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The US spying scandal took an unexpected turn after the husband of the journalist who revealed the mass surveillance programme for The Guardian was detained under the UK’s Terrorism Act for nine hours on Sunday at Heathrow airport in London.

A front page story called on the UK government to explain the detention of David Miranda, partner of Glenn Greenwald, adding that sources said he was not detained at the request of the US.

An editorial headlined “a betrayal of trust and principle”, condemned the “discredited” section of the Terrorism Act used in the detention, continuing –

Mr Miranda's detention was part security-service fishing trip, part police harassment exercise and part government warning signal to journalists and whistleblowers. It was an attempt to intimidate journalism in one of the zoned-off jurisdictional spaces where such a thing can happen without legal redress.

Meanwhile, The Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, revealed that after the newspaper published its US spy revelations – which came from information supplied by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden – a senior government official contacted him demanding the newspaper destroy or return the files. If the newspaper failed to comply, the government would try to stop The Guardian’s reporting through a “legal route”. Rusbridger continued –

And so one of the more bizarre moments in The Guardian's long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in The Guardian's basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents.