official secrets and D-Notices

official secrets and D-Notices
   Control of sensitive information relating to national security is governed by the Official Secrets Acts, the first of which was passed entirely in one Parliamentary day in 1911 in response to scare stories concerning German spies. Shortly after this a committee, the Defence Press and Broadcasting Committee, was established to give advice and guidance to publishers. The Committee contains representatives of both the armed forces and the media. It may issue ‘Private and Confidential Notices’ on specific matters, although these have no independent legal force. The impotence of the government in containing ‘sensitive’ information was illustrated by the farcical and unsuccessful attempts to suppress the book Spycatcher, the memoirs of former British secret agent Peter Wright.

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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