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back to article Snowden journalist's partner gave Brit spooks passwords to seized files

David Miranda, the partner of a journalist at the heart of the Edward Snowden NSA surveillance firestorm, handed over to British intelligence the crypto passwords for digital files they seized from him when he stopped over in the UK en route from a meeting with a US film-maker who was also involved with the Snowden disclosures. …

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Of coure it isn't

"... but it's not something that we requested ..."

Uncle Sam does not need to make requests. A slightly raised eybrow is all it takes for the British flunkies to run around in circles anticipating every wish.

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Mushroom

Re: Of coure it isn't

Is it me or are we now just the fucking Israel of Europe?

The EU should kick us out or suspend our 'membership' so we can fully become the fifty-nth State of the Union.

Then hopefully everyone who wants it will be given cheap emigration to mainland Europe cos David C-for-you-know-what keeps me _just_ poor enough to not quite afford to leave this shithole.

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Re: Of coure it isn't

"Is it me or are we now just the fucking Israel of Europe?"

No, of course not. When Israel tells the USA to jump, it jumps. And on the way up, it asks "How high, sir?"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Of coure it isn't

More the Puerto Rico of Europe. A pitiful cold, dark, wet Puerto Rico sustained by Prozac.

All hope abandon, ye who enter here. Especially if ye're travelling by air.

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Re: g e Re: Of coure it isn't

".....keeps me _just_ poor enough to not quite afford to leave this shithole." Shall we examine that idea, just to test it's validity? For starters, if you had skills that were in demand then they would be transferable to another country, presumably one of the socialist European "worker paradises" you seem to insist are just across the Channel. Indeed, if you had real skills you would earn more he in the UK. And then let's look at those "worker paradises" you seem to blindly believe are just out of reach, all happily complicit with NATO and locked into the same intelligence sharing schemes, in many cases heavily reliant on the NSA and GCHQ for electronic intercept info (apart from France, which has Frenchelon, but still shares "anti-terror" info under European deals). And, apart from Germany, they seem to be universally in the crapper economically, in fact much worse than the UK, which wisely didn't fall for the socialist hype and join the Euro. So, to summarize, you seem to have limited skills and the facts are your alternative countries of choice are actually not as good as where you are now, so the real matter keeping you in the UK is the reality that you don't want to admit, namely that you would be worse off anywhere else. LOL!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: g e Of coure it isn't

Actually I have a skill which is in demand here. The national average wage for my job is double what I'm getting paid. If you live in the south of the UK, you effectively get boned when it comes to wages (and living expenses)

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Happy

Re: g e Of coure it isn't

A very particular set of skills; skills you have acquired over a very long career?

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Re: g e Of coure it isn't

Top 10 movie quotes of all time, easy.

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Re: Of coure it isn't

Then hopefully everyone who wants it will be given cheap emigration to mainland Europe cos David C-for-you-know-what keeps me _just_ poor enough to not quite afford to leave this shithole.

I agree entirely

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WTF?

Re: Of coure it isn't

You do realize that getting the raw data would also be in Britain's best interest?

So let me get this straight....

Glenn doesn't travel but sends his boyfriend as a 'courier' for something that could have been sent via the internet? (Note that they said that the files were 'heavily encrypted' )

Said boyfriend is stopped. I would imagine the questioning to go along the lines of...

Q:"Is this laptop and USB drives yours?"

A: "No, they are for my boyfriend who's a reporter for the Guardian."

Q: "Why are they in your posession"

A: "My boyfriend asked me to fly to Berlin to pick up this material to bring it to him."

Q: "Why didn't he do this on his own? "

A: "He was afraid he would get arrested."

...

"OK we need to see what's on these laptops which would cause him to be afraid of getting arrested."

...

"These files seem to be encrypted. Do you know the password? If you do and you don't tell us, we will put you into jail..."

...

Something like that.

Sorry, but Glenn did send his boyfriend because he knew the contents and he knew that the governments would want to get their hands on it.

Glenn is a US Citizen. His boyfriend is not. He's Brazilian.

Had Glenn gone and gotten arrested. The US Government would probably be slow to get on it and help him out. (Something about his paperwork getting lost in the system and the guy who's supposed to handle it is on break ... or holiday? )

So yeah, I can imagine why Glenn sent his boy Friday. But seriously, why not just use a drop box? Or a torrent stream of the encrypted file?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Of coure it isn't

I believe they're married, so he should really be upgraded to Husband, but the point stands.

