back to article Ex-cop who 'kept private copies of data' fingers Cabinet Office minister in pr0nz at work claims

Cabinet Office Minister Damian Green has been caught up in a fresh row over his Parliamentary computer habits after the BBC reported that he had porn on his parliamentary PC a decade ago. Neil Lewis, a former Scotland Yard detective specialising in computer investigations, was given a platform by the BBC's morning TV news …

  1. Robert Moore
    Coat

    It is known

    That 8 out of 10 people admin to looking at porn on the internet, and the other 2 people are liars.

    1. Paul

      Re: It is known

      The other two use a VPN and incognito mode so they can be plausible in their lies

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Re: It is known

      Nothing wrong with looking at porn - I do. And I have known a fair few women that wanted to watch porn with me - their idea not mine. Whats wrong is doing it on a work PC / network. Its not your thing to do what a lot of people find disreputable on

      ==

      Anyway. Anecdote. My first proper IT job (I'm 48 - do the math) was on the Home Office IT Desktop Support Contract. Working for Sema (now long absorbed into Atos). The security team had their own little secure office but had a shared printer just outside the office door. Occasionally as you went to pick up your print a red faced security man or woman would bumble out and grab their print off the printer with you getting a quick flash of monochrome pics of various levels of depravity.

      People are people whether they work for the government or not. We all get horny. But, as my best mate says "don't shit on your food".

      ==

      Edit: Another anecdote.

      Not long, 7-8 years after my home office stint I was working at Cheshire County Council - dull job - bit of a filler. I got pulled into an office one day and quizzed on the websites I had been accessing at work. Porn? Gambling? Political? No. The agency website I needed to go to submit my time-sheet, and of course, guess? El Reg.

    4. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: It is known

      That 8 out of 10 people admin to looking at porn on the internet, and the other 2 people are liars.

      I, for one, prefer the real thing, am not interested in watching others ! If 20 years ago "counts", then yeah ... I had a look, got envious which made me feel bad, that was that.

      I think watching pr0nz, even thumbnails, on a work machine is a big No-No, unless, of course, it is "work-related", good luck with that. I'm testing the new version of the video-decoding library can be done with other material!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The issue I have with this

    Is that this was done on a work PC on a work network.

    This is not private viewing at home. Anyone doing anything like this at work would be summarily fired.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: The issue I have with this

      Is that this was done on a work PC on a work network.

      Not an issue.

      Let me remind you of the cornerstone of UK legal system. THE PARLIAMENT IS SOVEREIGN AND SHALL NOT BE BOUND.

      So even if there was an AUP applicable to parliamentary computer assets (surprise, surprise, there is not), it cannot be applied. Catch 22.

      You, me, the proles will be fired. An MP - not a chance. Because - he actually cannot be fired. He can (in theory) be prosecuted. However, as the police has noted many times around this story - this was LEGAL pornography. Straight one too. So no grounds to do that either.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The issue I have with this

        "You, me, the proles will be fired. An MP - not a chance."

        A minister who is found to have lied to Parliament is usually sacked from their ministerial role. The nature of the offence they covered up would not necessarily have led to their sacking.

        IIRC Profumo, a minister, eventually had to resign as an MP - not because of his affair with Christine Keeler - but because he lied about it in Parliament.

        In the past a minister would resign his position on the slightest whiff of a scandal to avoid embarrassing the government. Home Secretary Reginald Maudling did that over the "T Dan Smith/Poulson" corruption scandal.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

          Re: The issue I have with this

          A minister who lied to parliament get sacked?

          The bloody place'd be empty before the weeks out if that was the case.

      2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: The issue I have with this

        However, as the police has noted many times around this story - this was LEGAL pornography

        To be exact, the copper who kept copies insists it was all legal porn.

        As Mandy Rice-Davies remarked "He would, wouldn't he?"

        1. micheal

          Re: The issue I have with this

          However, as the police has noted many times around this story - this was LEGAL pornography

          To be exact, the copper who kept copies insists it was all legal porn.

          As Mandy Rice-Davies remarked "He would, wouldn't he?"

          So if it's not OK for the MP to have it, how OK is it for the copper (ex) to peruse, keep and then classify as "legal" then?

          1. DamnedIfIKnow

            Re: The issue I have with this

            Simple. It's illegal for him to have kept private copies of stuff when he was a copper, and doubly so now.

            He has openly admitted committing a criminal offence - obviously because he thinks nothing will happen to him. He should be facing prison for this.

            Sadly, he's probably right.

        2. AdamWill

          Re: The issue I have with this

          That, also, I'm not sure the article author entirely thought through his own timeline. If the alleged images date from before the law against "extreme pornography" (which is a crap law, but anyway), couldn't the officer potentially be describing them as "legal" on the grounds that they do meet the "extreme pornography" definition, but that wasn't illegal *at the time*?

          This whole thing feels like a hell of a storm in a teacup, to me, to be honest. Is anyone really that bothered if the guy actually did look at some porn at work, assuming there was nothing else to the story? Big freakin' whoop. I can even honestly forgive him lying about it, because what else do you do? Admit it and be faced with a giant and massively hypocritical "scandal"? *Everyone* lies about looking at porn.

          1. gotes

            Re: The issue I have with this

            I haven't actually looked into the detail of this story, because after reading the headlines it seemed to me this was a case of "man looks at pornography on work computer", which although pretty stupid and no doubt a violation of AUP, isn't a crime, and in my opinion doesn't make him a filthy perv. I'd be more concerned if he had been responding to phishing e-mails.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The issue I have with this

              To me being so desperate to need to look at porn while at work is indeed the sign of a filthy perv. Do what you like on your own time. At work he is paid by the tax payer to manage the country, not manage to type one handed.

            2. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

              Re: The issue I have with this

              Given only thumbnails were found could it not be the result of a malicious redirect? Browsers are pretty good at blocking redirects on their own now but 10 years ago it was much more common. Browsers are very good at blocking redirects with <insert blocker of choice> installed but would an MP have that?

        3. JohnG Silver badge

          Re: The issue I have with this

          "To be exact, the copper who kept copies insists it was all legal porn."

          There is a slight problem with chain of custody of which, one would have thought, a former policeman who specialised in forensic IT should be aware. How do we know the policeman or someone else has not introduced porn to the illegally retained copies?

