Snowden Leaks Were "Catastrophic Loss" to the UK, Says Security Advisor

By Gary Cutlack on at

When Channel 4 gets around to recording its 50 Worst Security Leaks Ever programme, the Snowden/NSA debacle will number one by a long way. That's according to a former government security advisor, who says Snowden and his Hard Drive o' Shame is by far the worst security breach in UK history.

Former government security adviser Sir David Omand said the NSA leaks are the "most catastrophic loss to British intelligence ever," with Snowden's liberated data shambles beating the Cambridge spy ring scandal of the 1960s, when five men were caught handing state secrets to the Russians.

Omand added that it's the ongoing revelations from the leaked data that are doing the most damage, saying: "You have to distinguish between the original whistleblowing intent to get a debate going, which is a responsible thing to do, and the stealing of 58,000 top-secret British security documents and who knows how many American documents, which is seriously, seriously damaging."

He believes our comic book enemies in Moscow and Beijing are almost certainly in possession of copies of the data, and are having a whale of a time analysing the contents of Snowden's digital locker. [BBC]