Defence leaks soar as MoD employees post sensitive security information on social media

'˜LOOSE lips sink ships' '“ it's an age-old military adage warning against inadvertently letting operational secrets slip out.

Monday, 25th June 2018, 10:48 am
Updated Monday, 25th June 2018, 11:54 am
Some of the breaches included recorded footage of operations in Afghanistan being leaked onto YouTube. PHOTO: Sgt Dan Harmer

But perhaps its a motto which members of the armed forces need to pay closer attention to after fresh figures showed a surge in military security breaches slipping out on the internet.

Reports show a record number of security breaches blighted the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the past year.

Leaks logged by the MoD have quadrupled in the last four years and are now running at more than 10 a day, The Sunday Mirror has reported.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And the biggest culprits were the MoD’s own employees, posting secret plans, locations and details of military sites on social media.

In one occasion, a Royal Navy sailor even posted movements of his ship on Facebook, potentially putting the vessel at risk.

Figures obtained from the MoD revealed there were 1,985 security breaches in the first six months of 2017. While in 2016 there were 3,897, with 920 recorded in 2012.

An MoD source has insisted a ‘vast majority’ of the leaks did not have ‘significant security ramifications’.

Among the gaffs included an MoD staff member who posted footage of operations in Afghanistan on YouTube.

While the MoD posted details of the RAF’S main base on the Falklands on its own website, giving away the thickness of concrete runways and their GPS co-ordinates.

All the incidents ended up being reported to the MoD’s Joint Security Co-ordination Centre.

An MoD spokesman said: ‘All security incidents are recorded, however small, but the vast majority of these do not have significant ­security ramifications.’

There are no rules banning MoD staff from social networks.