Feeds

Banned spy novel published on net

Ex-MI6 officer defies UK government on blog

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.