[cryptome] Cryptome is Back: BBC Monitoring Service.

  • From: doug <douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2014 23:12:59 +0100

Dear Colleagues,
Ah! How nice it is to see Cryptome back on line...it seems like an age where I have been living in the dark...not knowing what is happening in that world of ours which is so full of openness, democracy and the pursuit of happiness and human rights, that it is coming out of my ears! All that catching up to do too. I see I shall have to cut back my contributions to cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx...;-) .
see url: http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk/

There was a programme on BBC last night called "Newsnight" which had an article on BBC Monitoring at Caversham. Apparently, the BBC, which is a state owned organisation created by Royal Charter and funded by every television owner in the UK whose television is capable of receiving live television, by paying an annual licence fee of almost £150, is collecting "open source" information on behalf of clients who request information or ask certain types of questions. For this they are charged a fee. However, if the information is classified as secret or confidential, it is not made available to the BBC as a whole, or, more importantly, to the license payer. BBC monitoring has been around for a long time and provides a valuable service gathering data, collating it and sorting and sifting it, but why is it, that I as a licence payer don't have access to it, and why is it that not all BBC journalists are allowed access to some of it.

Apparently there is a small group of journalists, who do get told some of what is going on but they require security clearances, and can't divulge it to other BBC personnel. The spokesperson used a number of different justifications for the practice, but like the BBC World Service being the tool of the Foreign Office, again paid for by the licence payer, does this practice not affect the independence of the BBC according to its Charter? Not only that, but, according to a reporter who visited the property at Caversham, the CIA also has a floor there, which no one without a security clearance can visit. A historical anomaly....maybe...but where does that leave independent, unbiassed and open reporting...not that one would suggest that the C.I.A. is anything else but a law-abiding and democratic organisation, having all of our best interests at heart, even us foreigners who aren't covered by the U.S. Constitution...

So much for the independence of the BBC, in terms of its reporting, once again it is the tax-payer wot foots the bill, subsidising stuff which would be better paid for elsewhere.

Food for thought...

Other related posts: