Feeds

Ex-MI6 officer admits attempt to sell secrets

Dodges theft rap, but faces jail

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Updated A former MI6 officer faces jail after he pleaded guilty this morning to two breaches of the Official Secrets Act.

Mr Justice Bean told Daniel Houghton, of Hoxton, that a prison sentence was inevitable, PA reports.

In an apparent plea deal, Houghton denied a third charge, of theft, which was accepted by the prosecution.

The 25-year-old, who holds joint British-Dutch nationality and a computer science degree, was arrested leaving a central London hotel in March, carrying a briefcase that contained £900,000 cash. He had just met undercover MI5 officers, who he believed had bought British secrets on behalf of a foreign government.

Prosecutors disclosed in a previous hearing that MI5 counter-espionage investigators acted on a tip-off from Dutch authorities, who he had approached asking for £2m.

He had left MI6 after less than two years, apparently with Top Secret papers, and a laptop hard drive and memory sticks stuffed with highly classified information. It was ten months between his departure from the service and the climax of the operation to catch him.

Houghton pleaded guilty today to disclosing details of intelligence-gathering techniques, and disclosing two lists of British intelligence personnel. The theft charge, effectively abandoned today, accused him of stealing files from MI5.

The apparent bargain means details of how Houghton was able to leave MI6 with a cache of printed and electronic Top Secret material - which remained undetected until Dutch authorities alerted MI5 - will remain a worrying mystery. He will be sentenced on 3 September. ®

Update

According to The Guardian, Houghton had taken many of the files home on CDs and DVDs he was able to burn at the office. Which is reassuring.

It also reports his lawyers submitted psychiatric reports in mitigation claiming he had been "directed by voices".

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
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.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
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.
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.