Ex-armed forces that train foreign militaries could be prosecuted
Former UK Armed Forces personnel who train foreign militaries can be prosecuted for for sharing military tactics under new offences within the National Security Act.
It comes after the Ministry of Defence issued a security alert last year, revealing that a number of former Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Army pilots had been training the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force, having being contracted through a private South African company and attracted by high salaries.
Specifically, the new Act includes the section 1 offence of ‘obtaining or disclosing protected information’ and defines ‘information’ to include tactics, techniques and procedures.
This means that pilots risk being prosecuted for sharing such sensitive information with foreign powers. Once the powers come into force, the Ministry of Defence can pass relevant information to police forces, who can investigate offences under the Act.
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Anyone found to be acting against the UK’s interests by training our competitors’ militaries can now expect to be pursued and brought to justice.
"The government has acted decisively following the identification of this threat, and has made rapid changes to legislation to help shut it down."
The National Security Act became law in July this year and has brought together new measures to modernise counter-espionage laws and address evolving threats to our national security.