The leaks from the media ahead of the scheduled November meeting of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee have started.
This is the committee made up of senior civil servants and newspaper and broadcasting editors etc. in the United Kingdom who run a voluntary self-censorship scheme, formerly known as "D notices", but renamed in recent years to "DA notices" i.e. "Defence Advisory notices".
Apparently according to The Guardian newspaper:
"The committee will soon extend the reach of D notice number 4 which now concentrates on nuclear weapons and intelligence facilities, according to emergency planning officers.
It will be amended to cover a much wider range of "sensitive sites", including what Whitehall calls Britain's "critical national infrastructure", or CNI. It covers telecommunications, energy, transport and water"
However, nobody actually knows the full extent of the UK's Critical National Infrastruture, especially the electronic one as defined by the National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre, most of which is in the private sector, often legally and technically adminstered from abroad, rather than under the direct control of the UK Government.
Hopefully the debate on the forthcoming controversial Civil Contingencies Bill, will highlight the lack of investment in identifying, let alone protecting, the Critical National Infrastructure, and might embarass the Government in spending some money on this, rather than on wasting billions on projects such as the National Identity Register
Is the DA notice committee seriously proposing to return to the "bad old days" when even the address of the British Telecom Tower, one of London's tallest landmark buildings, was deemed to be "an official secret" ?
What about publications such as Eye Spy Magazine which publish lots of such photos and details about intelligence and defence buildings, people and organisations, every month ?
The DA notice commitee seems to be dithering about the Internet and the World Wide Web. Does the DA notice system really make the British public any safer ?