          According to a police report into the operation, the government had been embarrassed by the information leaks and had mentioned the leaking of secret documents when they called in the police. By the time the police were conducting searches and arresting people, they knew that no classified material was involved but their search and arrest warrants stated otherwise. The police report described numerous other problems with the investigation, that was probably why the CPS decided that convictions were highly unlikely and dropped the whole thing.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The issue I have with this

        Well I suppose if it were an entirely different situation where an MP had instead commited rape or paedophilia but the police took the decision not to charge that VIP, then if a whistleblower who was a former policemen involved in the investigation were to subsequently reveal findings then that ex-policeman would quite rightly go to jail for defaming a hard working blamless Representative of the People, who like the rest of their colleagues, had never been charged let alone found guilty of such an offence.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The issue I have with this

        The AUP is set by parliament if there is one. An MP is a member of parliament, not parliament, and therefore is not sovereign and can be bound by a code of conduct. Even if they can't be fired from their role as MP they can be kicked out of their party, the problem there is lack of will, not capability.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "the problem there is lack of will"

          No, I think the problem is one of self-regulation and perpetual indulgences.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: The issue I have with this

          "An MP is a member of parliament, not parliament"

          An MP nevertheless has Parliamentary privilege and that's quite right; if it were possible for an MP to be hounded by government and/or police we'd be well on the way to being a police state. Bearing that in mind, the real issue here is that his computer was seized by the police when he was a shadow minister with the complicity of the Sergeant at Arms.

        3. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          Re: The issue I have with this

          MPS are not-unsackable. They can be expelled if sentence to more than a year in prison. Representation of the People Act 1981.

      5. John Lilburne Silver badge

        Re: The issue I have with this

        "THE PARLIAMENT IS SOVEREIGN AND SHALL NOT BE BOUND."

        Unless it is by Miss Whiplash and the fee of £1000 has been paid in advance.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "THE PARLIAMENT IS SOVEREIGN AND SHALL NOT BE BOUND."

          Unfortunately the Coup of 1688 replaced One Monarch Above The Law with 650 of the buggers.

          1. graeme leggett

            Re: "THE PARLIAMENT IS SOVEREIGN AND SHALL NOT BE BOUND."

            Monarchs as gods appointed and the limits of personal rule was decided when they took Charles I head off in 1649 and confirmed with restoration at end of Commonwealth in 1660 when parliament decided to have a king again.

      6. macjules Silver badge

        Re: The issue I have with this

        He can (in theory) be prosecuted.

        Not in theory. A sitting MP can be arrested and jailed. John Stonehouse is an example of that.

        1. Blotto Bronze badge

          Re: The issue I have with this

          Or more recently Chris Huhne, who’s wife was also jailed after she took his speeding points and lied about it.

      7. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: The issue I have with this

        You have completely misunderstood what is meant by "parliament cannot be bound". It doesn't mean that MPs can do what they want individually; it means that any act of parliament can be undone by a later parliament.

        MPs are just as subject to the law as the rest of us, with the exception of being immune to defamation charges for things they say within the house. You will recall that Chris Huhne was an MP when he was arrested, charged and brought to trial.

      8. rh587

        Re: The issue I have with this

        So even if there was an AUP applicable to parliamentary computer assets (surprise, surprise, there is not), it cannot be applied. Catch 22.

        You, me, the proles will be fired. An MP - not a chance. Because - he actually cannot be fired. He can (in theory) be prosecuted. However, as the police has noted many times around this story - this was LEGAL pornography. Straight one too. So no grounds to do that either.

        Yes... and no.

        Indeed you cannot fire an MP - that is a job for their constituents at the next GE.

        However, a Party who considers that the MP has brought them into disrepute can of course take a plethora of action, including:

        1. Removal from (Shadow) Cabinet or Ministerial Posts and relegation back to the back benches

        2. Suspension from the Party/Withdrawal of the Whip

        3. Expulsion from the Party and deselection at the next GE.

        Moreover, if you DO have an AUP, breaches would make it possible to withdraw ICT privileges for the MP or reclaim their issued IT equipment. They are entitled to sit in Parliament, but their privileges on the IT infrastructure could be restricted consummate with the level of threat they pose to the network's integrity.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: The issue I have with this

          "if you DO have an AUP, breaches would make it possible to withdraw ICT privileges for the MP"

          Firstly, there is an AUP, but actually enforcing it against an MP would probably need an act of parliament - and "withdrawing ICT privileges" would amount to restraint of trade in their self-employed position, given that _everything_ required ICT access these days.

      9. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: The issue I have with this

        "Because - he actually cannot be fired."

        He can - by his constituents.

        But not by someone in Westminster.

    2. Tam Lin

      Re: The issue I have with this

      is that this was done on a work PC on a work network.

      Not an issue.

      Let me remind you that neither he nor David Davis works for the UK government or the UK citizens.

      If the foreign government(s) that he works for cares, then those governments should apply discipline.

    3. ThaumaTechnician

      Re: The issue I have with this

      Came here to say the same thing - I carry my personal laptop with me when I travel for longer than overnight so that I don't have to use the work laptop for personal stuff. Are the MPs so poor that they can't afford a 2nd laptop?

      1. gotes

        @ThaumaTechnician

        Perhaps your comment was in jest, but it's far more likely that rather than being poor, they're simply not aware that it's a fairly trivial matter to find out what they've been up to with their web browser.

        Also if travelling one would probably rather pack some clothes instead of another laptop to watch porn, pirated movies and whatnot.

        A smartphone and MHL adaptor should be all you need to watch, your erm, "personal media files" on the hotel room TV.

      2. Paul

        Re: The issue I have with this

        Get a second hard drive for your work laptop so you don't use the corporate OS image for your personal internet activities.

      3. AJC

        Re: The issue I have with this

        Perhaps not the best example of an MP but Denis MacShane charged eight laptop computers to his Parliamentary expenses in three years and a further one a month after the police investigation started!

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: The issue I have with this

          "eight laptop computers to his Parliamentary expenses in three years "

          Did he keep driving off with one on the roof, which them mysteriously found its way under the wheels?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The issue I have with this

      Is that this was done on a work PC on a work network.

      This is not private viewing at home. Anyone doing anything like this at work would be summarily fired.

      Not if they're self-employed - which is a far closer equivalent to the position of an MP than is being a paid employee.

