Official Secrets Act

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by boris7, May 14, 2007.

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  1. Official Secrets Act....

    Been demobbed 20+ years........sitting with some old veterans/walts....sharing a few bottles of "gripe water"....and the topic of the Official Secrets Act..came question is when you sign the Act when this for a short period of time or for life?
    We all suffer with memory retention!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. UK act of Parliament 1989, prohibiting the disclosure of confidential material from government sources by employees; it remains an absolute offence for a member or former member of the security and intelligence services (or those working closely with them) to disclose information about their work. There is no public-interest defence, and disclosure of information already in the public domain is still a crime. Journalists who repeat disclosures may also be prosecuted.

    The 1989 act replaced Section 2 of an act of 1911, which had long been accused of being too wide-ranging.

    Looks like it is for good Boris
  3. One is subject to the Act at all times whether or not you sign it. The main reason for getting government employees and others to sign it is to reinforce it's intention and to allow them to give longer sentences as any one who has signed clearly knows they were breaking the act whilst some one who had not could claim lack of understanding in mitigation.

    In short you are still subject to the act.

  4. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    That's a bummer - many, many arrsers are in breach of this act in that case. It's not common knowledge that you can't repeat something that is in the public domain already!

    What this means is that if something is reported in the press, such as the nature of the chally armour (which was in the Torygraph yesterday) and its brand name, you still can't repeat it.

    It is indeed too wide ranging.
  5. So, in theory, Blair will be committing a criminal offence when he publishes his memoirs?
  6. woopert

    woopert LE Moderator

    You don't "sign" the Act, it covers any information deemed to be restricted from public access and anyone who comes into contact with it, whether military, civil service, police, or otherwise.

    You may be asked to sign a document reminding you of the obligations of the Act, but that is of no consequence in the law. If the information remains classified (usually reviewed periodically under the 50 year rule or the FOIA) and you have had access to that information at any point then you are obliged to keep schtum.
  7. we old veterans/walt's were talking about a time in the 1960's when a MP used a UK military hospital as a private patient for a procedure which would have cost a fortune as a private patient (NHS)....and MOD footed the names no pack drill...........
  8. You are probably safe to sell the story to the Mail or other suitable rag, and use the dosh to make your gaggle of pensioners happy at the RBL bar.....
  9. This MP was a personal friend of the late Sir Oswald Mosley MP....and shared the same political views!!!!!