David Miranda won a limited court victory against the UK when the High Court issued a ruling Thursday that prohibits the government and police from "inspecting, copying or sharing" the data that was forcefully taken from him while he was passing through Heathrow airport on Sunday, except for where it is used to 'protect' national security and/or determine whether the claimant is connected with terrorism.
The ruling means that the data can be used to investigate alleged links to terrorism—which free press advocates charge would be a preposterous move aimed at intimidating and silencing journalists—but cannot be used for a criminal investigation.
The Metropolitan police had previously launched a criminal investigation against Miranda, the Guardian reports, but did not give details of the case.
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Miranda, a Brazilian citizen and partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald who exposed secret surveillance programs of the US and UK governments, had filed court proceedings against the government to retrieve items that were seized during his 9-hour detention at Heathrow airport, including his cell phone, computer, memory sticks, smart watch, DVDs and games consoles.
Miranda's detention on Sunday, in which Miranda says he was subject to "frightening, stressful and intimidating" interrogation and threats of imprisonment, has sparked outrage over the UK's abuse of Schedule 7, part of the UK's Terrorism Act 2000.
Miranda had been returning from a visit with film-maker Laura Poitras, who helped break the spying revelations stories.