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U.K. Police Begin Criminal Investigation Into Snowden Files

U.K. police started a criminal investigation into U.S. national security data seized from a journalist’s partner at Heathrow airport in London.

The computer files taken from David Miranda contained “highly sensitive material, the disclosure of which could put lives at risk,” the Metropolitan Police Service said in an e-mailed statement today.

Miranda, 28, was held for questioning for as long as nine hours at London’s Heathrow airport Aug. 18 under the Terrorism Act. His partner, Glenn Greenwald, who reported for the Guardian newspaper on former security contractor Edward Snowden’s allegations of U.S. surveillance programs, said he intends to publish revelations on U.K. intelligence after the incident.

Miranda, who was arrested as he changed planes, partially won an injunction application at a London court today to prevent the U.K. government from sharing the data. The files can be inspected by police for national security reasons, a judicial spokeswoman said.

U.K. terrorism police are leading the investigation.

Miranda was returning to Rio de Janeiro from Berlin, where he had spent a week with Laura Poitras, a U.S. filmmaker who has worked on the National Security Agency stories with Snowden and Greenwald, the Guardian reported. The U.K. newspaper said it paid for Miranda’s flights and that, while he isn’t a Guardian employee, he often assists Greenwald in his work.

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