      MP's are elected to represent their constituencies; nothing more. They may have particular roles they're asked to fill by their parties, who may wish to have a say in things, but in the final analysis it's utterly and completely up to them to decide what their job actually consists of, when and where they do it, and how they spend their time. If the people they represent dislike the representation they get - that's what elections are for. I don't condone Green's likely choice of places, equipment and times to access pornography, but nor do I condemn. He has been re-elected multiple times, so one has to presume that his constituents, overall, have not actively disapproved of the job he has done.

      The real issues here are not what Green may or may not have done a decade ago, but (a) that an ex-policeman has retained information about something he admits to have been perfectly legal - presumably only because of its prurient nature and ability to cause political embarrassment - in direct breach of instructions and legislation; (b) that having done so, he has now chosen to release it to the national media; and (c) that the media, rather than sending him off with a flea in his ear, has chosen to give him the publicity that he clearly sought.

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Avenue Q

    Mandatory Avenue Q quote:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6eFNRKEROw

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The issue I have with this

    Is that this was not done on a home or private PC. This was done on a work PC and was accessed using a work network.

    The work network is also paid for by us taxpayers...

    If anyone tried this in their workplace they'd be fired.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The issue I have with this

      If anyone tried this in their workplace they'd be fired."

      That's true. On the other hand, the only reason we know this about him is because some cops blagged their way into Parliament without a warrant and conducted an illegal search.

      Also worth noting that the only evidence is a ten year old copy held illegally by a computer forensics expert. That mean no proper chain of evidence and data held by someone with a grudge who likely has the skills to "adjust" said evidence. That's what I'd be saying in court if it was me :-)

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The issue I have with this

      "If anyone tried this in their workplace they'd be fired."

      Think about this a little more carefully. What's the workplace and who was the user?

      Now imagine that for whatever reason you had some sensitive personal issue that you needed to take up with your MP. Would you then be happy to learn that the Met had barged into your MP's office, seized his PC and taken it away to be examined?

      Now do you see that an MP's office isn't like the average workplace?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Liar liar pants on fire!

    Probably find once the forensic image of the computer surfaces, and shows Green's porn sessions interlaced with checking and sending work and personal emails and reading documents (as the police computer forensics expert who examined his computer claims) he's going to be saying he didn't 'download and look at' porn, but 'streamed and listened to it' instead. Or smoked but never inhaled, by browsing the preview clips only.

    Pst. How can you tell when a politician is lying?

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Pst. How can you tell when a politician is lying?

      He's opening his mouth ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Liar liar pants on fire!

      @ Pst. How can you tell when a politician is lying?

      Same way you can tell a copper's lying. Their lips move.

      1. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

        Re: Liar liar pants on fire!

        http://www.samueljohnson.com/argument.html#982

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. steelpillow Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: What Proof It Was Him ???

      The ex-plod concerned admits he cannot prove who the individual was, just that the timings make it look a lot like the MP (now how does he deduce that?).

      But one has to ask, if the user was doing nothing illegal, why was Mr Plod so avidly recording all the pr0n surfing and keeping it long after he left Her Majesty's service? "Just so he could trawl it for timestamps, m'lud" does not wash.

      I don't give a flying f*** at a rolling doughnut what legal pastimes our MPs enjoy, but I am deeply concerned if plods, ex or otherwise, take their work home and use it to manipulate national politics.

      1. Dr Scrum Master
        Pint

        Re: What Proof It Was Him ???

        I don't give a flying f*** at a rolling doughnut what legal pastimes our MPs enjoy, but I am deeply concerned if plods, ex or otherwise, take their work home and use it to manipulate national politics.

        Sir, I salute you.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: What Proof It Was Him ???

        "I am deeply concerned if plods, ex or otherwise, take their work home and use it to manipulate national politics."

        The original seizure of the computer was manipulation of national politics.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        manipulate national politics

        Now I agree with your sentiment however I believe the reason he has gone to the press is because there was a cover up when it originally happened.

        Regardless of the motive and timing he accessed porn from a work computer which is in most cases an instant sacking offence.

        What puts Mr Green above the rules the rest of society have to abide by?

        If however parliament did not have rules on accessing porn in 2008 then it's an unsavoury act with nothing more to be done.

        Also we are second guessing a lot of things here, was there a cover up? Di Mr Green actually access porn? What proof is there if any other than some thumbnails?

      4. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: What Proof It Was Him ???

        You might be deeply concerned if they're using it to manipulate national politics.

        _I_ Am deeply concerned they took it home at all.

        Apart from blowing apart the chain of custody, the obvious first use that springs to mind use using ut for blackmail purposes some years down the track.

    2. Jonathon Green

      Re: What Proof It Was Him ???

      “He may have allowed someone else to use his PC for something - that person looked at a page with many thumbnails on it - and he is getting the blame.”

      If Green was allowing somebody to use his PC for an extended period, (sending emails, and viewing documents) while logged in under his account then I think most people would see that as a considerable more serious issue than the porn thing. I really don’t think he (or anybody seeking to defend him) wants to go there...

      The saddest thing about this whole affair is that It demonstrates the extent to which the police have utterly blown their credibility and that in the wake of plebgate the Government get to wheel out Andrew Mitchell wearing his “victim of police campaign of smearing by falsehood” hat... We can’t trust any of tha parties involved (Green, MPs, political appointees within the civil service, the press, the police, individual police officers) not to be behaving like mendacious shits so it’s impossible to know what really happened, and the nearest thing to a potential upside is that if anybody gets nailed to the wall over this they will undoubtedly have deserved it for something, even if it’s not what they’re actually accused of in this particular case...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: What Proof It Was Him ???

        "If Green was allowing somebody to use his PC for an extended period, (sending emails, and viewing documents) while logged in under his account then I think most people would see that as a considerable more serious issue than the porn thing. I really don’t think he (or anybody seeking to defend him) wants to go there."

        And yet we're told of senior corporate types who have their PAs open and print out their emails so that they can read them. If it were the case here that an MP's assistant were using the MP's login to work on the MP's behalf it wouldn't be a unique situation.

  7. frank ly Silver badge

    Damian Green

    Should have used a virtual machine.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "you can't put fingers on a keyboard"

    Especially after looking at porn.

    Cheeky bastards these MPs, I have to "opt in" to view porn and they get to watch it at work. Double standards.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "you can't put fingers on a keyboard"

      Double standards.

      Not at all, Green must have been researching the matter.

      Green looks a berk. But I hope they throw the book at that greasy little copper. Another of the Met's finest.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: "you can't put fingers on a keyboard"

        "Green must have been researching the matter."

        If doing this legitimately, surely one would declare the purpose and ask for a separate, sandboxed system?

  9. Banksy

    Wait until you get home...

    I've never been desperate enough for a tommy tank that I've had to start looking at the pr0nz at work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wait until you get home...

      What if you have a cat?

      They have a habit of watching you that's quite off putting a friend once told me.

      1. malle-herbert Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: What if you have a cat?

        You can't have a pussy looking at you while you're looking at...

        Ah... nevermind...

      2. swampdog
        Boffin

        Re: Wait until you get home...

        Indeed. An engineer friend of mine once confessed while she was doing the beast with two backs.. her two house-cats used to compete to see which could leap off a wardrobe onto the fella's back. Cats don't tend to be clever but they are "savvy". After being batted away numerous times (by leaping too soon) the feline interlopers finally figured at which point they could land on his back and him not care, which would ruin it for her because while he was doing his (ahem) face she'd be staring into the unblinking eyes of a tabby or a devon rex.

        I suggested a water pistol by the bed. Works a treat.

        1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Wait until you get home...

          @swampdog - I'd suggest locking the cat-flap in the bedroom door!

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Wait until you get home...

            "I'd suggest locking the cat-flap in the bedroom door!"

            Wouldn't work with at least 3 of mine over the years. They worked out how handles work (Doors, windows and toy cupboard) and would get pretty vocal if shut out for any period whilst the big cats were clearly doing something they liked.

  10. Mephistro Silver badge
    Happy

    "The issue of thumbnails is also strange."

    Not so strange if the MP tried to cover his tracks by deleting the full size pictures and clearing his browsing history, but forgot to clean the browser's cache, where the thumbnails would be stored.

    "I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy"

    8^)

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: "The issue of thumbnails is also strange."

      Most porn isn't illegal just embarassing.

      The browser cache was probably full of stills from the various films he was watching: 2008 is post YouTube so the porn video explosion had already happened.

      Worried about doing something on a work computer? First thing: don't do it. If you must do it: go incognito or at least clear the cache afterwards. There probably will be records on the proxy of what you were doing but probably cause must be shown before anybody can start looking.

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: "The issue of thumbnails is also strange."

      If you look at what the ex-detective says he describes looking at thumbnails in his forensic tool. He doesn't actually say that there were only thumbnails on the machine.

  11. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Going down, going down, going down...

    The bent copper I mean, not Green.

    Making copies of data and release confidential information about an investigation is a very, very serious offence. Whilst few people really trust the plods these days, who in their right mind would trust them with any 'embarassing-but-legal' information during an investigation? This is an attack on the roots of our legal system and has to be severely punished, in the same way as perjury is. Jail time.

    Yes, I know it's all rather entertaining though, couldn't happen to a nicer party etc. Of course, the pictures may be perfectly innocuous, but under his bosses definition of 'porn' a photo of a peaceful forest landscape with a couple of squirrels at it in the branches would count as extreme animal porn.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Going down, going down, going down...

      Making copies of data and release confidential information about an investigation is a very, very serious offence.

      Well, we all know how effective the ICO is on matters like this. IANAL but I think, given the time elapsed, that there is not much of a legal case here otherwise the CPS would be all over this. This is probably why the guy was happy to go on the record about this. The BBC could have chosen to keep the source anonymous.

      As for defamation: the tabloids regularly publish stories far more invasive and embarassing than this and rarely have to go to court for it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "given the time elapsed"

        That's the historic excuse that is trotted out against alleged victims of high-profile paedos.

        That and despite being under the age of consent, gave their implied consent, so are the victims of their own 'misfortunes' and so not eligible for compensation.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: "given the time elapsed"

          That's the historic excuse that is trotted out against alleged victims of high-profile paedos

          That's a false equivalent: breach of confidentiality or defamation are not remotely like abuse.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Going down, going down, going down...

        "As for defamation: the tabloids regularly publish stories far more invasive and embarassing than this and rarely have to go to court for it."

        The big difference is when it's someone entrusted with upholding the law who then breaks it. The system tends to lean very heavily against that sort of thing.

        1. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

          Re: Going down, going down, going down...

          so you would hope

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Going down, going down, going down...

        "Well, we all know how effective the ICO is on matters like this"

        The MP himself has the right to go after the copper for _unlimited_ personal damages in civil court due to unauthorised disclosure of personal information. It's rare that it happens, but it HAS happened.

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Going down, going down, going down...

      Neither the BBC nor The Telegraph nor The Guardian is making the kept copies allegation that the Reg is. That might be because they don't see it as significant or it might be because for another reason.

      1. steelpillow Silver badge

        Re: Going down, going down, going down...

        "Neither the BBC nor The Telegraph nor The Guardian is making the kept copies allegation that the Reg is. That might be because they don't see it as significant or it might be because for another reason."

        The point is, he's blabbing about confidential work-related stuff and that alone is a breach of whatever. BBC Radio 4 had the goodness to bring on an interviewee to make exactly this point. Whether he kept any record outside his own head is not directly relevant (tho' presumably a crime in its own right).

  12. Chris Hills
    Big Brother

    Snopoer's charter

    Why do you think they wanted the snooper's charter to apply to everyone except MP's?

  13. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    With friends like them who needs enemies?

    Methinks Messrs Davis and Rees-Mogg protest too much. So Green was watching porn on a government computer ten years ago. Embarassing, maybe. Slap on the wrist for not cleaning up after himself (sic), maybe. But that should be the end of the matter.

    I suspect their acting of leaping to Green's defence is to deflect from something else in case he does "decide to spend more time with his family". Basically Treesare can't afford to lose many more ministers.

  14. nsld

    The real issue

    Is not so much the porn watching, or even the leak of his activities (as he has denied it we start to see a public interest defence if he has lied)

    Its the fact he can access sites which often carry malicious payloads. Green has access to a lot of confidential information and the same machine with all the access to the confidential stuff is being used in a seriously risky manner to access porn sites.

