UK: Charge Against GCHQ Whistleblower Dropped
Telegraph (UK) reports that charges of disclosing information
against a British intelligence officer have been dropped. Katharine Gun,
29, had been accused of leaking a memo on an alleged American "dirty
tricks" campaign. She was charged under the Official Secrets Act of
1989, accused of disclosing security and intelligence information.
The prosecution said it would offer no evidence against her.
of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was sacked from her job as a
translator at the Government Communications Headquarters, the
security service's main monitoring centre, in June last year.
She was accused of disclosing a request allegedly from a US National
Security Agency official requesting help from British Intelligence to tap
the telephones of UN Security Council delegates in the run-up to the
war in Iraq.
Miss Gun said at the time: "Any disclosures were justified because
exposed illegality by the US, who tried to subvert our security
01-01-04 from FreedomInfo.org
UK: Ministers to Retain Almost 150 Secrecy Laws
(UK) reports that Ministers are to keep nearly 150
laws that deny the public a right to information, according to an interim
report on a wide-ranging study that was intended to open up the
Government and its agencies to greater scrutiny.
Freedom of information campaigners warned last night that the
retention of the "secrecy laws" showed that ministers and their civil
servants were still wedded to a culture of secrecy. The review is part
of a Government-wide initiative to repeal laws that conflict with the
new Freedom of Information Act that comes into force on 1 January
2005 and gives everyone a right to access information.
But in a report seen by The Independent ministers say they want
retain the right of non-disclosure in 147 pieces of legislation. Ministers
say they have not made up their minds on whether an additional 70
pieces of legislation should also be added to the list.
Yesterday the Government's own information watchdog warned that
while many of these cases for denying access to information could be
justified in the public interest, a significant number could not.