Category Archives: Espionage

Murder in Hampstead: did a secret trial put the wrong man in jail?

New evidence shows that an MI6 informant convicted of a notorious murder may be innocent, but due to a gagging order, his case cannot be heard. By Duncan Campbell and Richard Norton-Taylor

Lacey was not interested in the chaotic debris in the hallway, or the swarm of bluebottle flies on the stairs, as she made her way through the house at No 9 Downshire Hill in Hampstead on a warm June afternoon in 2006. But as she approached a room to her right, which was piled high with an assortment of papers, she let out a bark and started digging at the mess in front of her with her paws. What had caught the interest of Lacey, a black-and-tan German shepherd attached to the Metropolitan police’s dog unit, was a decomposing body.

The body turned out to be that of the householder: a wealthy and reclusive author and photographer called Allan Chappelow, aged 86. His skull had been crushed and many of his ribs broken. There were extensive fractures to his neck, which suggested that he had been strangled, and the top half of his body was covered with congealed wax and burn marks. And so began a murder investigation that remains, in many aspects, unresolved to this day.

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Source: gad

Cyber-attack on UK a matter of 'when, not if', says security chief

Exclusive: Ciaran Martin says Britain fortunate so far to avoid major, crippling attack

The head of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has warned that a major cyber-attack on the UK is a matter of “when, not if”, raising the prospect of devastating disruption to British elections and critical infrastructure.

In remarks underlining newly released figures showing the number of cyber-attacks on the UK in the last 15 months, Ciaran Martin said the UK had been fortunate to avoid a so-called category one (C1) attack, broadly defined as an attack that might cripple infrastructure such as energy supplies and the financial services sector.

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Source: gadt

‘Is whistleblowing worth prison or a life in exile?’: Edward Snowden talks to Daniel Ellsberg

The two most famous whistleblowers in modern history discuss Steven Spielberg’s new film, The Post, about Ellsberg’s leaking of the Pentagon Papers, the personal cost of what they did – and if they’d advise anybody to follow in their footsteps. Introduced by Ewen MacAskill

Daniel Ellsberg, the US whistleblower celebrated in Steven Spielberg’s new film, The Post, was called “the most dangerous man in America” by the Nixon administration in the 70s. More than 40 years later, the man he helped inspire, Edward Snowden, was called “the terrible traitor” by Donald Trump, as he called for Snowden’s execution.

The Guardian has brought the two together – the most famous whistleblower of the 20th century and the most famous of the 21st so far – to discuss leaks, press freedom and other issues raised in Spielberg’s film.

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Source: gad

Will AT&T’s call to drop Huawei end phone maker’s US hopes?

Loss of the deal with the giant mobile carrier has put a huge obstacle in the way of the Chinese firm’s ambition of conquering the American market

Amid the glitz and glamour of the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas last week, one piece of news struck a particularly sour note for Chinese phone-maker Huawei. Despite months of preparation, the giant US mobile carrier AT&T announced last Monday that it was pulling out of a deal to sell Huawei’s smartphones.

The decision was taken as a result of political pressure on AT&T by American politicians, who had written to the telecoms regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – which must approve the sale of phones and other devices in the US – saying they had “long been concerned about Chinese espionage in general, and Huawei’s role in that espionage in particular”. Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer division, was obliged to go through the motions at CES of introducing his new Mate 10 phone, having seen planned marketing spending of $100m and assurances of no government interference turn to ashes.

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Source: gad2

For their eyes only: the secret stories ministers don’t want you to read | Richard Norton-Taylor

The list of documents from the National Archives lost, missing or held back from publication in 2017 reveals the strength of Whitehall’s aversion to openness

At the turn of every year, hundreds of classified government documents are made available at the National Archives in Kew, south-west London. Many due for release are withheld or, as the Guardian has reported, have been lost. Whitehall departments do not have to explain why they have been retained, or where they are.

Documents held back this year include files relating to the Scott inquiry into the arms-to-Iraq affair, a file on allegations of sexual abuse at the Kincora boys’ home in Belfast which the former army information officer Colin Wallace said were covered up by MI5, and a file on the late Brian Nelson, a British army informer in Northern Ireland eventually jailed for conspiring to kill Catholics. Also withheld is a document on Anthony Blunt, surveyor of the Queen’s pictures, who was granted immunity from prosecution before confessing to having been a Soviet spy. Papers are retained, temporarily or indefinitely, while Whitehall weeders conduct what are called “sensitivity reviews”.

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Source: gad