưng phải sòng phẳng tường thuật, như tôi đã tường thuật, rằng trong trường hợp của cá nhân tôi, nhân viên bộ nội vụ Viêt Cộng xem ra còn “lịch sự tử tế” hơn bọn Anh Mỹ rất nhiều .
of the Terrorism Act 2000
is like a Ming vase, said David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, in his annual report
last month. “Senior ports officers are well aware not only of the value of the power, but of the fact that like all valuable things, it needs careful handling.”
The simile was borrowed from his predecessor, Lord Carlile QC, and Anderson is proving just as robust as the Liberal Democrat peer in keeping the government in check.
Schedule 7 of the 2000 act allows travellers to be questioned in order to find out whether they appear to be terrorists. They have no right to remain silent or receive legal advice, and they may be detained for up to nine hours.
What’s clear about the way in which this powerful legislation was used at Heathrow airport on Sunday to detail David Miranda
, the partner of the Guardian
journalist Glenn Greenwald, is that it received anything but careful handling.
Anderson’s figures speak for themselves. Around 245 million passengers used UK ports, according to 2010/11 figures. In the year 2012/13, 61,145 people were stopped and examined under schedule 7, down by 30% on three years earlier. Of those who were stopped last year, only 2,277 were held for more than one hour. For the period April 2009 to March 2012, only 1.2% of those stopped were held for more than three hours.
Little surprise, then, that Theresa May has asked parliament to rein in these powers. Schedule 7 of the anti-social behaviour, crime and policing bill
, which has completed its committee stage in the House of Commons, would cut the maximum period to six hours and introduce other safeguards.
Why, then, was Miranda detained for eight hours and 55 minutes before being released without charge? It is impossible to escape the conclusion that the power was used disproportionately and therefore inappropriately, despite Scotland Yard’s protestations to the contrary.
The very fact that the home secretary is willing to shorten the detention period and increase safeguards for those being questioned suggests she realises she is vulnerable to challenge. As Anderson says in his annual report, “whether the power is proportionate in its current form is however a legitimate subject for both public debate and judicial scrutiny: for during 2012 and 2013, courts both in England and in Strasbourg have invited argument on the precise question of whether the exercise of the schedule 7 power is necessary in a democratic society”.
What the government is not giving up is the most important power contained in schedule 7, to examine property and search anything the detained person has with them. Indeed, a late amendment
to the bill currently before parliament would strengthen those powers by allowing examining officers to download the contents of mobile phones, laptops and other electronic devices, a practice of questionable lawfulness at present.
Miranda’s electronic equipment was confiscated
at Heathrow. We can assume that the contents of his phone, his computer, his camera and so on were of more interest to the authorities than anything he chose to say in interview. All the more reason, therefore, why he should have been released after these items were seized.
As Anderson made clear on BBC Radio 4’s World at One, the fundamental question raised by schedule 7 is whether or not it should be possible for a police officer, immigration officer or customs officer to question and detain a traveller for any period at all “whether or not [the officer] has grounds for suspecting that [the traveller] … is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism”.
On this issue, the home secretary is not prepared to budge. Anderson himself goes no further than saying it is an issue that should be the subject of wide public and parliamentary debate. “Apart from anything else, the fact that an informed political debate has taken place is a factor to which the courts – including particularly the European court – will attach considerable weight when determining whether it is appropriate for them to intervene.”
The one good thing to emerge from Miranda’s case is that it has provoked the debate that Anderson called for, even though it would be going too far to say that the heavy-handed actions of the authorities at Heathrow have now smashed the Ming vase that they were trying to protect.
In the US, the name Ernesto Miranda is associated with the warnings that must be given to suspects arrested by the police: that they have the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent when questioned. Ironically, those were the very rights denied to David Miranda in London.
Miranda, Schedule 7 and the danger that reporters now face
As the events in a Heathrow transit lounge — and the Guardian offices — have shown, the threat to journalism is real and growing
- By Alan Rusbridger
- Published: 20:00 August 20, 2013
- Image Credit: Niño Jose Heredia/©Gulf News
In a private viewing cinema in Soho last week, I caught myself letting fly with a four-letter expletive at Bill Keller, the former executive editor of the New York Times. It was a confusing moment. The man who was pretending to be me — thanking Keller for “not giving a s**t” — used to be Malcolm Tucker, a foul-mouthed Scottish spin doctor who will soon be a 1,000-year-old time lord. And Keller will correct me, but I don’t remember ever swearing at him. I do remember saying something to the effect of “we have the thumb drive, you have the first amendment”.
The fictional moment occurs at the beginning of the DreamWorks film about WikiLeaks, The Fifth Estate, due for release next month. Peter Capaldi is, I can report, a very plausible Guardian editor.
This real-life exchange with Keller happened just after we took possession of the first tranche of WikiLeaks documents in 2010. I strongly suspected that our ability to research and publish anything to do with this trove of secret material would be severely constrained in the UK. America, for all its own problems with media laws and whistleblowers, at least has press freedom enshrined in a written constitution. It is also, I hope, unthinkable that any US government will attempt prior restraint against a news organisation planning to publish material that informed an important public debate, however troublesome or embarrassing.
