Follow @PoliticsIE
 
 
 
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33

Thread: PSNI Seize Derry Journalist's Phone in Dissident Probe

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member picador's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Béal Feirste
    Posts
    20,967
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default PSNI Seize Derry Journalist's Phone in Dissident Probe

    The PSNI have been criticised by the National Union of Journalists after its officers, acting on foot of a warrant, seized a phone belonging to Derry journalist Eamonn McDermott. Mr McDermott, a former republican prisoner, frequently writes about dissident paramilitaries for the Derry Journal and other publications.

    BBC News - NUJ criticises PSNI seizing Derry journalist's phone

    It seems almost certain that the phone seizure relates to Mr McDermott's work on dissident republicans. Last year police took fellow journalist Suzanne Breen to court in an unsuccessful attempt to force her to reveal her dissident sources. This time they went to the trouble of getting a warrant first.

    Does the seizure of Mr McDermott's phone (and thus the vital contact information essential to his job) represent an unacceptable attack on press freedom - or is it a necessary step in the battle against violent extremism?

    Given the monitoring capabilities of GCHQ Cheltenham I feel that the seizure of any journalist's phone is totally unnecessary.
    Last edited by picador; 20th August 2010 at 09:27 AM.
    The Empire's Over - Why Don't You Go Home?

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member LeDroit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1,771
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Most necessary. Every citizen should be doing everything they can to eliminate this scourge. If the peace loving people of this country work together we can defeat the violence loving among us.
    "A govt big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have" Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    27,454
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Default

    Mmmm. Interesting one. Obviously the police have done nothing wrong as they're acting on a valid warrant, but I'm curious as to what they can get from the phone that they can't get from traces and phone records.

    We'll see how it develops, perhaps the PSNI were able to convince a judge that Mr McDermott had stepped over a line into actually aiding the terrorists, but no one should be under the impression that this isn't a big story in the context of journalistic freedom in the UK.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

  4. #4
    Politics.ie Member picador's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Béal Feirste
    Posts
    20,967
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    It may be a total coincidence but leading Derry 32 CSM member Gary Donnelly is currently being questioned by police.
    The Empire's Over - Why Don't You Go Home?

  5. #5
    Politics.ie Member picador's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Béal Feirste
    Posts
    20,967
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    Mmmm. Interesting one. Obviously the police have done nothing wrong as they're acting on a valid warrant, but I'm curious as to what they can get from the phone that they can't get from traces and phone records.

    We'll see how it develops, perhaps the PSNI were able to convince a judge that Mr McDermott had stepped over a line into actually aiding the terrorists, but no one should be under the impression that this isn't a big story in the context of journalistic freedom in the UK.
    It's important to emphasise that McDermott was not arrested.
    The Empire's Over - Why Don't You Go Home?

  6. #6
    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    27,454
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Default

    There's no reason for them to arrest him at this juncture, there's no accusation of wrongdoing against him.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

  7. #7
    Politics.ie Member picador's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Béal Feirste
    Posts
    20,967
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    There's no reason for them to arrest him at this juncture, there's no accusation of wrongdoing against him.
    That's why I made sure to point that out. Your last post suggested that there might be wrongdoing on his part. And 'at this juncture' is a little unfortunate as well. Sorry, but the man's livelihood is potentially at stake.
    The Empire's Over - Why Don't You Go Home?

  8. #8
    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    27,454
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Default

    Wrongdoing may well be suspected. This is a huge step in the context of UK journalism, I can't think of an occasion where a reporters phone has been seized like this.

    If it were to emerge that the judge approved this warrant simply because they wanted to see who McDermott was speaking with, and that it wasn't linked to something more serious, then I'd view that as a pretty severe attack on British press journalism. For instance, it's been suggested on BBC that it's linked to a bomb from last year. If that were the case, and no link is suspected between the journalist and the terrorists then this seems like nothing more than an effort to damage journalistic integrity.
    Last edited by Sync; 20th August 2010 at 09:54 AM.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

  9. #9
    Politics.ie Member Amach na Casca's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    B.Á.C.
    Posts
    444
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    The RUC/PSNI making new enemies for themselves, not that they need any more. I'm sure they can look forward to some glorious write-ups in the near future.
    “As well might you leave the fairies to plough your land or the idle winds to sow it, as sit down and wait for freedom.” - Thomas Davis

  10. #10
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,957
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by picador View Post
    It may be a total coincidence but leading Derry 32 CSM member Gary Donnelly is currently being questioned by police.
    Suppose a journalist recieved either a bomb warning or a claim of responsibility from an organisiation and further suppose that the psni access his phone, they can then point the finger at a person known as a 'dissident' who contacted the journalist anytime close to the time in question. Chances of it standing up in court are very slim but it would hold a person for a few months at least.
    Going to makes the life of journalsits who deal with these issues much more difficult. People who speak to them are not going to be as willing now. Also poses serious questions about the 'reformed' nature of the psni.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •