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This is an interesting story that broke yesterday despite it apparently being in court last November. Embargoed.

My first thought was it was an IT contractor who had backed up some secret squirrel stuff by mistake onto a personal drive. But allegedly it is more re the allegation about the data being useful to an enemy.

Also of interest, is that he was on video-link from Swansea prison when he appeared at the Old Bailey? Why? Was his alleged crime committed in Swansea or via the Internet from Swansea. Don't they usually whisk people up to London when someone is charged with sneaky beaky crimes? 

Welshman appears at the Old Bailey charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act


Simon Finch, 50, pleaded not guilty to recording information for any purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the state, contrary to the 1911 Act, the Old Bailey heard.

The charge states that on or before October 28, 2018, he allegedly committed the offence, "which was calculated to be or might be or was intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy".

He denies the charges.



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There is the DVLA of course. It no doubt has info on VIP car registration plates or regs of people being tracked by the security services. Such data would be of high value to bad guys.


5 minutes ago, MrPin said:

I knew those castles had some useful purpose.


Anyone with Norman blood now has to bend the knee to the Welsh.

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3 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

There is the DVLA of course. It no doubt has info on VIP car registration plates or regs of people being tracked by the security services. Such data would be of high value to bad guys.



Anyone with Norman blood now has to bend the knee to the Welsh.

I won't work in Wales. Sounds racist, but so are they.

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A former BAE Systems defence contractor has appeared in court accused of leaking "highly sensitive" secrets to foreign governments.

Simon Finch, 49, of Swansea, Wales, is charged under the UK's Official Secrets Act with making a "damaging disclosure" of information last October, according to top newswire Court News UK.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court yesterday wearing a black suit and yellow shirt with a patterned tie, speaking only to confirm his name, age and nationality.

Prosecutors and police claimed the offence happened "on or around 28 October 2018" and was followed by a year-long investigation by a counter-terrorism unit.

Finch is said to have "unlawfully disclosed highly sensitive information relating to UK defence without lawful authority to do so," as barrister Sam Main, prosecuting, told the Chief Magistrate of England and Wales.

"During the course of the investigation the police seized electronic devices from the defendant's home address," continued Main, adding: "He refused to provide the access codes for three of the devices despite an order from the judge to do so."

Finch is also charged with one count of failing to make disclosure of information that would facilitate access to three electronic devices, under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

Sky News reported that he disclosed the information because he "held a grievance against Merseyside Police".

He was released on bail ahead of a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey on 6 November. The Chief Magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, made a contempt of court order limiting what can be said about the case and banning the publication of Finch's image, according to the BBC. ®



And speculative comment thereunder:



I have no idea what he has done, but I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest we may be able to infer what he did by looking for Merseyside and BAE connections.

I had a look for Merseyside Police scandals in 2018, lo and behold there is a CCTV facial recognition scandal that kicked off around October 2018. BAE have a facial recognition unit so its plausible he casually namedropped some information there. This seems plausible if he has a grievance, as some people don't like facial recognition.

Otherwise, BAE also supply defence kit into the Royal navy warships built in Merseyside, so both of those seem like good starting places. Although I can't think we had a grievance with Merseyside about this, the bloke works for BAE he cannot claim to be an eco warrior hippy if he works for a defence contractor.



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