Bloggers have killed Official Secrets Act, claims Murray

Not exactly. But they're not exactly in prison, either...


Ordinarily we'd avoid mentioning the Government's unaccountable failure to gaol Craig Murray, in case we inadvertently reminded its members of something they missed from yesterday's 'To Do' list. But, as the man himself so plainly wants to draw attention to his continuing liberty, we might as well just go ahead. Bloggers, says Murray, have killed off the Official Secrets Act.

We wouldn't put it that strongly ourselves, but the Act certainly doesn't look well. Last week, Murray, a former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan*, responded to Foreign Office attempts to suppress two confidential documents by publishing them on his website and encouraging blogs the world over to republish them. Murray now claims these appeared in more than 4,000 blogs within 72 hours. We've no idea whether or not the total hit 4,000, but whatever, it's loads and loads - far beyond any number that the UK Government could ever manage to deal with.

Despite this, Murray hasn't even been questioned. "We have published," he says, "what were, undoubtedly, classified British Government documents. Under the notorious Official Secrets Act that is an offence, and everyone connected with it is plainly guilty. There is no public interest defence."

Actually, it's not the numbers as such that have kept the security forces off Murray's back. Not directly, anyway. Having the documents reproduced throughout the world certainly ensures they can never be suppressed, but has no obvious effect on any desire the Government might have to wreak awful vengeance on Murray. The reverse, if anything. Murray himself acknowledges this to an extent, observing: "British criminal trials still involve juries, and they are reluctant to convict in OSA trials, where they often sympathise with the motives of the defendant. Clive Ponting was acquitted after leaking that the Belgrano was heading home when British forces sank it. The jury acquitted him against the clear direction of the judge. And that was in the context of the Falklands War, which the British public supported. What chance of a conviction in the context of the Iraq war, which the British public oppose?"

It's also in Murray's favour that he's loudly opposing torture while the UK Government is giving every indication of skulking around conniving at it. If the Government busts Murray, his book gets more publicity, more waves of outrage will ripple through blogdom, and the jury could well chuck out the charges and render the OSA even deader than it is already. Must be annoying to have Murray crowing about it, though, when you're striving not to notice that official secrets breaches have gone global. ®

* It occurs to us that life must be hard for the current UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, whoever they may be. All ambassadors are fairly silent by Murray's standards, but silence from the envoy to Uzbekistan these days might so easily be thought of, throughout the world, as indicating some kind of cynical, torturing, CIA stooge. For the sake of your reputation, whoever you are, we urge you to leak something, quick.


Other stories you might like

  • City-killing asteroid won't hit Earth in 2052 after all
    ESA ruins our day with some bad news

    An asteroid predicted to hit Earth in 2052 has, for now, been removed from the European Space Agency's list of rocks to be worried about.

    Asteroid 2021 QM1 was described by ESA as "the riskiest asteroid known to humankind," at least among asteroids discovered in the past year. QM1 was spotted in August 2021 by Arizona-based Mount Lemmon observatory, and additional observations only made its path appear more threatening.

    "We could see its future paths around the Sun, and in 2052 it could come dangerously close to Earth. The more the asteroid was observed, the greater that risk became," said ESA Head of Planetary Defense Richard Moissl. 

    Continue reading
  • Why Wi-Fi 6 and 6E will connect factories of the future
    Tech body pushes reliability, cost savings of next-gen wireless comms for IIoT – not a typo

    Wi-Fi 6 and 6E are being promoted as technologies for enabling industrial automation and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) thanks to features that provide more reliable communications and reduced costs compared with wired network alternatives, at least according to the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA).

    The WBA’s Wi-Fi 6/6E for IIoT working group, led by Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, and Intel, has pulled together ideas on the future of networked devices in factories and written it all up in a “Wi-Fi 6/6E for Industrial IoT: Enabling Wi-Fi Determinism in an IoT World” manifesto.

    The detailed whitepaper makes the case that wireless communications has become the preferred way to network sensors as part of IIoT deployments because it's faster and cheaper than fiber or copper infrastructure. The alliance is a collection of technology companies and service providers that work together on developing standards, coming up with certifications and guidelines, advocating for stuff that they want, and so on.

    Continue reading
  • How can we make the VC world less pale and male, Congress wonders
    'Combating tech bro culture' on the agenda this week for US House committee

    A US congressional hearing on "combating tech bro culture" in the venture capital world is will take place this week, with some of the biggest names in startup funding under the spotlight.

    The House Financial Services Committee's Task Force on Financial Technology is scheduled to meet on Thursday. FSC majority staff said in a memo [PDF] the hearing will focus on how VCs have failed to invest in, say, fintech companies founded by women and people of color. 

    We're told Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and cofounder of Ellevest; Marceau Michel, founder of Black Founders Matter; Abbey Wemimo, cofounder and co-CEO of Esusu; and Maryam Haque, executive director of Venture Forward have at least been invited to speak at the meeting.

    Continue reading
  • DataStax launches streaming data platform with backward support for JMS
    Or move to Apache Pulsar for efficiency gains, says NoSQL vendor

    DataStax, the database company built around open-source wide-column Apache Cassandra, has launched a streaming platform as a service with backwards compatibility for messaging standards JMS, MQ, and Kafka.

    The fully managed messaging and event streaming service, based on open-source Apache Pulsar, is a streaming technology built for the requirements of high-scale, real-time applications.

    But DataStax wanted to help customers get data from their existing messaging platforms, as well as those who migrate to Pulsar, said Chris Latimer, vice president of product management.

    Continue reading
  • Infor to stop developing on-prem software for IBM iSeries
    ERP vendor had promised containerized options, but looks set to focus on the cloud

    ERP vendor Infor is to end development of on-premises and containerized versions of its core product for customers running on IBM iSeries mid-range systems.

    Born from a cross-breeding of ERP stalwarts Baan and Lawson, Infor was developing an on-premises containerized version of M3, dubbed CM3, to help ease migration for IBM hardware customers and offer them options other than lifting and shifting to the cloud.

    Infor said it would continue to run the database component on IBM i (Power and I operating system, formerly known as iSeries) while supporting the application component of the product in a Linux or Windows container on Kubernetes.

    Continue reading
  • Intel demos multi-wavelength laser array integrated on silicon wafer
    Next stop – on-chip optical interconnects? Plus it's built with 300mm tech, meaning potential volume production

    Intel is claiming a significant advancement in its photonics research with an eight-wavelength laser array that is integrated on a silicon wafer, marking another step on the road to on-chip optical interconnects.

    This development from Intel Labs will enable the production of an optical source with the required performance for future high-volume applications, the chip giant claimed. These include co-packaged optics, where the optical components are combined in the same chip package as other components such as network switch silicon, and optical interconnects between processors.

    According to Intel Labs, its demonstration laser array was built on the company's well-established 300mm wafer manufacturing technology which is already used to make optical transceivers, paving the way for high-volume manufacturing in future. The eight-wavelength array uses distributed feedback (DFB) laser diodes, which apparently refers to the use of a periodically structured element or diffraction grating inside the laser to generate a single frequency output.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022