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Report: UK counterterror powers too broad

October 11, 2013

LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers have warned that police powers to detain travelers and seize electronic data could be unlawful.

A report published Friday by Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights says the government has failed to show a need for such “intrusive powers.”

U.K. security agencies can detain people at borders for up to six hours and download their electronic data without suspecting anything untoward.

Friday’s report recommended such measures only be applied if there is reasonable suspicion a person is or has been involved in terrorism.

The partner of a journalist who received leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was detained for hours at Heathrow Airport in August and his cellphone, laptops and memory sticks were confiscated. The incident spurred claims authorities were trying to interfere with reporting.

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