    You have to wonder how much information has been lifted as a result? The national security aspect of this is far more important than the moral questions on his alleged porn viewing.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: The real issue

      Good points, although this was a decade ago and things might have been tightened up since then.

      I don't suppose anyone here is in a position to comment ... perhaps anonymously ... ?

    2. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: The real issue

      "Its the fact he can access sites which often carry malicious payloads."

      Not that I have any personal experience, but I have been told that porn sites are actually quite free of malicious payloads. That's because it is all business. They want you to watch porn and, the important bit, pay for it. That's why they try to keep their sites safe, because it's good for business.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: The real issue

        but I have been told that porn sites are actually quite free of malicious payloads.

        Then you're sadly misinformed: lots of porn sites are scams with "pretty pictures".

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: The real issue

          > lots of porn sites are scams with "pretty pictures".

          What you mean is there are a lot of scam sites masquerading as pornsites.

          The genuine operators generally hate the scamsites as they're not too hot on respecting intellectual property rights either. A relative in the adult entertainment industry (magazine publisher. Get your mind out of the gutter!) once made it clear she'd quite like to pour petrol over spammers and scammers, then start playing "flick the zippo", thanks to the damage they were doing to the business.

          But just like spammers, going after them is a serious game of whack-a-mole unless you can trace the mothership and take that down (which is much harder than going after spammers).

  15. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Eh?

    " Campbell commented: "It's rare in computer forensics for criminal cases, whatever the alleged crime and if the user is male, not to find traces of porn viewing, especially in late-night sessions. The evidence in my experiences is that that is a norm for most British blokes, even those whose religion might forbid it. If he was working late, it's to be expected."'

    Most British blokes, or most British blokes who come to the attention of the law?

  16. The Nazz Silver badge

    Two points

    Firstly, reading the article one would think that only men look at porn. Not true, many women do though not in the same volume as men. It would appear, so a female friend tells me, that a particular interest is gay men going at it ( 'spose the same as most men are interested in the lezzies.) Good for diversity.

    Secondly, what i find more worrying, is OK maybe Green did have *legal* porn on his computer. maybe he did have a *fap* to it every now and then, maybe he even (stretching the bounds of credibility somewhat) stuck down his letters to his constituents with his output. But ..

    i find the greater offence is that of such as Jacqui Smith fraudulently claiming expenses for her husband's viewing habits ( understandable, the viewing ) and her and many others "flipping" their second homes, and generally lying their arses of about the real situation.

    How many low level MP's were jailed for such? 4 IIRC. And wasn't the Tory peers defence essentially "everyone else does it and i was told to do the same"?

    Also a copper acting unlawfully? Tip of the iceberg.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two points

      If he was looking at porn he didn't need to claim expenses, he was at work so getting paid at the time already using government equipment, so already paid for out of the public purse. This is worse.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Two points

        "If he was looking at porn he didn't need to claim expenses, he was at work so getting paid at the time already using government equipment, so already paid for out of the public purse. This is worse."

        He gets an annual salary, not an hourly salary. This 'doing private things at work' argument only applies if he never does work things at home. As someone on an annual rather than hourly wage, if my employers would rather I only do work in the office (not porn viewing, but other personal stuff) then I will not do any work stuff outside of office hours, and we can see who loses from that deal.

    2. HmmmYes Silver badge

      Re: Two points

      Define porn.

      Men - big boobs

      Women - shoes.

    3. DamnedIfIKnow

      Re: Two points

      'Tip of the iceberg'?

      In that case, bring on global warming!

  17. Richard Parkin

    Constituents confidential details

    It pains me to say that I agree with Jacob Rees-Mogg that the original invasion of Parliament by the police is the more important thing here. I particularly object to the police being able to access his constituents confidential details which were likely on the computer in emails etc. My understanding is that forensics always starts with imaging the hard drive, so were these hard drive images retained?

    BTW Profumo lied to the House rather than just denied his relationship. Too much is made of lying anyway, everyone does it.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. swampdog
      Unhappy

      Re: Constituents confidential details

      Therein lies the problem. Very few of us know how IT forensics works. I'd go so far as to say even "IT forensics professionals" don't know how it works. Sure, someone could pay me to image a disk and subsequently analyse it but I'd make a most unsuitable expert witness for either side: I'd be full of "ifs" and "buts". I couldn't in all conscience, sit there on the stand and say categorically (in terms a jury would understand) that fact X is true/false.

      How does one image a hard drive when the computer is using a ram disk? Do you keep the machine on or do you kill the power? Unless I was present at the arrest (and even then I'd only have half a clue) I'd have no idea if this drive image is a crock, or possibly even fabricated.

      I have no answers except to pose this: ?is all computer crime a diversion? Like life, crime involves money and power: better to chase that rather than one of the many tools which facilitate it.

      Bit too heavy for friday :-(

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Constituents confidential details

        I'd make a most unsuitable expert witness for either side: I'd be full of "ifs" and "buts". I couldn't in all conscience, sit there on the stand and say categorically (in terms a jury would understand) that fact X is true/false.

        I think you'd make an excellent expert witness. A forensic scientist can only report on the basis of what they found. They can comment on how that might or might not be consistent with various accounts of what might have happened. You shouldn't put in a report something you're not prepared to stand over in court and that includes the limitations which you're aware of. Standing over those limitations is a reality; I've certainly experienced a persistent attempt by the counsel who'd called me to get me to go beyond what I'd written.

        That doesn't mean that there aren't witnesses who take a different view or who stand as examples of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  18. gotes

    pr0n thumbnails

    Maybe he just followed a link to a tabloid newspaper's web site.

  19. IT Hack

    Firewalls

    Nice to see the HoC IT bods allowing dodgy websites through their firewall.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: most men are interested in the lezzies

    Never understood this. It doesn't stimulate the mirror neurons. Still, each to their own.

  21. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    "Fingers cabinet minister in pr0nz"

    I saw what you did there. (Though I really wish I hadn't.)

    Paris--because she's a wonderful human being with no history of involvement in adult entertainment.

  22. scrubber
    Big Brother

    Pron @ work

    At least he's looking at porn on HIS computer, as opposed to GCHQ who are looking at porn on MY computer.

  23. J J Carter Silver badge

    Really?

    Clearly the bizzies have forgotten about Operation Orr and thumbnails in the browser cache.

