MI-6: Banned spy novel published on net


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Banned spy novel published on net
By Kieren McCarthy
Published Monday 18th September 2006 08:55 GMT

Sacked spy Richard Tomlinson has defied the UK's secret services by posting the 
first chapter of his spy novel online.

The ex-MI6 officer was fired in 1995 after four years in the foreign arm of 
British secret intelligence and spent a year in a maximum security prison for 
publishing a book about his time in the organisation. But he has fought back 
against what he claims is intimidation by his old employees with the publication
of chapter one of The Golden Chain on his blog.

Tomlinson had his house and boat in France raided earlier this year after MI6 
claimed he was responsible for releasing a list of alleged active MI6 agents on 
the internet. Even though Tomlinson now links to the list from his blog, he 
swears he wasn't behind the list. Since the raid, he has fought with the UK 
government, including MI6 and Special Branch, for the return of his possessions,
publishing copies of emails and letters sent to him over the matter online.

Recently, the UK authorities confirmed that they were retaining ownership of his
possessions because he had "made a number of references to writing a novel or 
book to be based in whole or in part on information falling within the terms of 
the Order". That order was the terms of Tomlinson's release and he was 
effectively accused of breaking the Official Secrets Act a second time. 
Tomlinson's response has been to publish the first chapter of his book on his 
blog, presumably with the threat of releasing further chapters until his 
possessions are returned.

The online battle has been going on since March this year, when Tomlinson 
discovered blogging and set about trying to force MI6 to respond to his endless 
requests for his sacking to be reviewed by a tribunal.

He soon gained the ire of MI6 chief John Scarlett by accusing him of having 
blood on his hands thanks to his part in the production of the now-discredited 
Iraq war dossiers. Tomlinson also threatened to expose what he knew, including 
the names of MI6 agents, online. His house was raided and in August his Typepad 
blog was shut down at the request of Special Branch. Tomlinson opened up a 
Blogger account immediately afterwards with the title " Tomlinson v MI6 (it's 

Tomlinson gained some notoriety in 1998 when he published The Big Breach, an 
account of his time with MI6. He made the book available online from a server in
Russia, and then used the defence created by another famous SIS book, Spycatcher
by Peter Wright, to argue that the book should be published in the UK since all 
the harm that could be done by its publication had already happened. The book is
now readily available. Tomlinson also found notoriety, if not credibility, in 
his claim that MI6 may have been behind the death of Princess Diana.®

Related links

Chapter One of The Golden Chain 

Tomlinson's blog (http://tomlinsonvmi6.blogspot.com/)
Tomlinson's old blog (http://richardtomlinson.6x.to/)
The Big Breach (http://cryptome.org/bigbreach-posts.htm)
Related stories
MI6 spy Tomlinson duped by the Russians? (19 June 2001)
Amazon.co.uk denies existence of MI6 book (30 January 2001)


MI6 spy secrets posted on Web (24 January 2001)
© Copyright 2006

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