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back to article Secret docs loser to appear in court

The civil servant accused of leaving secret intelligence documents on a Waterloo to Surrey train will appear in court later this month. Richard Jackson has been summoned to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates Court on 20 October 2008 to answer the following charge: That on 9 day of June 2008 being a crown servant and by …

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Ash

Consent of Attorney General

Let's hope he's not part of the same Lodge as the Met's Chief Sup.

"Investigation? Ohh no no no... Nothing to see here. Move along."

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Black Helicopters

Without lawful authority you failed to take such care...

So presumably, in the Civil Service one can obtain authority to fail to take care?

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Oh dear

Sounds like he's for the high jump.

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Dead Vulture

Nice to see

..these fucktards being prosicuted under the official secret act. This means they can throw the book at them and lock them up for 20 years.

About time someone started to take these losses seriously.

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Gold badge

The wonderful Official Secrets Act

"Without lawful authority you failed to take such care to prevent the unauthorised disclosure as a person in your position may reasonably be expected to take in contravention of S8(1) of the Official Secrets Act 1989."

By now, wouldn't that apply to almost anyone in a position to tighten up the IT practices within any part of the civil service? Any wouldn't it apply ever more strongly as one rose up the ranks. Should Gordon be worried?

"Prosecutions under the Official Secrets Act require the consent of the Attorney General."

Oh, that's OK then. It's just one of those "discretionary laws" used to make everyone guilty of *something* so that the government has a stick to wave at anyone it doesn't like.

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Black Helicopters

Wooo showtrial!

Showtrial with a rap on the knuckles for the civil servant! Can't wait. I wonder if their identity will be hidden so that they never have to actually _go_ to prison.

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Silver badge

Getting the Message Across ......

With regard to a Prosecution under the Official Secrets Act, this is probably something of a stumbling block .... http://cryptome.org/osa-wrong.pdf.

A slap on the wrists for being a very naughty careless boy would be Probable Rough Enough Justice in Fictional Circumstances

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Alert

Scape goat

Yes this person should be called to book for this offence, but what about the orgnisation's security officer? The guy's manager? All the people who would have authorised the release of sensitive information to a lowly paper pusher? Why aren't they being called in as well?

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Silver badge

Hunting ........ with XXXXPerts.*

"ways to defraud international payment systems"

Hmmm, and absolutely nothing to do with the likes of conjuring up from thin air and lofty ambitions, £400,000,000,000 to Play with and Share out amongst Dodgy Friends, who are Way Out of their Depth and Easy Fat Cat Prey in the Virtualised Reality Fields of Post Modern Social Capitalisation.

* Beware of Pitfalls and Bear Traps, Bull Runs and False Dawns. ........ Snake Oil Charlatans.

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Paris Hilton

Will they review all the other recent cases?

Or is something special about this guy / train / document that makes him the first bugger to cop it under the OSA? At least he'll not serve time all the prisons are full.

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Why a train?

If these documents were so sensitive:

a) Why was he on public transport?

b) Why wasn't he with a guard, either to protect him and / or the documents?

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Thumb Up

RE: Wooo showtrial!

"I wonder if their identity will be hidden"

Wonder no more! From the original article...

"Richard Jackson has been summoned to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates Court on 20 October 2008 to answer the following charge"

Clam.

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IT Angle

BBC

If these are so sensitive, will Frank Gardner at the BBC be charged for reading them and reporting on them?

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Waterloo to Surrey?

Have you tried to buy a ticket to "Surrey"? Or asked what platfrom the train to "Surrey" leaves from? You'd get a very funny look! Please tell us what train it was or at least what route without being so Effing(ham) vague.

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Coat

The man who cannot be named

They called him The Man Who Cannot Be Named.

Sounds a bit Harry Potter to me.

Ah the CD's might be in my Wizard Cloak.

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One word

scapegoat

the government HAS to be seen to be doing something and rather than admit to and spend the war/spying on citizens money - I mean budget!! - on a proper investigation and find a systematic and endemic failure in the system, let's slap a good blamehound! Like that Pentagon hacker; evil and dangerous terrorist that he is.....don't close holes but give the plebs some blood so they'll forget about it...worked for Caesar, will work for Gordo

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Happy

well, he was distracted

He got a copy of the picture from the 15-year-old in Ohio and forgot all about those nasty old envelopes....oh wait; that's illegal too. Lock him up for being a perv and forget about the osa.