  24. JohnG Silver badge

    Assuming the policeman concerned has not added the porn to his illegally retained copies of the data on Green's computer.... The implication is that it is possible to download and/or stream porn via parliament's network i.e. they don't filter porn/malicious/dodgy websites. No doubt, their systems are protected with security software that receives quarterly updates of security threats.

  25. John Savard Silver badge

    Confused

    If someone has evidence of a crime, it is his duty to preserve that evidence until someone is available to take proper action based on that evidence. If the superiors of a police officer want to destroy evidence, they're the criminals - not the officer who heroically defies them in order that someday justice can be done.

    So I think it's incredible the article is calling for prosecution of the hero under the Data Protection Act.

    Misuse of a computer the taxpayers paid for is a crime, pure and simple.

    At least, that would be the public attitude in the United States, even if people in Britain may see things differently.

    1. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

      Re: Confused

      we do see things differently.

      the er, "evidence" was obtained without the formality of a search warrant.

    2. Richard Parkin

      Re: Confused

      The “evidence” would be inadmissible in the the US because no warrant so it would be “fruit of the poisoned tree”. Even with a warrant there are doubts that it would be valid in HoP.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Confused

        In the US it would be inadmissible. This side of the pond evidence would still be accepted.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          No chain of custody

          Therefore even a mostly-incompetent lawyer would get the whole thing thrown out.

          The Data Protection Act is extremely clear about holding onto personal data for longer than necessary.

          The former forensics copper is either lying or has broken the law. His only defence for holding onto this data would be that it's fabricated - which then opens a slam-dunk defamation case.

          One really wonders why he did the interview. There's no way it can end well for him.

          1. DamnedIfIKnow

            Re: No chain of custody

            The former forensics copper is either lying or has broken the law.

            So, either way he's broken the law!

      2. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: Confused

        "The “evidence” would be inadmissible in the the US because no warrant"

        The Police were invited in by the Sergeant at Arms, search was legal just as it would have been if your Mum had invited them into your home.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Confused

      "Misuse of a computer the taxpayers paid for is a crime, pure and simple."

      Such misuse would include making unauthorised copies of improperly obtained data. This was an MP's computer. It would be quite likely to contain all manner of confidential constituents' business and shadow cabinet documents, all covered by Parliamentary privilege. If there were documents shared between government and shadow cabinet an unauthorised copy might constitute a breach of the Official Secrets Act.

    4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Confused

      not the officer who heroically defies them in order that someday justice can be done.

      Outside of Hollywood, things don't work like that.

    5. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Confused

      "If someone has evidence of a crime, it is his duty to preserve that evidence until someone is available to take proper action based on that evidence. If the superiors of a police officer want to destroy evidence, they're the criminals - not the officer who heroically defies them in order that someday justice can be done."

      I highly doubt that the US system would look kindly on his taking a bunch of evidence home 'just in case'.

    6. MarkW99

      Re: Confused

      "Misuse of a computer the taxpayers paid for is a crime, pure and simple."

      It is? Wrong? Perhaps. Immoral? Almost certainly. Criminal? Not unless there is a specific law, which there probably isn't.

      Which sets aside your previous point about retaining evidence of criminality.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Confused

      Misuse of a computer the taxpayers paid for is a crime, pure and simple.

      It is amazing the number of people here who think looking at porn on a work computer is acceptable. Any companies I have worked for would march you off site.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Confused

        Taking home a pen from the office might also be a "crime" in your book?

        What about ex-police having a private vendetta, for reasons only known to him, about something that happened ages ago -is that a crime?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Confused

        >It is amazing the number of people here who think looking at porn on a work computer is acceptable. Any companies I have worked for would march you off site.

        Only place I've been where it was allowed (or at least not immediately sackable) was a now-defunct Art College. One of the students had a final year project to compare modern pornography with classic nude works of art. Once approved, she was allowed to view as much porn as she wanted in the library as long as it wasn't moving pictures.

  26. Blotto Bronze badge
    Holmes

    Amazed by some of the comments here.

    I clearly need to get out more and do more interesting things..

    I’m amazed so many commentators are happy with what the ex coppers have said and their alarm bells / bullshit detectors aren’t ringing and whaling in piercing tones.

    1) why has the retired copper still got this data in his possession.

    2) it’s thumbnails, not full size images the copper is complaining about, where are the full size images.

    3) my understanding is that parliament networks / mp’s connections are not meant to be filtered else they may be blocked from seeing stuff they are meant to see

    4) at the time the network logs should have been retained too. The proxy logs should reveal the sites those thumbnails came from and if any full size images where viewed.

    5) the mp’s office was raided looking for data about leaks from the home office, yet all we are hearing 10 years later is about thumbnails of legal porn, reported by an ex copper who personally retained data from an mp’s pc gathered in a raid.

    6) What other data does the ex copper have in his possession on other cases he worked on?

    7) snowflakes may not remember, but we used to be plagued by pop ups and pop unders. They’d load all kinds of crap in your browser you’d never know about.

    8) context is needed, what sites where visited at the times the thumbnails where stored, could they have been stored as a result of pop ups or unders?

    9) any viruses or malware on the mp’s machine?

    10) pc access logs, where was the mp at the times the pc was unlocked and the images stored.

    11) it’s been said it was a machine in the mp’s office, not that it was the machine the mp solely used or even his usual machine, just a machine in his office, how do we know for sure it was the mp that intentionally accessed the sites that downloaded the thumbnails?

    I could go on and on about stuff the copper mentioned that doesn’t automatically mean the mp intentionally caused those thumbnails to be there.

    The main thing is that parliament, network and pc audit logs at the time should show if the mp was even present at the times the Images where recorded, or if we are now dealing with some kind of fabrication designed change our political makeup. Those IT logs are now likely long gone though, leaving the only record created by a now ex copper who illegally retained a what he claims is s personal copy of the machine in the mp’s office.

    In light of this info I’d be inclined to not volunteer any personal or customer info to the police as it has a good chance of not being stored appropriately and may resurface at some time in the future, inappropriately despite never being illegal at any stage.

    The police need to take a very hard line here, if they don’t the Home Secretary must.

    I’d think 4 times over before I

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Amazed by some of the comments here.

