MoD finds ‘no evidence of espionage’ after sensitive data leak

Written by Jim Dunton on 23 July 2021 in News
News

Documents were left in a ‘soggy heap’ near a Kent bus stop

Credit: Pixabay

A civil servant has been blocked from “sensitive work” and had their security clearance suspended after an incident in which classified Ministry of Defence documents were found in a “soggy heap” near a bus stop in Kent.

In a written statement to parliament, defence secretary Ben Wallace said investigations into the discovery of the documents – first reported to the BBC by a member of the public, and subsequently substantiated by the MoD – had now concluded.

“The investigation has independently confirmed the circumstances of the loss, including the management of the papers within the department, the location at which the papers were lost and the manner in which that occurred,” Wallace told MPs. “These are consistent with the events self-reported by the individual. We are confident that we have recovered all the secret papers. The investigation has found no evidence of espionage; and has concluded there has been no compromise of the papers by our adversaries.”


Related content


Wallace added: “The individual concerned has been removed from sensitive work and has already had their security clearance suspended pending a full review. For security reasons, the department will be making no further comment on the nature of the loss or on the identity of the individual. The department takes protection of its information extremely seriously and will continue to take firm action in response to such incidents.”

At the time it reported their discovery, the BBC said the documents amounted to around 50 pages and included emails and PowerPoint presentations that related to Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender’s passage through Ukrainian waters the previous week. 

The move reportedly prompted more than 20 Russian air force planes and two coastguard ships to shadow the vessel, as it passed around 12 miles from the coast of Crimea.

The BBC said many of the discovered documents were marked “official sensitive”.

 

Tags

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Military police upgrades open-source intelligence platform for digital investigations
17 January 2022

Deal signed with specialist software firm reflects huge growth in digital offences

Home Office seeks to improve data on airport ‘insider threats’
10 January 2022

Improvements to pass system will attempt to address ‘potential security vulnerability’ 

Laptops worth £319k stolen from DCMS last year
4 January 2022

Department’s annual accounts reveal theft of 199 devices

Year in review: How technology defined 2021’s biggest stories
31 December 2021

Digital and data once again had a starring role in supporting – and, occasionally, hampering – government’s work this year. PublicTechnology looks back at the most significant events.