UK Government Refuses To Reveal Job Title Or Salary Of Top Law Enforcement Officer Because Terrorism

from the oh,-come-on dept

As Techdirt has reported previously, the UK government is so reflexively secretive that it even refuses to confirm or deny information that it has previously confirmed. The Intercept reports on another absurd case of completely trivial requests for information being turned down because “terrorism”. It’s refusing to reveal either the job title or salary of Cressida Dick, a top government official in some apparently mysterious role:

The British government is refusing to disclose the job title and taxpayer-funded salary of one of the most senior law enforcement officials in the United Kingdom, claiming the details have to be kept a secret for security reasons.

Cressida Dick (pictured above) was formerly one of the highest ranking officers at London?s Metropolitan Police, the largest police force in the U.K., where she headed the Specialist Operations unit and oversaw a controversial criminal investigation into journalists who reported on Edward Snowden?s leaked documents.

In December, Dick announced she was leaving the London police to take up a top job with the government?s Foreign Office. But her new role is being shrouded in intense secrecy.

It’s just about theoretically possible that the job title could reveal operational details of the role in question — something along the lines of “Head of Department Trying To Use Man-In-Middle Attacks To Spy On Google Users in the Middle East” — but only if that job title were extremely ill-chosen. Moreover, the British civil service has centuries of experience in coming up with grand-sounding but totally meaningless job titles, so it’s hard to believe that for the first time in its glorious history it was really stumped, and had to resort to literalism. Refusing to release details of the salary attached to the position is even more ridiculous — unless, of course, UK officials are required to use their secret stipend’s digits as a password to access government systems.

All that the UK government achieves by refusing to release this information is that it comes across as risible and petty, ridiculously focused on controlling unimportant details, instead of concentrating on what really matters. Things like respecting the public’s desire to know how its taxes are being spent, rather than dismissing it as if it were an impertinent question from a tedious child.

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Comments on “UK Government Refuses To Reveal Job Title Or Salary Of Top Law Enforcement Officer Because Terrorism”

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Stephen says:

Secretive Policing

So it’s official. Britain now has it’s first secret(ive) police officer. Can jackboots be far behind? (Or perhaps we should be calling them “jillboots” given the officer’s gender.)

They already have the secret(ive) mass surveillance all set up and raring to go. Presumably they’ll next be wanting a secret(ive) prison to put evildoers in and secret(ive) courts to try those evildoers in so as protect all that precious secret(ive) testimony and serret(ive) evidence they’ll be convicting them with.

David says:

Re: Re:

In fact, we should keep the the names of everyone in the government secret – just to be on the safe side.

That’s basically the U.S. approach: the elected goverment officials including the president get their names widely publicized. The people actually wielding the power remain in the dark.

For that reason it does not really matter if the security for some Nobel Peace prize recipient is basically a clown show. It’s part of keeping the president in line: “you wouldn’t want to let us have another Lee Harvey Oswald get through, would you?”.

Anonymous Coward says:

What the UK government is admitting...

…is that they’re scared of terrorists. Of course, anyone who admits being scared of terrorists is a terrorist ally: they’re doing exactly exactly what terrorists want them to do. Thus the UK government has just publicly confessed that it supports terrorists (and their goals) and intends to make doing so its public policy.

Anonymous Coward says:

don’t reveal Cressida’s Salary, then there’s no way to uncover the 10s of millions in bribe money in the Cressida foreign bank accounts.

It could all be salary, or some of it could be slush funding from various terrorist organizations to overlook their activities.

The fact that either could be true shows how low the UK government has sunk.

Well that and charging anyone reporting child abuse from MPs with violating the official secrets act.

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