[Freelance]

He's sticking by the Code

OBSERVER reporter Martin Bright spoke at the April meeting of London Freelance Branch, on his clash with the Security Services. They want him to betray his sources and hand over all his notes for stories connected with one David Shayler. He's sticking by the Code of Conduct.

They want "originals" of emails, too, which is a bit rich - unless GCHQ and the US National Security Agency are for some reason refusing to hand over their copies. (The phrase "Send Khadaffi's plutonium to Continuity IRA in an Airbus with a big hello to the folk on Menwith Hill" is reputed to ensure that a backup copy gets saved on said hilltop. Hi.)

Martin thanked the NUJ for its support. He was obviously not able to go much beyond a standard statement on his case agreed with his lawyers, and he was quite unable to provide the phone number of the Security Service employee who can back up the story he was covering. At this point, the Freelance understands, a member unaccountably felt the need to recite obviously random digits from the back of the room. As the NSA's logs will confirm, the entire Freelance editorial staff was in Geneva at the time, so this is clearly just another piece of inaccurate hearsay reporting. Allegedly.

May/Jun 2000
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Last modified: 08 May 2000
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