David Miranda's at Heathrow Airport in August kicked off a storm of as to whether this was an unlawful use of the powers available under Schedule 7 of the . We came a step closer today to a High Court decision as to whether it was or not, with a number of applications by Miranda's legal team being (and rejected), and a full hearing scheduled to go ahead next week.
At the time I was very strongly of the opinion that the use of Schedule 7 powers, which grant officers the power to question and search anyone at a port of entry to the United Kingdom without reasonable suspicion, to detain and search Miranda was unlawful. The (limited) disclosure of documents obtained today by Miranda's has done nothing to dissuade me of that opinion.
(As a side note, it may be of interest to my American friends that t demonstrates that the Department of Homeland Security asserts the same right to search at the US border. What is interesting is that while in the US the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) simply asserted that they had the inherent right to seize and search electronic devices under the 'Fourth Amendment Border Exception'. In the UK the British government had to resort to the use of anti-terrorism legislation to achieve the same effect.) Read more »