Non-Tech journos aren't employed for their IT skills. When you factor in the fact that the story is about wholesale monitoring of internet traffic that may well discourage the use of the Internet to transfer the files. He couldn't take the files himself because he'd definitely be a target for law enforcement, but a little critical thinking would suggest that his husband would be as well. We don't know how the files were encrypted, but it's not unreasonable to think that they believe the law enforcement agencies would be able to break them, but that joe public who found a lost USB stick wouldn't be able to.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Of coure it isn't

Glenn doesn't travel but sends his boyfriend as a 'courier' for something that could have been sent via the internet? (Note that they said that the files were 'heavily encrypted' )

With the likes of Mr Snowden advising on how to transfer data without interception by precisely these sorts of agencies, one imagines that sensible precautions were taken against precisely this sort of action. Certainly it wouldn't have taken a genius to agree a substantial one-time pad before this whole thing went public.

If so, transmission over the Internet would certainly appear to be relatively safe. But knowing that such (encrypted) transmissions would almost certainly be intercepted, one's entitled to ask: why *give away* half the puzzle, especially when it's quite easy not only to frustrate access to the ciphertext but also to have a very good idea when it has been gained?

Furthermore, I'd be surprised if any meaningful data was not in some plausibly deniable container (both cryptographically, and physically) to circumvent RIPA key disclosure as was demanded in this case.

Overall, if Plod have managed to obtain anything useful from this exercise, it speaks more of Mr Snowden's incompetence than their brilliance.

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Re: Of coure it isn't

"Is it me or are we now just the fucking Israel of Europe?"

I thought Israel was the Israel of Europe?

In seriousness, it's pretty bad here, but we have a very long way to go before reaching Israel's standards of human rights. It makes light of their situation to compare it with ours, in the same way as would comparing our standard of living with Somalia's.

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Re: g e Of coure it isn't

"For starters, if you had skills that were in demand then they would be transferable to another country, presumably one of the socialist European "worker paradises" you seem to insist are just across the Channel."

You're wasting your time Matt; the belief is typical of many people here that Miranda should have been waved through, permitted to act as a courier carrying the secrets of a NATO ally, and no question. These people don't have a fucking clue, except the mistaken belief that all information is free and that intelligence and security can be compromised simply because they believe this to be so.

There is no longer the sort of unifying belief inherited by western people, after the war; moving from holding together against the Axis powers to holding together against Leninist-Marxism. There is now no belief at all. Nothing activates people to see that there might be some common good, a common enemy, common cause and all of that, although there are large numbers of mad bastards who would like to replicate the WTC attack and the attacks in London, on US embassies in Africa, on USS Cole and so on.

No, these people are lotus eaters, complacent and slack. They will roll over and die willingly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'Just' poor enough

OK, I had lodgings and a loving partner to go to, but I left those shores with a grand in my pocket and survived. 13 weeks without work, but then took what I could before I'd developed my language skills enough to get back into the IT game.

I picked up a hitchhiker the other week - they managed to survive travelling from Central Europe to Scandinavia solely by the goodwill of folk in their cars and lorries, and getting a doss by sofa-surfing, and getting food by scrounging (the 'free-' mnemonic for that escapes me at present). Communications for all of the above done by smartphone and word-of-mouth. Inspiring stuff for those of us who see 'the daily grind' as the only way to do it and perhaps not a lifestyle that would sit comfortably with me and mine.

If you've got no dependents, you can do it. Might mean a change in attitudes and lifestyle - and if I was feeling that oppressed with no other commitments, I might just take out that bit of cardboard and marker pen...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: g e Of coure it isn't

@Scorchio!!

FUD.

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Boffin

@AC(s) ... Re: Of coure it isn't

I think you misunderstood.

There are ways to do this if you are smart enough.

I'm not going to say, but it would only take a handful of people and a couple of burner phones.

Or less if you set it up ahead of time.

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Unhappy

Re: g e Of coure it isn't

We fought against the Axis and held together against The Red Menace, now we are told that we must sacrifice those freedoms to protect Squealer and Napoleon.

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Flame

Re: g e Of coure it isn't

Umm, just slightly of the mark, with your comments;

1. Although an ally the US is no friend of any nation or state when the wishes of the US government clash with the wishes of a so called friend or ally. No doubt you still beleive the BS, that we in the UK anjoy a "special relationshsip" with the US.

2. Most people, who you dreide as being unaware of the implications of Wikileaks and\or Snowden as not having 2a fucking clue" are infact well informed and educated and have often servered within the very infrstrastructure that is being used illegally, without oversight and ofetn with the tacit approval of the PM/President. As one such person, I can understand the need to use intelligence to prevent bad things from happening. What I and others object to is the inference that we are all potential terrorists.

