The Question is: British Intelligence and Secrecy

The Question is: British Intelligence and Secrecy

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Belfast, Havelock House




Transmission 10/09/1988


25min 02sec




1 inch



Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Presented by Barry Cowan, this is a series attempting to answer some of Northern Ireland's - and life's - burning questions, with this episode asking 'do our current laws on secrecy and confidentiality exist for our own good?'.

On the panel is David Guililand, former director of information services at Stormont, who has signed the Official Secrets Act and is bound by its conditions forever and is "probably breaking the law by appearing on this programme'. Also appearing on this episode is David Leigh, Associate Editor of the Observer and a former investigator journalist, Ed Maloney [Sunday Tribune] and Keith Jeffery, Historian at Ulster University who specialises in intelligence operations.

The worry for the guests is that the laws are a blanket in which it can cover a multiple of sins, Maloney and Leigh both mention the struggle as the journalist to uncover the truth with new proposed laws making it easier for writers to go to jail for exposing information. There is also weariness over information the government decide to give out, as "information is a weapon" with it manages and manipulated through many PR operations. However, there is debate over "the publics right to know" with Guililand stating that the public simply don't want to know.


A UTV Production.

Director: Mervyn Waugh

Editor: Jamie Delargy 



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