      Porn pop up are still a thing. I opened an innocuous link in Safari on iPad yesterday and got a screen filling page of “best Japanese porn” and I have pop ups turned off in Safari. When I tried the link again, same thing. The links are still in my history. I can believe that if there were only thumbnails on the MPs computer that they got there in that way, possibly without his even seeing them.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: Amazed by some of the comments here.

        There is nothing wrong with Best Japanese Porn!

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Amazed by some of the comments here.

        "I opened an innocuous link in Safari on iPad yesterday and got a screen filling page of “best Japanese porn”

        Link? (Or, how else can we know you are truthful?)

    2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Amazed by some of the comments here.

      "I’m amazed so many commentators are happy with what the ex coppers have said and their alarm bells / bullshit detectors aren’t ringing and whaling in piercing tones."

      While it's quite worrying that the ex-coppers are willing to comment on such cases, it's getting re-hashed because Green is facing allegations of a sexual nature, and as part of his "defence" of this included the claim that a) it's all a setup by the filth and b) they never was any porn on his computer.

      So the ex-copper speaking out to say "there totally was porn" does have some relevance, in that Green is either willing to lie about previous allegations at the same time as denying current accusations.

      Unless I've missed something in the coverage, Green is not currently accused of anything illegal. So a lot of the legal huffing and puffing is meaningless, he's not going to court. But he is accused of not acting appropriately, and previous legal but inappropriate actions might well be relevant to this.

      They may even go for the "Trump/Manafort defense" where Green won't be found in breach of ministerial conduct since he wasn't a minister at the time. But May brought him into cabinet knowing full well his dodgy past and didn't see it as a potential issue could reflect poorly on her.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Amazed by some of the comments here.

        @MonkeyCee

        While it's quite worrying that the ex-coppers are willing to comment on such cases, it's getting re-hashed because Green is facing allegations of a sexual nature, and as part of his "defence" of this included the claim that a) it's all a setup by the filth and b) they never was any porn on his computer.

        So the ex-copper speaking out to say "there totally was porn" does have some relevance, in that Green is either willing to lie about previous allegations at the same time as denying current accusations.

        your missing the point.

        regardless of if there was porn on that pc or not, the original investigation was to look for info leaked from the home office, which does not include looking for porn (ok it might have come from Jacqui Smith's home office after her husband watched porn and we paid for it as she expensed it but that is a different story).

        the point here is that that police officer should not have retained that information and should not have made that information public. After all, the copper has declared there was nothing illegal about the images, and if it was somehow relevant now he should have taken it to the current police. If he has that much little faith in the current police force to do the right thing then maybe we should all be vigilantes?

        If you had been pulled in by the police, searched etc, and the police found porn on your pc, phone, under the mattress 10 years ago. and now 10 years later a retired copper publicly announced you had legal porn in your possession at home, work etc would you be happy about that. What if the porn wasn't yours or you didn't put it there? I'd often come home from Uni to find my house mates looking at porn on my PC, using my dial up account to do so, & no i'd not given them permission to surf porn. When i started work, people would often email porn around to our work addresses, & yes i had a friend who got the sack for emailing photos and that practice stopped shortly after.

        There is absolutely no proof that Damien Green was responsible for those thumbnails being there, and even if he was it was 10 years ago and not illegal then or now.

  27. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    WTF?

    Only one story here

    Civilian (ex-copper) illegally in possession of computer material.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Only one story here

      *privileged* material at that.

      How many constituents had their private, legally privileged data stored on that machine?

      1. Not also known as SC

        Re: Only one story here

        "How many constituents had their private, legally privileged data stored on that machine?"

        Wouldn't that be stored on a remote server somewhere in a secure file store? Surely MPs wouldn't keep confidential, important material on a non-backed-up local hard drive?

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Only one story here

      Lots and lots of stories here. Now that Tom Winsor (Theresa May lapdog and unqualified for every government job he's ever had) has stuck his oar in its starting to become clearer. Be nice if some people engaged brain and looked beyond the headlines to the real battle being played out. Ideally before you discover that you've been cheerleading for the side that wants more of your freedoms removed.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Only one story here

        "Ideally before you discover that you've been cheerleading for the side that wants more of your freedoms removed."

        I'm confused. Which side doesn't want that?

  28. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I could show you how to create a legitimate looking safe for work website that could load 1000s of thumbnails in hidden iframe to fill your browser cache. But it would not mean you had actively viewed porn on your computer.

    You could even use this technique to load illegal images onto someones computer and frame them for a crime and if all the police so is say that a thumbnail is enough for conviction you would be royally screwed.

  29. WorriedAboutThis Nation

    its not illegal, prosecute those police officers

    if it is true, its not illegal.

    I challenge any male to say he has not viewed porn, its perfectly natural.

    When my son reaches puberty and beyond, I would consider it to be perfectly healthy and natural.

    not child abuse porn, or anything not between consenting adults.

    The police officers MUST be prosecuted, they have a duty of confidentiality, and certainly not to privately retain such images.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: its not illegal, prosecute those police officers

      Depends on the content. Surely that is for a judge & jury to decide whether it is illegal or not after having viewed the Evidence.

    2. Not also known as SC

      Re: its not illegal, prosecute those police officers

      "When my son reaches puberty and beyond, I would consider it to be perfectly healthy and natural."

      To view porn - yes, but at work on a work computer?

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: its not illegal, prosecute those police officers

        Still not a crime. Is reading a newspaper at the office a crime?

  30. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Ok, so

    .... what interesting politicial developments are supposed to be de-rezzed by warming up this stuff?

    1. steelpillow Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Ok, so

      ".... what interesting politicial developments are supposed to be de-rezzed by warming up this stuff?

      Green is a senior member of the current government, being the First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office. The Prime Minister currently needs all the Cabinet stability she can get and forcing him from office would be another nail in her and her government's coffin.

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Ok, so

      I don't think that's it, too simple. Green may well be going anyway as part of the sex scandal at Westminster. I think this is him taking down people he holds a grudge against on his way down. But I don't think that's all, there's more going on and the government is using it as a way to increase the power of government and reduce the power of the Police (crown servants, not civil servants), Parliament and the judiciary.

  31. VinceH Silver badge
    Joke

    As others have said, to my reading it is the dodgy ex copper at fault. However, an important thing to consider is this paragraph:

    "Green's fellow minister, David Davis, the Brexit secretary, has threatened to resign if Green is forced out of his ministerial post as a result of the copper's leaks."

