This Notice aims to prevent the inadvertent disclosure of classified information about:
- Special Forces, Cyber and other MOD units engaged in security, intelligence and counter-terrorist operations, including their methods, techniques and activities;
- Security and Intelligence Agency operations, methods, techniques and activities
- Communications methods, techniques and activities
- Encryption capabilities, techniques and activities;
- Data protection measures
- Operational Cyber Activity
used or undertaken by the UK Government and its NATO and other allies.
Such disclosure could:
- reveal details of operations or operating methods and techniques (Footnote 3) before, during and after their execution which would bestow an advantage on an adversary which could endanger national security and increase the risk to UK lives;
- reveal vulnerabilities, enabling adversaries to penetrate systems or infrastructure and endanger national security and increase the risk to UK lives or capabilities;
- give adversaries access to highly classified information which would endanger national security and put lives in the UK or in allied countries at risk; and
- enable adversaries to improve their knowledge and understanding of the UK’s intelligence-gathering, defence and security capabilities and intentions, and secure communication facilities.
Editors and journalists
Editors and journalists are requested to seek advice from the DSMA Secretary before publicly disclosing material which may affect the purpose of this Notice. Such material is likely to include (but is not limited to) information which covers the following topics:
- The methods and techniques of organisations involved with the execution of national security operations including details of Special Forces and other MOD units engaged in security, intelligence and counter-terrorist operations or Security and Intelligence Agency operations that are in the planning or execution stages or after they have been completed.
- The methods and techniques of the Security and Intelligence Agencies, including details of operations that are in the planning or execution stages or after they have been completed.
- The methods and techniques of Operational Cyber Units. Footnote 4.
- Classified details of encryption systems, capabilities or techniques currently or previously used by the UK government or its NATO or other allies.
- Classified details of the UK’s current and past intelligence-gathering capabilities and intentions including targets, techniques, locations, partners and technologies.
- Classified details of the UK’s current and past defence and security capabilities and intentions including techniques, partners and technologies.
Footnote 3: 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.
Footnote 4: In the context of these notices. This includes the methods and techniques used to counter organised crime activity only where they are the same as those used in the Defence and Security context.