A Metropolitan police officer inadvertently left documents with 2012 Olympic secrets lost on a commuter train. Scotland Yard recovered the documents, which may have included some security details, from another commuter from Kent. The secret material was turned over to a newspaper, then restored to officials. Scotland Yard is investigating the entire matter. The 2012 London Olympics are considered to be a high profile target for any terrorist plots. While it is uncertain who has had access to the documents, it is obvious that some details will need to be changed.
How governments keep secrets these days seems to be a major issue. It seems that every year we hear stories about lost laptops, briefcases and other dossiers. The WikiLeaks trial of the United States versus Army Private Bradley Manning is another example of how easy it appears for classified, sensitive material to be mishandled and become public. The Cold War may be over but there is still plenty of espionage happening as we saw with the ring of Russian spies arrested and deported last year, which included the lovely Anna Chapman.
In an age of encrypted data, retinal eye scans, and bio-metrics, we are still heavily dependent on old fashioned paper documents in manila folders for our many and mighty bureaucracies to function. At every level, there are potential flaws at each layer of security where despite our best efforts, human frailties overshadow the most ingenious of defense methods. The potential for a foreign government, or terrorist group, to obtain information to use against us is mind-blogging. Just in the theater of more conventional crimes, such as identity theft, the results are tens of billions of dollars stolen annually from unsuspecting victims.
The 2012 Olympic secrets lost on January 5 by a Metropolitan police officer on a commuter train in Kent have been recovered. Fortunately, a good citizen found the missing documents and handed them off to a newspaper, which returned them to officials. Scotland Yard is investigating the matter to determine what happened and what the risks may be to the 2012 London Olympic Games this summer. Security procedures against potential terrorist threats to the games are a major concern.