Alex Massie

Leaking Anti-Leaking Advice

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Sweet. This had to happen:

A Ministry of Defence document giving advice on how to stop documents leaking onto the internet has been leaked onto the internet.

...The 2,400-page restricted document has found its way on to Wikileaks, a website that publishes anonymous leaks of sensitive information from organisations including governments, corporations and religions.

Known in the services as Joint Services Protocol 440 (JSP 440), it was published in 2001. As Wikileaks notes, it is the document that is used as justification for the monitoring of certain websites, including Wikileaks itself. Also:

The document is particularly keen to avoid the attentions of journalists, noting them as "threats" alongside foreign intelligence services, criminals, terrorist groups and disaffected staff.

As far as traditional espionage and intelligence threats go, the document singles out the Chinese as having "a voracious appetite for all kinds of information; political, military, commercial, scientific and technical."

However, it is "very different to the portrayal of 'Moscow Rules' in the novels of John Le Carre". The Chinese agencies do not "run agents", but instead "make friends", as befits intelligence officers in the Facebook era. You mean, there's no Chinese mole? No Bill Hayden selling Beijing whatever secrets we have left? That's a relief...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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