Feeds

Banned spy novel published on net

Ex-MI6 officer defies UK government on blog

Top three mobile application threats

Sacked spy Richard Tomlinson has defied the UK's secret services by posting the first chapter of his spy novel online.

The ex-MI6 officer was fired in 1995 after four years in the foreign arm of British secret intelligence and spent a year in a maximum security prison for publishing a book about his time in the organisation. But he has fought back against what he claims is intimidation by his old employees with the publication of chapter one of The Golden Chain on his blog.

Tomlinson had his house and boat in France raided earlier this year after MI6 claimed he was responsible for releasing a list of alleged active MI6 agents on the internet. Even though Tomlinson now links to the list from his blog, he swears he wasn't behind the list. Since the raid, he has fought with the UK government, including MI6 and Special Branch, for the return of his possessions, publishing copies of emails and letters sent to him over the matter online.

Recently, the UK authorities confirmed that they were retaining ownership of his possessions because he had "made a number of references to writing a novel or book to be based in whole or in part on information falling within the terms of the Order". That order was the terms of Tomlinson's release and he was effectively accused of breaking the Official Secrets Act a second time. Tomlinson's response has been to publish the first chapter of his book on his blog, presumably with the threat of releasing further chapters until his possessions are returned.

The online battle has been going on since March this year, when Tomlinson discovered blogging and set about trying to force MI6 to respond to his endless requests for his sacking to be reviewed by a tribunal.

He soon gained the ire of MI6 chief John Scarlett by accusing him of having blood on his hands thanks to his part in the production of the now-discredited Iraq war dossiers. Tomlinson also threatened to expose what he knew, including the names of MI6 agents, online. His house was raided and in August his Typepad blog was shut down at the request of Special Branch. Tomlinson opened up a Blogger account immediately afterwards with the title " Tomlinson v MI6 (it's back!)".

Tomlinson gained some notoriety in 1998 when he published The Big Breach, an account of his time with MI6. He made the book available online from a server in Russia, and then used the defence created by another famous SIS book, Spycatcher by Peter Wright, to argue that the book should be published in the UK since all the harm that could be done by its publication had already happened. The book is now readily available. Tomlinson also found notoriety, if not credibility, in his claim that MI6 may have been behind the death of Princess Diana.®

Related links

Chapter One of The Golden Chain
Tomlinson's blog
Tomlinson's old blog
The Big Breach

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.