    For me, that changes everything. Throw the whole sodding book at Green - and the sooner, the better!

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      "For me, that changes everything. Throw the whole sodding book at Green - and the sooner, the better!"

      Tempting, but DD won't do it. You know what they say about Brexiteers' promises...

  32. technoise

    Why now?

    Most people here seem to be focusing on the allegation itself. There are more interesting questions arising our of this.

    1. Why was this not dealt with at the time?

    2. Why now?

    How is it that someone has kept and held this information for all this time, and why have they chosen to do it now?

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Why now?

      It was dealt with at the time, by which I mean it was ignored.

      While I'm at it, I'd suppose that files on the computer disk are labelled as belonging to dgreen or to dgreensecretary so you would be able to tell who did it, including the web cache.

      As for what's legal or illegal porn, it may be only a few pixels difference but I expect that forensic investigators have file checksums to identify commonly available smut. Images may also include the publisher's name e.g. Playboy which you would expect to be legal.

      1. Richard Parkin

        Shared offices and frequent changes

        Having recently watched a TV program about HoP it’s clear that space is very tight and offices are often shared and MPs are sometimes moved about between offices. I wonder in what sense it was Green’s computer. Are the Computers supplied by the HoP and MPs login to one wherever they are or do they cart them around between offices?

        1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

          Re: Shared offices and frequent changes

          "I wonder in what sense it was Green’s computer. Are the Computers supplied by the HoP and MPs login to one wherever they are or do they cart them around between offices?"

          Interesting point. If they are allowed to log into the nearest PC using their own credentials, it could be anybody, though one would hope that gets logged on a server somewhere.

          I dunno enough about Windows though. Are browser caches placed in user-specific areas?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Shared offices and frequent changes

            I dunno enough about Windows though. Are browser caches placed in user-specific areas?

            Yes

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Shared offices and frequent changes

              On a windows domain login, with folder redirection, it's not only on a server it got backed up.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Shared offices and frequent changes

          The allegation was that the viewing was contemporaenous with activities identified as being carried on under the authenticated user account, so it would be unlikley in that circumstance that the PC were being moved about between different users.

  33. Mike Shepherd
    Meh

    Only a click away

    Since many innocent pages are only a click away from porn and default browser settings may pre-fetch linked pages, I'd be surprised not to find thumbnails on almost everyone's PC.

  34. Charles Smith

    Conspiracy

    There seems to be an awful lot of effort to smear politicians in an attempt to weaken the UK Gov't. I'd say it's conspiracy either by Momentum or the Bilderbergers.

  35. MJI Silver badge

    Those coppers need jailing

    They are a very good argument about lack of trust, unless they get substantial sentences I could see all trust being lost.

    I already have limited trust due to a small number of dickhead cops.

    So unless they clean house expect trouble.

  36. Blotto Bronze badge

    Quotes from the copper

    My apologies but taken from the guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/dec/01/damian-green-thousands-of-pornographic-images-on-computer-says-detective

    Lewis said: “When I left the police I kept one notebook and that was the notebook for Operation Miser, because that was the case that I was uncomfortable with.”

    Lewis said he was motivated to come forward when he read about Green denying claims by Quick, a former Metropolitan assistant commissioner, who told the Sunday Times that pornography had been found on the politician’s computer.

    “His outright denial of that was quite amazing, followed by his criticism of Bob Quick,” Lewis said. “I contacted Bob Quick to offer my support.”

    Asked if it was possible for anyone else to access Green’s machine, Lewis said: “It was so extensive, whoever had done it would have had to push Mr Green to one side to say ‘Get out, I’m using your computer’.”

    He also dismissed a suggestion that a mistake could have been made. Lewis said: “I was the one who seized it from Portcullis House. I was the one who examined it, photographed it. I deal with computer forensics. That’s what I do, I produce digital evidence to court in relation to terrorists at the Old Bailey.

    I can understand non technical people being convinced by Lewis’s account here, but it doesn’t pass techno muster to me. If this account by this detective is enough to convict someone then we are all doomed.

    It is really not hard to believe that the mp delegated control of his user account to someone if not all in his office. In addition, it’s not difficult for a tech with admin access to have placed images on the machine. Much more information is needed from the machine logs to draw the conclusions the copper did. What the copper wrote would cause me to question every bit of evidence he ever supplied. Terrorists could walk free because of his actions and lax attitude to finding and presenting facts as evidence.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Quotes from the copper

      An older copper like that probably understands bugger all about technology.

  37. MJI Silver badge

    So we can report them

    What crimes have Quick and Lewis commited?

    We can then call our local Police en mass to report a crime.

  38. Ungawunga

    Eyes down

    Damian Green has either been targeted and extensively set up or he is not being truthful in regard to this leisure activity in works time.

    Perhaps both.

    Saw his interview on BBC, innocent or not I would have expected a senior politician to have the skills to look to be telling the truth.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flashback to the time I was told...

    The new email filtering blocked MPs from receiving email (think: person on the committee investigating something bad) because of "key words" in the email.

  40. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    To me it looks as if the ex-cop is a much worse criminal than Damian,

    I would love for any Tory politician to be disgraced, but this isn't right.

  41. petethebloke

    If he didn't break the law (and it sounds like he didn't) then the worst offence is wasting time at work. Since MPs are (technically) self-employed, who cares?

  42. Felonmarmer

    If Green didn't have this on his laptop as he claims, why is the copper being accused of violating confidentiality? If it's not true then the copper should be accused of making stuff up.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >Lewis claimed to have found "thousands" of thumbnails of legal porn in Green's computer's browser cache [...]

    Legal porn!?

    Good gracious! Damien Green is quite literally worse than Hitler.

    /s

  44. Archivist

    Porn's not the point

    What he was watching is irrelevant. What is relevant is that he was being paid a good sum of taxpayers' money to help govern the country. It seems he squandered a lot of time and money.

  45. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    I'm not reading all postings, but just adding here that the top Plod in the UK, Madame Dick, has said that those two freelancing cops most likely are breaking the law, and that they will now be investigated.

    Whops... So much for playing private dick in OAP time.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Hopefully

      They seem a right dodgy pair those two, and I think that the funny looking one on TV a lot is not far off blackmailing.

      However I trust Miss Dick - the current Met head a lot more than those pair of chancers.

      Throw the book at them if they have done wrong.

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