At 6:30 am this morning my time -- 5:30 am on the East Coast of the US -- I received a telephone call from someone who identified himself as a "security official at Heathrow airport." He told me that my partner, David Miranda, had been "detained" at the London airport "under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000."
David had spent the last week in Berlin, where he stayed with Laura Poitras, the US filmmaker who has worked with me extensively on the NSA stories. A Brazilian citizen, he was returning to our home in Rio de Janeiro this morning on British Airways, flying first to London and then on to Rio. When he arrived in London this morning, he was detained.
At the time the "security official" called me, David had been detained for three hours. The security official told me that they had the right to detain him for up to nine hours in order to question him, at which point they could either arrest and charge him or ask a court to extend the question time. The official -- who refused to give his name but would only identify himself by his number: 203654 -- said David was not allowed to have a lawyer present, nor would they allow me to talk to him.