3. There is a growing beleif, again contrary to your opinion in the Western world that our socalled liberal democratic governments shoudl be just that. And accountable to the very people who they claim to represent.

4. As can already be seen, our Governments are using poorly drafted, barely debated legislation to restrict, circumvent civil liberties. While the focus today maybe on people like Assange, Manning and Snowden, tomorrow it might you or I simply for challenging the government of the day. You can't comapre event from 60 years ago to what is happening today and to do so is diengenius.

5. The WTC attack in 93, the USS Cole, 9/11, 7,7, etc all were carried out sucessfully despite widespread surveillence. Our governments are using their chosen bogeymen; Terrorist, Muslims, Peados's to scare us into submission, so if you think that the worls you want to live in to justify your myopic view, then no doubt you'll continue to beleive everythin you are told and agree with Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who only this morning suggested that the authroties can be trusted. I submit that history will show that you are backing the wrong side of this arguement (though I respect you for at least having an opinion).

6. I hate lotus flowers.

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WTF?

Re: Of coure it isn't

Re:

"Uncle Sam does not need to make requests. A slightly raised eybrow is all it takes for the British flunkies to run around in circles anticipating every wish."

Something's amiss with that snark.....are you saying that Britannia no longer "....rules the waves and waives the Rules?"

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Black Helicopters

Re: g e Of coure it isn't

Perhaps a corollary to what you say here is that unfortunately today there are too few still living who remember the shared security/secrecy beliefs of the Allies of the Second World War. That was all "so yesterday" within today's severely truncated attention spans.

Now, all information of whatever nature is naturally assumed in some quarters to be always in the Public Domain, not too far off from downloading a flic from YouTube. "What's yours is mine." Sniff, sniff. That seems to be the acquired role of the Left wing Guardian and their ilk.

There are too few people who've accepted the fact that today we're in a World War against these butchering trans-border Muslim terrorists, and that each of our throats is subject to being slit if we don't adhere to sharia law. No need to ask them, they're reminding all of us, all the time.

Who appointed the Guardian and the New York Times and the Washington Post as arbiters saying that there are no National secrets anymore? Who anointed Assange and Snowden as arbiters of "setting the record strait"....

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Really?

And why should we believe you when you say that?

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Big Brother

Re: Really?

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it's probably a GCHQ or NSA decoy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Really?

Did they read Miranda his rights?

(little joke for the leftpondians)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Really?

I'm surprised they don't get someone who writes EULAs to reword our rights.

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Re: Really?

I'm surprised they don't get someone who writes EULAs to reword our rights.

That appeals: the copper starts reading you your rights, and twelve hours later he finally finishes. (Would they allow toilet breaks midway through?)

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Re: Really?

"Did they read Miranda his rights?"

I am sure they did.

"Sir, you have no rights. Now bend over..."

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Devil

Clearly our securocrats and their spookmasters are a tad rattled by the light being shone on their dubious dealings.

The fig leaf of "counter-terrorism" has been shown to be patently bogus, and not for the first time. The sheer unaldulterated clumsiness and the peurile attempts at intimidation will only give succour to those who are intent on firing rockets up the NSA and GCHQ's corrupt and lazy fundaments. Send in the auditors and see how they justify their expensive charade. It'll be fun watching the cheerleaders of the War on Whistleblowers trying to prove a negative.

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FAIL

Re: spanner

"Clearly our securocrats and their spookmasters are a tad rattled by the light being shone on their dubious dealings....." Yes, because stopping people under Section 7 just NEVER happens, right? Except about 70,000 times a year, that is. Face it, once again the Guardian crew didn't stop to think about what powers the authorities have and stupidly sent their courier via the UK.

".....The fig leaf of "counter-terrorism" has been shown to be patently bogus....." Except is was shown in court - and finally admitted by Manning himself with his desperate and groveling apology - these leaks DO impact on anti-terror investigations because they are avidly followed by the likes of Al Quaeda. So it would seem what is "bogus" is your ability to follow well-reported events.

"..... The sheer unaldulterated clumsiness and the peurile attempts at intimidation ...." LOL, sorry to burst your alternate reality bubble but Miranda had a solicitor present throughout the interview and - had there been any "intimidation" or any form of illegal attempt to blackmail or lie about the legal position - that solicitor would have told Miranda exactly what could and couldn't be done. And then we have Greenwald admitting that he stupidly used his boyfriend to courier encrypted documents relating to Snowden, so it seems it was the Guardian and co that were clumsy in their attempts to get round electronic interception of their communications. In truth, Miranda was lucky not to be arrested, but I suspect that was because the British authorities ran out of time analyzing the haul in order to find something charge him with.

