Another spy loses another classified laptop

Sound familiar? Reports have it this computer was lost after drinking binge in tapas bar
Written by Justin Pearse, Contributor

A second British spy has mislaid a laptop computer containing classified information.

A few days after a MI5 agent admitted losing an agency owned notebook at Paddington station, it has emerged that his counterpart at MI6 had the same misfortune earlier this month.

The Sun Tuesday revealed that the senior agent lost the computer "after he got blind drunk," at a tapas bar near the agency's headquarters on the Thames. The newspaper reports that MI6 placed an anonymous newspaper advert offering a "substantial reward" for its return.

A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed that the computer was lost on 3 March. It was reported to the police and recovered on 16 March.

According to the Foreign Office the laptop contained "training material." A spokesman said that while this was not sensitive material, it could not divulge further details as it was "an operational matter."

The Foreign Office would not confirm whether the material held on the laptop was encrypted but said that "as far as we are aware the information contained on the laptop was not compromised."

The embarrassment this second incident has caused to the UK's security services and the government means the matter is being treated extremely seriously by M16, despite the supposedly innocuous data involved. It has informed the Foreign Secretary of the matter and is in the process of reviewing security procedures to try and curb the antics of slipshod spies.

"We take all breaches of security extremely seriously and we have strict procedures for the movement of information," stressed the Foreign Office spokesman, "Since this incident these procedures have been put under review and have already been tightened."

What do you think?

Tell the Mailroom. And read what others have said.

Editorial standards