Monday Nov 21, 201102:14 PM GMT
UK minister probed over data disclosure
Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:38PM
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Britain's office of the Information Commissioner has announced that it would launch an investigation into data protection breaches committed by Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Letwin.


After the Daily Mirror revealed that British Prime Minister David Cameron's chief policy adviser disposed of over 100 documents, including secret information on national security, concerns were raised about potential security risks sparking criticism among key politicians.

British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband accused Letwin of “treating important papers with contempt” and demonstrating “very strange behaviour.” Furthermore, Labour MP Michael Dugher called for an investigation into the classification of the discarded papers.

The Mirror published photographs featuring Letwin, Cameron's right-hand man, discarding government papers into a waste paper bin and, on one occasion, handing them to a rubbish collector who, afterwards, throws them in his waste bag.

The photos released by the Mirror show that Letwin had not even shredded the papers throwing them in a way that the information could have been easily retrieved.

The newspaper reported that the papers included secret information on highly sensitive issues including correspondence on terrorism, national security, and constituents' private details.

One of the discarded papers indicates that the committee responsible for monitoring the work of MI5 and MI6 “failed to get to the truth on UK involvement” in controversial terrorist interrogations known as extraordinary rendition, through which terror suspects were transported to places where they were subject to torture.

Moreover, the Mirror reported that the organizations involved in the papers included the European Commission, Ministry of Defence, Home Office, the National Health Service, Treasury, and the Metropolitan Police.

Papers discarded by Letwin, who has access to the highest levels of government, also involved politicians including Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and British Chancellor George Osborne.

ISH/MTM/HE
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