What has Greenwald and Poitras bricking themselves is the fear that the docs might contain evidence that either of them communicated with Snowjob before he stole the NSA secrets. Just like with Manning and A$$nut, if the US can show that they encouraged, assisted or even directed Snowjob's actions then they are culpable under the Espionage Act.

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@spanners - "The fig leaf of "counter-terrorism" has been shown to be patently bogus, and not for the first time" = thumbs up

1 - Miranda was stopped using anti-terror legislation as the 'excuse' (otherwise they could not legally detain him for 9 hours)

2 - Whever interrogated him was not in th eleast interested in any terrorism-related questions, all they wanted to know about is related to Snowden leaks

Clearly they were using anti-terror legislation for what is clearly not a terror case. Not that anyone will ever be even reprimanded for this let alone punished

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Mushroom

Re: spanner

"Except is was shown in court - and finally admitted by Manning himself with his desperate and groveling apology - these leaks DO impact on anti-terror investigations"

er... what happened in Manning's court was secret, were you present? If there was 1 shred of evidence of concrete harm done by Manning's leak, you could bet your arse that the CIA & Co would have made sure teh public knew about it. So most likely, no there was NOT any concrete evidence of harm.

And if you believe a word Manning said in his "apology", you're being incredibly naive. Manning was tortured so by definition nothing he says can be taken at face value.

"sorry to burst your alternate reality bubble but Miranda had a solicitor present throughout the interview and - had there been any "intimidation" ......"

Just the fact that he was arrested and held for 9 hours is intimidating enough. Doesn't matter he had a lawyer present, there didn't need to be "any form of illegal attempt to blackmail or lie about the legal position ", because the legal position was exactly what they were threatening and intimidating him with. Please note that this guy has not broken any laws, has not encouraged any laws to be broken, has not even met with a criminal suspect. There was absolutely zero suspicion that this man had done anything illegal or has any intention to do anything illegal yet he was held and interrogated for 9 hours. That's Intimidation with a capital "I"

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Re: James Missing-a-clue Re: spanner

LMAO! Your whole post just came across as "I want to Baaaaaaah-lieve!" Even the Guardian reported on Manning's apology: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/14/bradley-manning-sorry-leaks-hurt-united-states

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Anonymous Coward

Re: spanner re Matt Bryant

"Except is was shown in court - and finally admitted by Manning himself with his desperate and groveling apology - these leaks DO impact on anti-terror investigations because they are avidly followed by the likes of Al Quaeda. So it would seem what is "bogus" is your ability to follow well-reported events."

Dude, this is about Snowdon, not Manning. Manning s admission to terrorism doesn't reflect on Snowdon in the manner you imply here.

"LOL, sorry to burst your alternate reality bubble but Miranda had a solicitor present throughout the interview"

Says who? It was an interview under S7 TACT doesn't give the right to legal representation and they are normally always done without a lawyer for the suspect present. The idea behind the power is to allow police to quickly interview suspects in a fast moving terrorist related investigation without having to wait for legal advisors to turn up.

In this instance it appears he was offered a lawyer but refused.

So however you slice it, he didn't have a solicitor present.

The most important thing you seem to be mixing up is the difference between terrorist related legislation an espionage related laws. An S7 TACT interview for an OSA offence is a gross misuse of police powers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Matt Bryant Re: James Missing-a-clue spanner

"LMAO! Your whole post just came across as "I want to Baaaaaaah-lieve!""

And your posts are just rants about how the state is always right and these people are obviously criminals for not bowing down to the supreme ruler.

You really need to use the troll icon more.

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Re: spanner

LOL, sorry to burst your alternate reality bubble but Miranda had a solicitor present throughout the interview

"Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act has been widely criticised for giving police broad powers under the guise of anti-terror legislation to stop and search individuals without prior authorisation or reasonable suspicion – setting it apart from other police powers.

Those stopped have no automatic right to legal advice and it is a criminal offence to refuse to co-operate with questioning under schedule 7, which critics say is a curtailment of the right to silence."

Quotes from the grauniad article on this matter. He was offered an interpreter, which he accepted, but he never got one. "He was offered a lawyer and a cup of water, but he refused both because he did not trust the authorities."

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/19/david-miranda-interview-detention-heathrow

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Anonymous Coward

Re: spanner

@Matt Bryant

please fuck off

thanks

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Anonymous Coward

Re: spanner

Once again Bratt Myrant shows his ignorance, and seems to have quite a few detractors in the downvotes column.

