Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/26/raf_files_blackmail/

Stolen RAF files are blackmailer's dream

Not just personnel files after all

By John Oates

Posted in Government, 26th May 2009 08:48 GMT

Information stolen from the RAF last September included detailed information on the private lives of senior staff, including drug abuse, problems with alcohol and extra-marital affairs, it has been revealed.

The unencrypted hard drives were stolen from a base in Gloucestershire in September last year. At the time we were told it contained personnel files for 50,000 staff. It is now clear that it also included extremely sensitive vetting information on 500 staff.

An MoD memo explained: "This information included details of criminal convictions, investigations, precise details of debt, medical conditions, drug abuse, use of prostitutes, extra-marital affairs including the names of third parties.

"The data is not routine vetting information, but relates to those cases that have been referred to RAF… because the individuals have serious vulnerabilities that affect their suitability to obtain/retain a security clearance. This data provides an excellent target list for foreign intelligence services, investigative journalists and blackmailers." The memo was obtained by The Guardian following Freedom of Information requests. ®