Top Secret Documents Lost. Again.

June 12, 2008

Not so Top secret

The Latest security services top secret intelligence information on the Al-Qaeda terrorist network gathered by potentially the greatest intelligence gathering network in the world, featuring star players from Mi5, 6, 7 and a whole underground network of secret agencies that would leave the X-files cast druelling, has been left on a train on the Waterloo line outside Surrey. The Intelligence dossier, like a sketch from a bad Bugs Bunny cartoon, had TOP SECRET emblazoned across it. Although not disclosed it probably had do not open and do not show to terrorists scribed on it also. It’s quite ironic that the good Samaritan who found the dossier on the train had the good foresight to hand it to the BBC, who themselves are very well versed in losing things (read about the 36 million which they lost recently below).

The sensitive documents contained vital information on the situation in Iraq and the latest information from the joint Intelligence committee on Al-Qa’eda. That such highly classified information could be left on a train in an envelope is ineptitude of the highest order. It is a potential threat to national security apart from anything else. Needless ineptitude is putting peoples lives at risk. Besides, what is an envelope containing the most up to date terrorist information doing on a train in the first place? Homework? Surely such information should be kept in a vault or on a futuristic set of data disks, not printed from an HP laserjet onto some office A4. Someone needs to take the blame. But who?

The report on Iraq was commissioned by the Ministry of Defence and the one on al-Qaeda was commissioned jointly by the Foreign Office and the Home Office. Well Des Browne as the Defence Secretary should shoulder the blame along with Foreign secretary David Milliband and Home secretary Jacqui Smith? Well obviously that is not going to happen is it; high ranking officials are not going to take responsibility themselves. Instead they will find a scape-goat, and so it was that last night a suspect was being suspended and questioned on the breach of security in Westminster.

Sadly it is not the first time that sensitive information has been leaked from high governmental sources. It usually involves inept people leaving it on the seat in a train and it usually then finds its way to the BBC via an honest member of the public. British rail could do better than hiring a squat team of folder hunters to keep vidual on the trains leaving London.

Shadow Security Minister, Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, said on the matter.

“This is just the latest in a long line of serious breaches of security involving either the loss of data, documents or Government lap tops, further highlighting the most basic failures in this Government’s ability to maintain our security. The Government must make an immediate statement to Parliament and an inquiry must be launched.” Taketheblame could not have said it better.

Last year saw two disks containing the details of some 25 million child benefit claimants were lost, before that the loss of 3 million learner driver details and who knows how many more?

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