RAF 'vice disks' stolen from base

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The Independent Online

Details of extra-marital affairs, the use of prostitutes and drug-taking by very senior RAF officers were stored on files stolen from an RAF base, it emerged yesterday. Up to 500 people in the service could be affected by the theft.

The information – which it is feared could be used for extortion – was stored on three computer hard drives that went missing from RAF Innsworth in Gloucestershire last September. It has been reported that the files were not encrypted. The nature of the information was outlined in an internal MoD memo that was obtained under Freedom of Information legislation.

It said: “This information included details of criminal convictions, investigations, precise details of debt, medical conditions, drug abuse, use of prostitutes, extra-marital affairs, including the names of third parties. The data is not routine vetting information, but relates to those cases that have been referred to RAF … because the individuals have serious vulnerabilities that affect their suitability to obtain/retain a security clearance.” Details of the ministry’s internal memo will be revealed in the BBC2 programme Who’s Watching You, to be broadcast at 9pm tonight.

Yesterday, the ministry said that they had since interviewed all the people affected to warn them of the theft.

An MoD spokesman said on Sunday: “All individuals identified as being at risk received one-on-one interviews to alert them to the loss of data, and to provide them with advice on mitigating action. There is no evidence to suggest that the information... has been targeted by criminal or hostile elements.”