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back to article Stunned commuter finds more secret papers on train

Whitehall was left combing its season ticket loan records this weekend as another set of top secret papers did the rounds of the 5.45pm from Waterloo. Just days after a Cabinet Office worker left a stack of top secret anti-terrorist papers – including an analysis of Al Qaeda - on a train to Surrey, it emerged that a second set …

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why hasn't Jacqui Smith resigned?

It's still a flaming good question.

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Loose Lips sink ships....

.... and the SS Blighty really is starting to wobble

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Flame

The turmoil is misdirected

All the obvious stuff has been said, such as:

!.What sort of oik gives documents so clearly marked to the BBC or The Indie?

He or she should be burnt at the stake.

2. What sort of oik, given that he/she had legitimate access to this stuff and all the clearance processes and briefings that go with level of access. Have no doubts about how seriously this is/was/should be taken.

AS above.

BUT

This is a personal failure on the part of the individuals who appear to have broken the rules, their supervisors and management. All civil servants.

This is not a political failure any more than a bent copper breaking into someone's home is the Home Sec's responsibility.

And the final irony:

Some twerp on the BBC this morning described the loss of some secure papers by a young Royal Navy officer immediately prior to Maggie's Falklands Adventure, (then court marshalled) , as being similar.

The officer is now Admiral West. and "as any fule noes" there was more to this than meets the eye. Try Private Eye for details.

Oh, and another thing:

Everybody in the UK is subject to the Official Secrets Act.

As it was explained to me, "Just because you haven't signed a declaration about the Traffic Act or Theft Act doesn't make you immune to the law's provisions"

Why not prosecute the oiks who handed the papers to the media. The latest version of the Official Secrets Act does not allow the "public interest" defence, so it could cost them, given some balls from the Police/CPS in going after them

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Silver badge

There ARE solutions to things like this

Like the handcuff attached to the briefcase/laptop coming to mind. If you have secrets, you might need this "accessory". Don't most laptops have a place for the cable already??

Random thoughts. I always saw these things in the spy movies in the 60's anyway. They seem a good idea!

Security? We don't need any security!! Airport "security" is just window dressing anyway!!

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If we all had ID cards none of this would happen....

.... I'm not sure why, but I'm sure it must be true.

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Anonymous Coward

Well perhaps they got fed up emailing them to Surrey ???

Hmm, they seem to like giving documents to people in Surrey,lol, but just changed to dropping them off of trains rather than emailing them by mistake. What a bunch of incompetents.

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Paris Hilton

MP's don't worry soon you will have no secrets

Assuming the MP's let the illegal Phorm Webwise system trials to go ahead. Also bearing in mind they probably already send all the top secret documents via unencrypted email anyway! the Russian Phorm programmers will soon have all the secrets anyway via the webwise deep packet interception that will be installed in the BT exchanges.

Paris, because she loves a deep packet inspection.

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At least it was a National Express train...

...so it won't have gone far.

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Alien

It's simple...

Certain civil servants are at war either with their own departments, or with the government. They arrange to meet a reporter on the train and hand over certain secret documents in order to make the information public.

No information was "accidentally" left on a train. It was handed over deliberately.

Whether you like our Government or not (and I personally I don't) that's treason.

The government presumably trot out the 'lessons learned' shit because they would rather do anything than confront a civil service in revolt.

Just my take.

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Irony

"As well as detailing weaknesses in how the HMRC’s computer systems can counter fraud"

Tom Lehrer was right about the death of satire* - real life keeps overtaking it!

*His response to the news that Henry Kissinger had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I imagine he'd have felt similarly about Tony Blair and his Middle East post...

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Black Helicopters

Motivation

The only reasons I could think of (whilst wearing my tin foil hat) for why civil servants would have been told to leave secret documents re Al-Q on the train, lose CD's in the post, leave laptops in places where they will be stolen or picked up are;

1) So that the public demand that more is done re data security so that the gubmint can then spend hundreds of billions of pounds more on a database containing all of everybodies data (an amalgamation of every known database) so they can watch all that and possibly get kickbacks and bonuses for doing so.

2) So that they can have responsibilities for looking after all those documents and data taken off them and given to private companies who we will pay - and who would be exempt from any legislation governing public authorities; of course skimming off the top (kickbacks and bonuses) to be thought of too.

3) Bush told them to, we are after all a colony of the USA when all is said and done (get used for rendition flights, our Prime Minister Mr Bean brown noses Bush and is his sock puppet).

When I took my tin foil hat off though, these thoughts were replaced by more patriotic thoughts of "we need more security, better databases, more money needs to be spent, I'll pay my taxes..."

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Boffin

Maybe it happens all the time?

It's well weird for sure.

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Anonymous Coward

Government, I take your fake reply very seriously.

'make sure this doesn't happen in the future'

??

Ummmm it's already happened about 40 times.

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