Feeds

Bloggers have killed Official Secrets Act, claims Murray

Not exactly. But they're not exactly in prison, either...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Ordinarily we'd avoid mentioning the Government's unaccountable failure to gaol Craig Murray, in case we inadvertently reminded its members of something they missed from yesterday's 'To Do' list. But, as the man himself so plainly wants to draw attention to his continuing liberty, we might as well just go ahead. Bloggers, says Murray, have killed off the Official Secrets Act.

We wouldn't put it that strongly ourselves, but the Act certainly doesn't look well. Last week, Murray, a former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan*, responded to Foreign Office attempts to suppress two confidential documents by publishing them on his website and encouraging blogs the world over to republish them. Murray now claims these appeared in more than 4,000 blogs within 72 hours. We've no idea whether or not the total hit 4,000, but whatever, it's loads and loads - far beyond any number that the UK Government could ever manage to deal with.

Despite this, Murray hasn't even been questioned. "We have published," he says, "what were, undoubtedly, classified British Government documents. Under the notorious Official Secrets Act that is an offence, and everyone connected with it is plainly guilty. There is no public interest defence."

Actually, it's not the numbers as such that have kept the security forces off Murray's back. Not directly, anyway. Having the documents reproduced throughout the world certainly ensures they can never be suppressed, but has no obvious effect on any desire the Government might have to wreak awful vengeance on Murray. The reverse, if anything. Murray himself acknowledges this to an extent, observing: "British criminal trials still involve juries, and they are reluctant to convict in OSA trials, where they often sympathise with the motives of the defendant. Clive Ponting was acquitted after leaking that the Belgrano was heading home when British forces sank it. The jury acquitted him against the clear direction of the judge. And that was in the context of the Falklands War, which the British public supported. What chance of a conviction in the context of the Iraq war, which the British public oppose?"

It's also in Murray's favour that he's loudly opposing torture while the UK Government is giving every indication of skulking around conniving at it. If the Government busts Murray, his book gets more publicity, more waves of outrage will ripple through blogdom, and the jury could well chuck out the charges and render the OSA even deader than it is already. Must be annoying to have Murray crowing about it, though, when you're striving not to notice that official secrets breaches have gone global. ®

* It occurs to us that life must be hard for the current UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, whoever they may be. All ambassadors are fairly silent by Murray's standards, but silence from the envoy to Uzbekistan these days might so easily be thought of, throughout the world, as indicating some kind of cynical, torturing, CIA stooge. For the sake of your reputation, whoever you are, we urge you to leak something, quick.

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
If there are any on our site it is not our fault as we are not a PUBLISHER
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?