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FAIL

Re: spanner

Do you think it's OK that people are stopped 70,00 times a year under Section 7? Perhaps the Grauniad was hoping for an incident like this, to highlight that horrifying abuse of power.

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Meh

Re: DanDanDan Re: spanner

"......Quotes from the grauniad article on this matter. He was offered an interpreter, which he accepted, but he never got one. "He was offered a lawyer and a cup of water, but he refused both because he did not trust the authorities."....." Strange, the Beeb say he did have a solicitor. Given the Guardian's lack of accuracy on so many other areas I'm prone to going with the Beeb on this one, especially given that the Guardian has an obvious monetary motive for hyping the "terribleness" of Miranda's temporary detention.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23763625

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Re: DanDanDan spanner

Considering what I've read about the problems the courts have had getting interpreters since the Government farmed out the interpreter services to the lowest bidder, I'm inclined to believe the Grauniad.

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Re: DanDanDan spanner

Dear El Reg, please please please can we have an 'ignore this twat' button for particularly exacerbating posters?

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Re: spanner

"

Re: spanner

@Matt Bryant

please fuck off

thanks"

You said please, which is a good start. Now why don't you go and play with a circle of sock puppets. Soon, in a manner analogous to the way teenagers learn about sex by masturbation, you will learn to interact with your peers in a social and grown up manner.

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FAIL

Re: spanner

"Do you think it's OK that people are stopped 70,00 times a year under Section 7? Perhaps the Grauniad was hoping for an incident like this, to highlight that horrifying abuse of power."

...and you know these were abuses of power because? In case it has escaped your notice there have been a number of significant incidents in this country lately, and a number of plots have been halted by dint of intelligence work. I am completely unsurprised that so many arrests have been made, not least because the number of active plotters has been estimated to be several thousand; these people are not plotting to throw eggs at senior British politicians, but to kill the like of you and I. The police only need to arrest a few thousand people a few times and there are a large number of arrests.

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Re: spanner

Serious? Do you really think even a fraction of those 70,000 stopped were terrorists or had knowledge of terrorist activities. No, the authorities were just fishing. And what exactly is knowledge of terrorist activities, anyway? I vividly recall several bombings during the 80's, does that make me suspect?

The sheer number of people stopped "just in case" makes it self evidently an abuse of power. You may be happy to like in a police state, but I'm not.

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Happy

Re:Sir Runcible Spoon Re: DanDanDan spanner

Yeah, i know the herd doesn't like anyone poking holes in what they consider The Truth. But if it upsets you that much, here it is, and must I say it is perfectly attuned to your needs, just click on the following link:

http://www.sesamestreet.org/

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Re: Re:Sir Runcible Spoon DanDanDan spanner

Who rattled your cage Matt? I can only assume you believe my comment was about you, but then that fits with your narcissistic profile I suppose.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: spanner

AFAIk the solicitor was a 'duty' solicitor and, from experience, they usually advise to do exactly what the plod want you to do rather than advise you of your real rights.

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Re: spanner

Confirmed that Miranda did have a lawyer present, but only for the last hour. While technically correct, the devil as always is in the detail.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: spanner

@scorchio!!

Your trolling isn't quite up to the level of Matt (assuming you are different people) so you should work on it a little bit.

"...and you know these were abuses of power because? In case it has escaped your notice there have been a number of significant incidents in this country lately"

Really? How many terrorist attacks?

" and a number of plots have been halted by dint of intelligence work."

How many? How do you know this? How have you verified the source of your information as being better than the one saying the majority of the S7 stops are abuses?

Importantly, how many attacks have been disrupted by an S7 investigation rather than the magic of the rock in my yard?

" I am completely unsurprised that so many arrests have been made,"

Eh? How many arrests have been made?

As a hint, as of December 2012 there had been a total of 246 arrests for terrorist related offences in the UK, and the majority were Irish related issues.

Of those arrests, only 43 led to a terrorism related charge.

Seventy thousand stops under schedule seven, using in excess of 140,000 police hours ( assuming one hour interview, two officers and no further resources) has led to no improvement in the security of UK citizens.

I'd rather the money was spent on hospitals.

" not least because the number of active plotters has been estimated to be several thousand;"

Made up number. Also, most will be immune to a schedule seven stop as they are already here.

"These people are not plotting to throw eggs at senior British politicians, but to kill the like of you and I. "

Oh no. Evil terrorists. Everyone needs to be scared. Terrorist organisations love people like you. They don't need to do anything but you are still spreading fear on their behalf.

"The police only need to arrest a few thousand people a few times and there are a large number of arrests."

Oh, right. That makes it ok then. Is the same seven hundred people stopped a hundred times each. No waste of resources there......

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