Feeds

Intelligence documents left on a train

Laptop ban no barrier to government's data giveaway

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Updated: A senior civil servant has been suspended for leaving top secret intelligence documents on a Waterloo to Surrey train.

The commuting spook left an orange envelope on a seat when he got off the train. It contained two documents prepared for the Joint Intelligence Committee - one on the capabilities of Iraqi security forces and one on al-Qaeda's vulnerabilities marked "UK Top Secret" and "for US/UK/Canadian and Australian eyes only".

The documents were handed in to the BBC, which passed them to the police.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office told the Beeb: "Two documents which are marked as 'secret' were left on a train and have subsequently been handed to the BBC.

"There has been a security breach, the Metropolitan Police are carrying out an investigation."

The unnamed male civil servant worked for the Cabinet Office. Police were already searching for the documents which he had reported missing.

Keith Vaz, chair of the Home Affairs committee, called for an official inquiry, as did the Tories.

Civil servants can face disciplinary action for leaving such documents on their desks within Whitehall. Strict procedures are supposed to mean these documents are only considered safe when properly locked up.

The government's review of data security did mean civil servants were carrying copies of documents to work on at home because they were no longer allowed to take insecure and unencrypted laptop computers out of the office. But we kind of hoped the security services took this stuff a bit more seriously.

The government last night won the right to intern terrorism suspects for 42 days without charge. Brown won by nine votes provided by the Democratic Unionist Party. The DUP has denied it did any deal with Brown in exchange for votes.

Update: The government is to launch an official inquiry into how the documents were left on a train. It will be headed by Sir David Omand.

Cabinet Secretary Ed Miliband told the Commons the civil servant was not entitled to remove the files from Whitehall.

He said there had been:"a clear breach of well established security rules which forbid the removal of documents of this kind outside secure government premises without clear authorisation and compliance with special security procedures". But he claimed national security had not been compromised.®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.