back to article MoD man 'faces Official Secrets trial' for leaving files on train

The Cabinet Office official who left secret intelligence documents on a train seems set to face criminal charges under the Official Secrets Act. At least he might if anyone tracks down the files on the case. The unnamed official, who was on secondment from the Ministry of Defence, left the orange envelope on a seat when he …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    With apologies to Spike Milligan

    'ang 'im

    Paris because any one stupid enough to leave top secret docs on a train is a dozey fecker, and if the coat fits...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    He should consider himself lucky...

    I'da shot the stupid twat. Or hanged him upside down in Trafalger Square for my very own twatdangle.

    Sorry, but been thinking of a way to use that since Friday....

  3. Graham Marsden

    I'm surprised...

    ... that the Authorities aren't planning to charge the member of the Public and the BBC for having this stuff.

    After all, normally they pick on the softest targets...

  4. Ron Eve

    Stepping on the cracks...

    Neasden Police Station

    Time: 18.00

    Report from member of the public that they'd 'found' an envelope marked 'Top Secret MoD Documents' on a train. Despatched the entire Neasden division and coordinated a meet with the Armed Response Unit at the railway station where said member of the public was allegedly waiting.

    Member of the public was asked to handover the documents whereupon he was immediately held in a 'lock down' position while the ARU terminated him with several rounds to the head from their Glock pistols.

    Envelope returned to the MoD with a friendly nod and wink "Be a bit more careful next time sir"

    Entire division back to Neasden for celebratory cup of tea at a job well done.

  5. Martin Silver badge

    Must be a minion

    So the investiagtion has confirmed it wasn't a minister or anyone important so you can prosecute some dozey back office guy,



    Give him a knighthood. This valiant data warrior was clearly attempting to add to the formidable armoury of those fine folk at NO2ID.

    ... the database state

  7. johnB

    Hope it's a custodial sentence

    Just when will these clowns get it - there's no need for paper documents to be taken out of the office. Full Stop. Period. End of matter.

    If they simply must - because they are so "important" that they can't do their work whist at work -then there's encrypted laptops.

  8. Sleeping Dragon

    No news here

    Slap on the wrist really. Gets comfortable job in a distant but quiet department, pension is safe.

  9. David Rollinson

    UK Top Secret = Give to Journalist?

    I agree that the official needs to be charged with something, but what person, upon finding a document marked "UK Top Secret", then gives it to a news organisation? Sureley its easier to find a police station than the BBC?

    People complain about how our society is media driven, but since when is the media to be entrusted with state secrets whilst UK forces are involved in an overseas conflict?

    Not wanting to be "Daily Mail" on this, but you have to ask yourself WTF? Feel free to post your choice of person/organisation that you'd like to slip a Top Secret document to? (Not the Register though - no pandering after Cash 'n' Carrion freebies you lot!)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Flog the b'stard

    If they can identify the culprit then seriously I think they ought to fling the book at him/her, never mind the OSA - get the stupid cretin under the terror laws (one way ticket to Gitmo on standby). I'm getting really really p'd off with the government treating sensitive data in such a cavalier manner. Heck, if I took TS-classified documents out of the office and then "mislaid" them I'd expect to be sacked and prosecuted. There is a "duty of care" for god's sake!

    As JohnB points out - if you _must_ have these docs away from the office, use digital copies with a strong encryption and good key. There's no excuse, as there's plenty of good programs out there and some of them - like Truecrypt - are even free.

    Unfortunately as much as I'd like this bozo to get 2-3 years at her maj's pleasure I suspect that the case'll get dropped quietly. Otherwise what next, maybe ministers would be in the dock for losing their data! (Here's hoping)

    (Paris icon because compared to this half-wit she looks like a Mastermind candidate)

  11. Graham Marsden

    @David Rollinson

    > UK Top Secret = Give to Journalist?

    1) Hand in to the Police. They hand it back to the MOD. MOD says "Phew! That was lucky, good job nobody noticed" and does nothing about it.

    2) Hand it to the media. They hand it back to the MOD with publicity and the MOD are then at least then aware that people know they screwed up and will maybe do something about their data security.

  12. Bayleaf

    Where is the file?

    But a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police told us it had handed a file to the CPS in July but had not yet heard back from them.

    Its probably on a train somewhere then.

  13. David Rollinson

    @Graham Marsden

    I take your point, but I suspect that the involvement of the media is more likely to be motivated by potential payment and "15 minutes of fame" than any altruistic desire to make the MOD improve its security.

  14. Lukin Brewer

    Don't they have briefcases any more?

    He could have put it in a carrier bag, just to keep it out of sight.

  15. Dave

    pass the parcel?

    "A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service told the Register: "We have given our advice to the police on this and are not prepared to discuss what that advice is."

    No I think you'll find its the CPS that decides whether or not to prosecute people. The clue is in the name.

    whoever mislaid it SHOULD have taken more care and MAY have been criminally negligent. Isn't it amazing that even when the authorities do something right and refer the matter to the courts some people still see conspiracy.

  16. PT

    Follow Precedent

    The last time this happened, they punished the culprit by making him First Sea Lord.

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