The Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee has just issued a D-Notice:
Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice guidance on the public disclosure of the names of members of the UK Intelligence Agencies (The Security Service MI5, the Secret Intelligence Service MI6 and GCHQ) asks editors and journalists not to disclose (without first seeking DSMA advice) ‘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’.
In view of media stories alleging that a former SIS officer was the source of the information which allegedly compromises President-Elect Donald Trump, would you and your journalists please seek my advice before making public that name.
Irrespective of the whether or not the stories are true, the public disclosure of that name would put the personal security of that individual directly at risk.
Defence and Security Media Advisory Secretariat
Effectively this is a reminder of the gentlemen’s agreement between the media and the security services to not name spies. Will foreign media comply?
UPDATE: That horse has bolted…