Last Sunday morning, David Miranda, the partner of Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, was detained as he was passing through Heathrow airport on his way back to Rio de Janeiro, where the couple live. Greenwald is the reporter who has broken most of the stories about state surveillance based on the leaks from the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. Greenwald’s work has undoubtedly been troublesome and embarrassing for western governments. But, as the debate in America and Europe has shown, there is considerable public interest in what his stories have revealed about the right balance between security, civil liberties, freedom of speech and privacy. He has raised acutely disturbing questions about the oversight of intelligence; about the use of closed courts; about the cosy and secret relationship between government and vast corporations; and about the extent to which millions of citizens now routinely have their communications intercepted, collected, analysed and stored.
In this work, he is regularly helped by Miranda. Miranda is not a journalist, but he still plays a valuable role in helping his partner do his journalistic work. Greenwald has his plate full, reading and analysing the Snowden material, writing and handling media and social media requests from around the world. He can certainly use this back-up. That work is immensely complicated by the certainty that it will be highly unadvisable for Greenwald (or any other journalist) to regard any electronic means of communication as safe. The Guardian’s work on the Snowden story has involved many individuals, taking a huge number of flights in order to have face-to-face meetings. Not good for the environment, but increasingly the only way to operate. Soon we will be back to pen and paper.
Miranda was held for nine hours under Schedule 7 of the UK’s terror laws, which give enormous discretion to stop, search and question people who have no connection with “terror”, as ordinarily understood. Suspects have no right to legal representation and may have their property confiscated for up to seven days. Under this measure, uniquely crafted for ports and airport transit areas, there are none of the checks and balances that apply once someone is in Britain proper. There is no need to arrest or charge anyone and there is no protection for journalists or their material. A transit lounge in Heathrow is a dangerous place to be.
Miranda’s professional status — much hand-wringing about whether or not he is a proper “journalist” — is largely irrelevant in these circumstances. Increasingly, the question about who deserves protection should be less “is this a journalist?” than “is the publication of this material in the public interest?”
The detention of Miranda has rightly caused international dismay because it feeds into a perception that the US and UK governments, while claiming to welcome the debate around state surveillance, started by Snowden, are also intent on stemming the tide of leaks and on pursuing the whistleblower with a vengeance. That perception is right. Here follows a little background on the considerable obstacles being placed in the way of informing the public about what the intelligence agencies, governments and corporations are up to.
A little over two months ago, I was contacted by a very senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister. There followed two meetings in which he demanded the return or destruction of all the material we were working on. The tone was steely, if cordial, but there was an implicit threat that others within the government and Whitehall favoured a far more draconian approach.
The mood toughened just over a month ago, when I received a phone call from the centre of government telling me: “You’ve had your fun. Now we want the stuff back.” There followed further meetings with shadowy Whitehall figures. The demand was the same: Hand the Snowden material back or destroy it. I explained that we could not research and report on this subject if we complied with this request. The man from Whitehall looked mystified. “You’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more.”
During one of these meetings, I asked directly whether the government would move to close down the Guardian’s reporting through a legal route, by going to court to force the surrender of the material on which we were working. The official confirmed that, in the absence of handover or destruction, this was indeed the government’s intention. Prior restraint, near impossible in the US, was now explicitly and imminently on the table in the UK. But my experience over WikiLeaks — the thumb drive and the first amendment — had already prepared me for this moment. I explained to the man from Whitehall about the nature of international collaborations and the way in which, these days, media organisations could take advantage of the most permissive legal environments. Bluntly, we did not have to do our reporting from London. Already most of the NSA stories were being reported and edited out of New York. And had it occurred to him that Greenwald lived in Brazil?
The man was unmoved. And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian’s long history occurred with two Government Communications Headquarters security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian’s basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents. “We can call off the black helicopters,” joked one as we swept up the remains of a MacBook Pro.
Whitehall was satisfied, but it felt like a peculiarly pointless piece of symbolism that understood nothing about the digital age. We will continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents, we just won’t do it in London. The seizure of Miranda’s laptop, phones, hard drives and camera will similarly have no effect on Greenwald’s work.
The state that is building such a formidable apparatus of surveillance will do its best to prevent journalists from reporting on it. Most journalists can see that. But I wonder how many have truly understood the absolute threat to journalism implicit in the idea of total surveillance, when or if it comes and, increasingly, it looks like “when”.
We are not there yet, but it may not be long before it will be impossible for journalists to have confidential sources. Most reporting, indeed, most human life in 2013, leaves too much of a digital fingerprint. Those colleagues who denigrate Snowden or say reporters should trust the state to know best (many of them in the UK, oddly, on the right) may one day have a cruel awakening. One day it will be their reporting, their cause, under attack. But at least reporters now know to stay away from Heathrow transit lounges.
— Guardian News & Media Ltd
Alan Rusbridger is the editor of the Guardian.