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British spy-agency file posted on Web

Langsam sind die Briten jedenfalls nicht! Mit Suchmaschinen bekommt man das so
schnell wohl nicht zu fassen! Oder Zufall?!


By Will Knight, ZDNet (UK)
April 25, 2000 6:40 AM PT 

LONDON -- The British government is trying to remove what it
says is a top-secret spy-agency document posted on the Internet
over fears it could endanger the lives of covert field operatives. 

The document, titled "Libyan Intelligence Service activity in the UK",
which purports to contain details of recent surveillance on Libyan
intelligence officers in the United Kingdom, was published April 16 on
a U.S. Web site. 

The document is believed to reveal the identities of a number of covert
MI6 and MI5 officers working in Libya. It is classified "Top Secret
Delicate Source UK Eyes A." The classification "UK Eyes Alpha"
means the document is restricted even from cooperating intelligence
services such as the CIA. 

The government reacted quickly to quell interest in the document: The
government's D-Notice committee has requested that details of the
site not be published. 

File's 'sensitive nature'
The Florida Internet service provider that hosts the Web site where the
material was published said it was contacted April 18 by                        
representatives from an undisclosed "British intelligence agency" and
asked to remove the document from its servers. According to the ISP,
the representatives claimed the document is highly sensitive to
Britain's national security. 

"Our legal department was contacted by the British authorities, and it
was requested that we ask a customer to remove the page because of
its sensitive nature," a spokesman for the ISP said. "They didn't go into
detail about that sensitive nature." 

The Web site owner who published the document has, however,
refused to remove the material, despite his ISP's request to do so.
Instead he issued a statement: "I do not believe that posting the
document is illegal under US law." It continues: "An informal request,
not a court order, is insufficient reason to remove the document which
provides significant public information." 

Document sent anonymously
On Friday the owner of the site confirmed to ZDNet UK that the
document was sent to him anonymously. 

He also claims to have received no further communication from his ISP
or from any representative of the British government. Regarding who
contacted his ISP, the owner said: "I don't know whether it was
someone from the British government or the U.S. government acting on
their behalf." 

The Independent newspaper reported Monday that the intelligence
services have blamed the leaked document on former MI5 officer David

According to the Independent, Shayler denied responsibility for the leak
but said that this represents the most serious breach of government
security yet. 

On Friday the Home Office refused to comment on any specific
security services issue. The same refusal was issued Tuesday. 

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