Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.

U.S. got 'heads-up' on British detention of Glenn Greenwald's partner

National GovernmentLondon Heathrow AirportBritain

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration was notified in advance that the British government planned to detain the partner of the journalist working with former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden to release classified information about U.S. intelligence programs, a White House spokesman said.

But the U.S. government didn’t request and wasn’t involved in the detention of David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

Earnest said the U.S. got a "heads-up" on the detention, but he declined to say whether the U.S. is privy to any data that may have been extracted from electronics taken from Miranda at Heathrow Airport during an international trip this weekend.

The Guardian reported that Miranda was detained under a British anti-terror law.

PHOTOS: Famous leakers through history

The detention was “a law enforcement action that was taken by the British government,” Earnest said. “The United States was not involved in that decision or in that action. So if you have questions about that, then I would refer you to the British government.”

Over the summer, the White House repeatedly requested the return of Snowden to the U.S. to answer questions about the leaks of national security details. Snowden is now living under temporary asylum in Russia as officials try to figure out what information he may have and with whom he is sharing it.

One person he has shared details with is Greenwald, an American citizen working for the British newspaper.

Asked if the U.S. government expects to be briefed on the questioning of Miranda, Earnest said he wouldn’t go into it.

“I don't have a way to characterize for you any of the conversations between the British government and the U.S. government on this matter, other than to say that this is a decision that they made on their own and not at the request of the United States,” Earnest said.

Follow Politics Now on Twitter and Facebook

Twitter: @cparsons

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
National GovernmentLondon Heathrow AirportBritain
  • New Snowden leaks reveal problems at NSA
    New Snowden leaks reveal problems at NSA

    WASHINGTON -- The disclosure of a top secret internal audit that shows the National Security Agency has overstepped its legal authority repeatedly since 2011 is likely to further erode public trust in the beleaguered intelligence service and spur new calls to constrain its authority to...

  • Prosecutors want Bradley Manning to face at least 60 years in prison

    FT. MEADE, Md. — Military prosecutors in the court-martial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning asked the judge Monday to sentence him to at least 60 years in prison, arguing that his illegal leaks of classified data severely damaged U.S. secret intelligence operations and made a mockery of...

  • Are films like 'Paranoia' the start of a post-Snowden movie moment?
    Are films like 'Paranoia' the start of a post-Snowden movie moment?

    "Paranoia” didn't exactly set the box office afire this weekend. In fact, it nearly sank into the icy depths. The once-promising project -- based on a bestselling Joseph Finder novel, starring an action icon in Harrison Ford and a supposed comer in Liam Hemsworth -- took in a...

  • Hopkins picked to create Ebola training tool
    Hopkins picked to create Ebola training tool

    Federal health regulators picked Johns Hopkins Medicine on Friday to lead development of a Web-based tool to train doctors, nurses and other health care workers on the protocols they should follow when treating patients with, or at risk of contracting, Ebola.

  • Retailers get ready for a brighter holiday season
    Retailers get ready for a brighter holiday season

    Consumers may be thinking more about buying candy for Halloween than gifts for the holidays right now, but food-themed tree ornaments already sprout from a display at Sur La Table in Towson Town Center.

  • In rare move, hands-on Ulman seeks job as No. 2
    In rare move, hands-on Ulman seeks job as No. 2

    Democrat Ken Ulman, dressed in Lucky jeans and a polo shirt, strode to the entrance of Robinson Nature Center, excited to give a tour of one of his favorite accomplishments as Howard County executive.