back to article Book about D-Notices gets D-Notice slapped on it

A controversial history of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) DA-Notice* Committee, the body which acts to suppress media reports which could damage national security, has been heavily edited - reportedly on the orders of the DA-Notice Committee itself. The book in question is called Secrecy and the Media. It was written by Rear- …


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  1. GettinSadda
    Black Helicopters


    Well, what a surprise!

    A book spilling the beans on the behaviour of a government body has been edited (at the specific force-backed request of the same government body) removing all details of actions since, oh, I don't know, let's just pluck a date at random... the point at which our current glorious flawless state party took over!

  2. Andy Barber
    Black Helicopters

    Kings Cross Tube Fire

    After the fire in the title, there was a bit on TV about a new radio that would work underground, using the Earth's magnetism. It was DA notice removed from the new-papers the next day!

  3. Anonymous Coward

    DA committee??

    Ahaha - some of us still remember the "DA" Haircut...

    Seems highly descriptive of this committee, given that it stands of course for Ducks Ar...+++ <NO CARRIER>

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    underground radio

    my mate John Hey (G3TDZ) released a design for a 73KHz cave rescue radio quite a while ago, released as in waived the design copyright , I understand, tho I think he sold the PCB's for around a tenner.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    if anyone who has the original manuscript, may I point them in the direction of wikileaks

    posted A/C for obvious reasons.

    oh, there's a black helicapter overhead and men rapelling down on ropes. gotta go!!!

    "()£*Q)£$*(* NO CARRIER

  6. A J Stiles

    More bureaucratese

    "Your signature was noted on a memo which was not intended for your perusal. Please forget everything you saw in the memo, cross out your signature and sign next to the change."

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I appreciate that such official literature needs to be vetted by the MoD and other organisations prior to publication, for obvious reasons, but the scope should be limited to the factual content of the books, not the style!

    It's ok, for them to request a change to text, including an omission be made on the grounds of security, but in my view, up to the writer and publisher to determine the style of the prose.

    So, if the grounds were purely on style then the fact the book covered recent history would not make a jolt of difference. It's obvious, as the writer of the article noticed, it's not about style, it's about the content and the embarassment it would cause. More spin.

    Perhaps a few embarassing disclosures about what goes on in government departments may actually prevent those departments from screwing up and acting in the way they do.

  8. Adam Williamson
    Thumb Down

    O rly?

    "Cambridge historian Christopher Andrew, who is currently writing a history of MI5, was called in to referee the scuffling retired officers. He begged to differ with Vallance, saying the book was perfectly OK for style, structure and content."

    I had him for supervisions. Nice bloke. The history of intelligence is great for a laugh.

    Standards are dropping somewhere if they expect anyone to swallow "We want to pull it because it's badly written!" Since when did government ministries get to act as editorial staff anyway?

    With this precedent having been set, I look forward to seeing the MoD working hard to keep all other poorly written books, ever, off our shelves. I see trouble in Jeffrey Archer's future.

  9. Big Al
    Black Helicopters

    Well you would say that...

    ... wouldn't you?

    Claiming that the D-notice no longer exists would of course be necessary under the old standard that neither its subject, nor the existence of the D-notice itself, could be reported upon.

    (They were used far more often than people realise, even (apparently) for the suppression of airport security breach stores in the late 80s...)

  10. Martin Silver badge

    Available from

    The edited version is availale from all good railway station bookstores - the secret version will be available for free from all good railway carriages.

  11. Jay Zelos

    Bad link

    I think the times are playing silly buggers, the link to the article is in arts and enterainments. The one in the article is to a 2006 "McGuinness is a British spy" page.

  12. Charles Silver badge

    The term "D-Notice" still echoes.

    Perhaps it's because they're British, but comic book author Warren Ellis decided to use the term "D-Notice", with similar implications, in the comic book series "Transmetropolitan".

  13. JK

    Why not publish the unedited version abroad? :)

    I mean, I'm sure that us Reg readers across the pond wouldn't mind reading all about the MoD. I don't think spilling MoD secrets counts as a crime in the states. And arguably the market is bigger too. I'm sure there's a way to put a flag on Amazon so that UK customers would be unable to purchase the book, while everyone else could. :)

  14. Dominic Kua


    I think that's treason. Can't you still be hanged for that here?

    I just checked, no you can't. Oh well, I'm sure it's frowned upon nonetheless.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Thank you for your comments, we understand that you are not 100% satisfied with the current state of affairs and wish to assure you that the squadron of black helicopters currently approaching your address are for your comfort and convenience.

    If you would like to discuss your problems with one of our highly-trained advisors, please step away from the keyboard, kiss your family goodbye, bend over and stick your head up your own a***.

    Thank you for your cooperation, and please accept this one-way ticket to Gulag Guantanamo with our compliments.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Kings Cross Tube Fire

    That sounds like nonsense; how would it use "the Earth's magnetism"? Are you sure you - or the newsreader - are not just confusing standard RF technology?

  17. xjy
    Paris Hilton

    Oh to be out of England...

    Hahaha - they cant catch me cos I live so fa-ar-ar-ar-a-a-a-a-arr-arr-aarrg-aarrgg-aarrggh-aarrgghh....

    (Paris cos she lives far away too and I chose her before I started writing this comment...)

  18. PT

    @ JK

    "Why not publish the unedited version abroad?" Indeed, I look forward to seeing it published in Australia or South Africa and distributed throughout the English-speaking world (except Britain), like most of the other publications HM Gov has tried to suppress.

  19. Glenn Charles

    The non-existent "D-notice"

    '*DA for Defence Advisory - the process is nowadays one of self-regulation by the press, not one of the military giving orders. The term "D-notice" is now technically obsolete.'

    Sort of the like the one in the U.S. I think it goes along the line of, "Go ahead, publish it. We have a cell at Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay) just for you."


    [actually more than 3rd generation U.S. military]

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