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Anonymous Coward

The Regs

Anonymous Coward wrote ".these fucktards being prosicuted under the official secret act. This means they can throw the book at them and lock them up for 20 years."

Apparantly the guy's being charged with a particular offence which carries no imprisonment, but a maximum fine of £5000. That's what I read the other day.

The guy is a complete tw*t. Anyone handling classified material knows how to handle it.

And taking protectively marked material out into public and reading is a definite no-no. And this material is at at such a high level there are rigously enforced rules surrounding it.

The document would have to have been signed out, so he didn't return it back into safe keeping when he's supposed to have done. He knew he was voluntarily breaking the rules.

Chances are he almost certainly doesn't have the required security measures at his home ( or hotel) where he was going to stow the material properly in accordance with the regulations, so he should not have even been taking the material home in the first place.

Secondly he would have need authorisation from a security manager to take the material offsite, which he obviously didn't get.

Thirdly, it wasn't being transported by the proper means with the appropriate security measures being taken for material that level of classification. And he would have known all of these things.

He should face a short term of imprisonment. He can't claim ignorance.

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Dead Vulture

Fixed?

Given the seriouness of what the guy did and how he intentionally chose to break the regulations governing the handling of protectively marked material; it strikes me as odd that although they have decided to prosecute him under the official secrects act, they have chosen to charge him with about the weakest offence there is, which doesn't even require a prison sentence.

I think someone in the government, Home Offfice, Cabinet Office, Director of Public Prosecutions, whoever, wherever has decided to go easy on this boy, high flyer, lots of experience hasn't he? Don't want to punish the teacher's pet too hard.

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Dead Vulture

Lowly Paper Pusher

"Yes this person should be called to book for this offence, but what about the orgnisation's security officer? The guy's manager? All the people who would have authorised the release of sensitive information to a lowly paper pusher? Why aren't they being called in as well?"

He's not a lowly paper pusher: lowly paper pushers don't get to see material at that level of classification. It works on a need to know basis, he obviously needs to see that information for his day to day work.

The site's security officer? The records will show the document was in Jackson's hands, but the question is, who's checking whether signed out documents are being signed back in and returned? Was authorisation given to Jackson to take the document out?

There needs to be an inquiry into the department that had responsibility for that document, wasn't that the Cabinet Office? Oh, well, you can hardly expect them to take things seriously.

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Dead Vulture

Frank Gardener

By Alexis Vallance

" If these are so sensitive, will Frank Gardner at the BBC be charged for reading them and reporting on them?"

This is an interesting point. The answer is yes. Even if Gardener was security cleared, which I doubt he is, it doesn't give him the right to read classified material. Assuming he read it. But he certainly seemed to know what the document contained!

The material should have been handed directly to the Police by the guy that found it.

But not even the Police officers have authorisation to read it.

Now, there was a case not so long ago where someone found a classified document, and to return it back to the organisation that lost it, they passed it to their boss, I think it was a labour party MP, both were prosecuted under the official secrets act, and the document was only at RESRICTED level, the lowest classification.

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Coat

One thing I've been wondering.

We've seen several cock-ups like this make the news because an upstanding citizen found the lost items and notified either the press or authorities.

So... How many times has this occurred and said items fell into the hands of less than honest or just plain apathetic citizens? Odds would tend to say quite a bit, wouldn't they? And we'd never hear of them either.

Mines the one with orange envelopes and cds marked with passwords on them in the pockets. (Got'em in trade for a couple of bottles of cheap wine.)

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Dead Vulture

Re: Scape goat

Re: Yes this person should be called to book for this offence, but what about the orgnisation's security officer? The guy's manager? All the people who would have authorised the release of sensitive information to a lowly paper pusher?

The guy is not being made a scape goat. When he signed the document out he's taking responsibility for the document. He should know and if he doesn't know how to handle it, he could ask any of his colleagues or a security officer so that's not an acceptable defence.

Given the seriousness of what he did, he's actually getting off very lightly because they're prosecuting him under a section of legislation for which the punishment is a fine only.

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@andy gibson

I was thinking the same thing. Hire a private car company if you dont have a car. You mean to tell me there is no private secure courier in all of the UK ??

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Alert

Tickets please!

No, I'm sorry Sir, official secrets won't get you to Clapham Junction.

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Alert

Protect the docs??

Isn't there a way of actually ensuring the docs are kept secure? Docs with RFIDs and a security scan on the doors?

OTOH the actual information in the docs is probably the usual MIx rubbish, a loose collection of rumours.....

Bye, Barry

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