It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


DA-Notice amendment forthcoming (UK govt censorship notice) - Snowden / NSA ?

page: 1

log in


posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 03:30 PM
On Monday, Prime Minister Cameron made a statement to Parliament and threatened to introduce censorship of the Guardian newspaper (and other media outlets) through the use of DA Notices, should the media refuse to demonstrate "social responsibility" by publishing further revelations about the activities of the US NSA (and by implication, of the British secret service & GCHQ).

David Cameron has called on the Guardian and other newspapers to show "social responsibility" in the reporting of the leaked NSA files to avoid high court injunctions or the use of D notices to prevent the publication of information that could damage national security. In a statement to MPs on Monday about last week's European summit in Brussels, where he warned of the dangers of a "lah-di-dah, airy-fairy view" about the dangers of leaks, the prime minister said his preference was to talk to newspapers rather than resort to the courts. But he said it would be difficult to avoid acting if newspapers declined to heed government advice. The prime minister issued the warning after the Tory MP Julian Smith quoted a report in Monday's edition of the Sun that said Britain's intelligence agencies believed details from the NSA files leaked by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden had hampered their work.

The Guardian

For those outside UK, a DA Notice is a government advisory note to media editors, requiring them not to publish articles which the government deems a risk to national security.

The next meeting of the DA Notice Committee is 7th November. I've just noticed an amendment to the agenda of their next meeting, the amendment was lodged 24th October although hasn't been published.

The committee proposes to amend DA Notice No 5. That's related to the security services.

DA - Notice 05: United Kingdom Security & Intelligence Services & Special Services
Information falling within the following categories is normally regarded as being highly classified. It is requested that such information, unless it has been the subject of an official announcement or has been widely disclosed or discussed, should not be published without first seeking advice: (a) specific covert operations, sources and methods of the Security Service, SIS and GCHQ, Defence Intelligence Units, Special Forces and those involved with them, the application of those methods*, including the interception of communications, and their targets; the same applies to those engaged on counter-terrorist operations; (b) the identities, whereabouts and tasks of people who are or have been employed by these services or engaged on such work, including details of their families and home addresses, and any other information, including photographs, which could assist terrorist or other hostile organisations to identify a target; (c) addresses and telephone numbers used by these services, except those now made public. Rationale. Identified staff from the intelligence and security services, others engaged on sensitive counter-terrorist operations, including the Special Forces, and those who are likely targets for attack are at real risk from terrorists. Security and intelligence operations contacts and techniques are easily compromised, and therefore need to be pursued in conditions of secrecy. Publicity about an operation which is in train finishes it. Publicity given even to an operation which has been completed, whether successfully or not, may well deny the opportunity for further exploitation of a capability, which may be unique against other hostile and illegal activity. The disclosure of identities can prejudice past, present and future operations. Even inaccurate speculation about the source of information on a given issue can put intelligence operations (and, in the worst cases, lives at risk and/or lead to the loss of information which is important in the interests of national security. Material which has been the subject of an official announcement is not covered by this notice. * even when used by the National Crime Agency (NCA). This is intended purely to protect national security and not to inhibit normal reporting on law enforcement.

DA Notice Committee

British ATS contributors ... if you're wondering why, after 7th November, that the BBC, ITV and all the newspapers no longer cover the fine detail of the NSA/Edward Snowden revelations .... I think it might be because the British media have been censored. That's to prevent embarrassment to the UK & their services.

So keep checking into ATS ... these censorship notices don't apply on this site.

posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 03:35 PM
Here's the agenda for that meeting :

Last Updated : 24 Oct 2013

Date of Next Meeting Autumn Meeting 2013 - Thursday 7 November 2013 Agenda of Next Meeting ITEM 1 - Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday 7 May 2013 ITEM 2 - Matters Arising from the Previous Meeting Para 17: Managing National Security Disclosures (to be covered under Item 3) Para 21: DA Notice No 5 (to be covered under Item 4) Para 23: Special Forces Public Information Policy (to be covered under Item 5) Para 28: Composition of the DPBAC Media Side (to be covered under Item 6) Para 29: National Crime Agency (to be covered under Item 3) ITEM 3 - Secretary's Report ITEM 4 - Proposed Amendment to DA Notice No 5 ITEM 5 - Special Forces Public Information Policy Update ITEM 6 - Composition of the DPBAC Media Side ITEM 7 - Any Other Business

DA Notice Committee Agenda

posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 03:52 PM

For those outside UK, a DA Notice is a government advisory note to media editors, requiring them not to publish articles which the government deems a risk to national security.

This is not strictly true, the system is voluntary there exists something like 5 standing DA notices that are basically categories that the media need to be careful about reporting in accordance with the DA system.

But the members that make up the council which advises the DA notices can only advise and not order so they could be issued with a memo saying "dont say x y and z" but the media could do it anyway. True they would probably lose all access to government sources but they are not forced to comply. That could only be achieved getting a court injunction passed by a judge.

cool thread though, i happen to be working on a thread about the DA-notice system myself just now.

posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 04:06 PM
reply to post by OtherSideOfTheCoin

Hey cheers.

I think the media have to be brave to ignore these notices.

The Guardian newspaper, for example, they're in the driving seat in the UK when it comes to the NSA & Snowden's revelations. Their editor has already had to surrender some important hard drives to the security services for destruction, forced to do it against his will and without any legal action whatever. The mere threat of legal action made the Guardian cave in.

Of course, the government have other ways to make life miserable for a difficult newspaper editor. They could order an inspection of the newspaper's accounts, an audit tax & VAT records, employee records for national insurance. The spooks could arrange for utilities (esp phone/data lines) to be cut, employees might have "difficulty" getting to work due to harassment, phones lines could be tapped, tyres slashed,they could arrange for banks to call in loans/overdrafts etc etc ...

Maybe an amended DA Notice will bring them back into line ?

posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 06:05 PM
reply to post by LeBombDiggity

It depends how far things escalate. If media organisations ignore DA notices and release classified documents in their possession they could be prosecuted under the official secrets act. The days where you had to sign the act to be bound by the act are long gone. We are all bound by it. There is no public interest defence allowable under the official secrets act.

Of course, bringing such a prosecution against the press would be politically difficult.

top topics

log in