BNP races to get membership list off the net
Updated The BNP membership list containing over 10,000 names and addresses, which we revealed yesterday is still plastered over the internet despite the far right party's desperate efforts to get it yanked from websites.
A message on the party's website from Nick Griffin, BNP leader, details the list leak and apologises to people having problems with the site which is creaking under extra traffic.
Griffin claims that the membership list dates from between 30 November 2007 and 2 December, although the version seen by The Register includes members from 2008. He also said that some non-members had been maliciously added to the list.
Griffin said the party had sent formal demands to web hosts to remove the list. He also said the party had made a complaint to Dyfed-Powys Police - but Dyfed-Powys was unable to confirm this to us. The BNP claims it will be asking for an investigation into breaches of the Data Protection Act, theft and receipt of stolen goods and breaches of the Human Rights Act.
A spokesman for the BNP said: "A detective inspector is investigating our complaint. The unions and the Labour party are behind this. Last night hundreds of our members got calls from a call centre." The BNP refused to tell us which web hosts had been asked to remove the information.
The problem for BNP members is that several of them work for the police, army and prison service - organisations which either have bans on party political activity or specific bans on staff joining the BNP. The Home Office was not able to comment on what action it would take against members revealed to be working for the police or prison service.
Nick Griffin claimed the leak was good news for the extremist party because it showed its members were not "skinhead oiks".
Lancaster Unity, the anti-fascist website, which first revealed the leak, has more.
The list also contains details of several children who are members as part of BNP family membership. Many entries also include notes on members such as their jobs, hobbies and willingness to campaign - one entry for a member in Somerset reads: "Retired retail jeweller. hobbies: freemasonry, church singing - activist."
Extremist websites are full of angry BNP members, gloating anti-fascists and lots of speculation about who is behind the leak - the party has several violently opposed factions which are all busy blaming each other for the cock-up.
The leak is bound to cause acute embarrassment to some - last time the BNP lost a list of members a leading ballerina and a servant at Buckingham Palace were the biggest shocks. This time there are rumours about two Scottish footballers.
But perhaps the real difficulty for the BNP will be getting subscriptions out of people for next year's membership - how many members would join in the knowledge that friends, neighbours and employers will know of their esoteric political leanings?
A spokeswoman for the Information Commissioner’s Office said:
"Following media reports that the personal details of BNP members have been incorrectly disclosed, we will be contacting the party to establish the full facts. We will then decide what action, if any, is appropriate.
"We encourage all organisations to alert the Information Commissioner’s Office if they discover a security breach has occurred. We stand ready to provide advice to organisations to help them deal with breaches effectively and mitigate the risks. We have published specific guidance on managing breaches on our website – www.ico.gov.uk."
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