Secret documents found behind a bus shelter?

A well-meaning member of the public (MoP) found secret MoD documents behind a bus shelter and gave it to the BBC.

The BBC then did what it does best - read the documents and gave a good description of it's contents to the whole world, also stating the MoD is carrying out an investigation.

This should include investigating the person who 'lost' them and the person responsible for the security of the documents.

Maybe the MoP doesn't know better, but most people should know to hand such items into a Police station or the nearest military establishment (although you wouldn't be rewarded in that case), but they decided to hand it to the BBC.

The BBC should have known better and handed them into a Police station or the nearest military establishment, but decided to release the contents to the public instead.

What should happen now? The BBC should be prosecuted for their stupidity - at least.

WTF were they thinking?
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
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Staged ‘loss’ and ‘found by concerned left wing member of the public’ by a MOD employee.
 
A well-meaning member of the public (MoP) found secret MoD documents behind a bus shelter and gave it to the BBC.

The BBC then did what it does best - read the documents and gave a good description of it's contents to the whole world, also stating the MoD is carrying out an investigation.

This should include investigating the person who 'lost' them and the person responsible for the security of the documents.

Maybe the MoP doesn't know better, but most people should know to hand such items into a Police station or the nearest military establishment (although you wouldn't be rewarded in that case), but they decided to hand it to the BBC.

The BBC should have known better and handed them into a Police station or the nearest military establishment, but decided to release the contents to the public instead.

What should happen now? The BBC should be prosecuted for their stupidity - at least.

WTF were they thinking?

WTF was the MoD employee thinking when you left them behind the Bus shelter?
 
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Staged ‘loss’ and ‘found by concerned left wing member of the public’ by a MOD employee.
Why 'left wing' ?

Apparently:

'...Due to the sensitivity of the document, the BBC has decided not to report details which could endanger the security of British and other personnel in Afghanistan...'
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
MoP stumbled on a dead letter box? KGB agent expecting interview without coffee? Commie MOD insider awaiting interview with Novichek?


Conspiracy theorist's field day.
 

PhotEx

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Why 'left wing' ?

Apparently:

'...Due to the sensitivity of the document, the BBC has decided not to report details which could endanger the security of British and other personnel in Afghanistan...'

joe random public would have taken them to the Police, not got out his phone and dialled the duty officer on the BBC newsdesk
 
Ah the BBC, the guardian of UK secrets. Why not a police station, ah not many around.
 

DarkBrig

War Hero
No I disagree with the OP, any such breach of security should be exposed to the full glare of publicity , personally I would have the loser paraded on the 6 o'clock news so we can all see what an irresponsible c**t looks like. It might not be secret info in this case but the next time it might be and therefore a bit of publicity might just make the next "courier" think a bit harder.
As my squad sergeant used to say hands in pockets leads to safety catches off, which leads to no one checking the safety hatch and the submarine sinking - or something like that.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
No I disagree with the OP, any such breach of security should be exposed to the full glare of publicity , personally I would have the loser paraded on the 6 o'clock news so we can all see what an irresponsible c**t looks like. It might not be secret info in this case but the next time it might be and therefore a bit of publicity might just make the next "courier" think a bit harder.
As my squad sergeant used to say hands in pockets leads to safety catches off, which leads to no one checking the safety hatch and the submarine sinking - or something like that.

my old and bold Chief said hands in pockets means ‘Cold hands?, grab a broom and warm yourself up’
 

9.414

War Hero
joe random public would have taken them to the Police, not got out his phone and dialled the duty officer on the BBC newsdesk
I think those days are long past. This is so blinding obvious that I am surprised the ARRSE Board of Inquiry have not already issued a preliminary finding.

Clearly the member of the public was at the bus stop awaiting their turn to jump on the next Outrage Bus to Tunbridge Wells.
 
No I disagree with the OP, any such breach of security should be exposed to the full glare of publicity , personally I would have the loser paraded on the 6 o'clock news so we can all see what an irresponsible c**t looks like. It might not be secret info in this case but the next time it might be and therefore a bit of publicity might just make the next "courier" think a bit harder.
As my squad sergeant used to say hands in pockets leads to safety catches off, which leads to no one checking the safety hatch and the submarine sinking - or something like that.

There was at least one pink page with a release caveat. Couldn't read it, but I'm confident it didn't include the BBC's audience...
 
Why 'left wing' ?

Apparently anyone who i) fails to collude with MoD incompetence and furnish them with an opportunity to cover up their incompetence or ii) is a stooge in a baffling and potentially counter-productive double-bluff psyop must be of the left.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
What should happen now? The BBC should be prosecuted for their stupidity - at least.

WTF were they thinking?
Nah, they've been quite clever.

The stuff they released was OS / SECRET rel US/Everyone. They explicitly didn't release the pages they say were UKEO. The BBC or their lawyers are presumably well aware that there is a difference in legal precedent between 1. UKEO / TS and 2. SECRET rel [allies]. Courts have previously looked favourably on releasing the latter (ruling that basically everyone has it if we're sending it all over the globe) while being more cautious about condoning the release of UKEO / TS.

The BBC's 'concern for British personnel in Afghanistan' is, I'm sure by happy coincidence, also concern for their own legal footing if the govt challenges the publication.
 

DarkBrig

War Hero
There was at least one pink page with a release caveat. Couldn't read it, but I'm confident it didn't include the BBC's audience...
The BBC's audience is all of us - until the license fee goes. I constantly lose my glasses but I am pretty sure if they were marked secret I would take better care of them
 
Taken from the BBC article.

'The documents, almost 50 pages in all, were found in a soggy heap behind a bus stop in Kent early on Tuesday morning.'

Look like they could have been dumped from a stolen briefcase/bag.
 

9.414

War Hero
There will no doubt have been a few twitchy bums in high places this week then. As a Secret UK Eyes document will have been serial and copy numbered, and should have been carried double bagged and locked etc - if it was moving in authorised circumstances, then we can probably jump to the conclusion that it was not an authorised move.

Did the miscreant know it was lost and had they reported it ASAP? Were they still franticly searching for it when the Unit Security Officer called to enquire where they were, why they were not at work, and where had they put the document they signed for yesterday in the branch MOD F102?
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
As a Secret UK Eyes document will have been serial and copy numbered, and should have been carried double bagged and locked etc -
AHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHA! Yeah, no. Also, sleeves are only to be worn down.

I sense there is going to be an annoying gap on this thread between people quoting regulations or their Cold War era experience with locked cabinets, and the reality of modern government with toothless security measures, ubiquitous email address lists and a printer in every office.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
AHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHA! Yeah, no. Also, sleeves are only to be worn down.

I sense there is going to be an annoying gap on this thread between people quoting regulations or their Cold War era experience with locked cabinets, and the reality of modern government with toothless security measures, ubiquitous email address lists and a printer in every office.

you mean a laminated A4 message hung on an open secret document cabinet saying ‘secret stuff, please don’t take, it’s naughty‘ isn’t a robust security measure?
 
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