A new report published by investigative journalism site Declassified UK says a “revolving door” between former British spy chiefs and big business may have put the British public at increased risk of health crises and climate breakdown.
The British government has long been aware that an influenza pandemic poses the “gravest risk” to the population. Officials have also emphasised the security risk presented by climate breakdown. But the Declassified UK report asserts that “the security services have largely ignored health threats” and Britain’s security strategy has disproportionately focused on the threat of cyber-attacks.
At the same time, the exposé says there is a “revolving door” between former British spy chiefs and the cyber security industry. The report finds that numerous “former heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ since 2000 have gone on to work for companies in the cyber and data security sector”. Many have also been employed by oil corporations, widely recognised as one of the leading causes of climate breakdown.
While in the pay of the cyber-security and energy sectors, these former spy chiefs can “lobby their old [intelligence] agencies on behalf of their private interests”, the report says.
“Russia engages in offensive cyber operations, as do Britain and its allies”, the report finds. But it asserts:
the constant evocation of a threat from Russia, often without real evidence and amplified in the media, has helped UK security agencies accrue permissive investigatory powers and larger budgets, directly benefiting the private cyber and arms industry.
Though the ‘revolving door’ between ex-security officials and big business has prompted concerns, the authors found “no evidence” that the former spy chiefs had been restricted from pursuing work with the private security and energy sectors after leaving the British intelligence services.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
Meanwhile, the report states that “No intelligence chief” appears to have “ever made money working on the security threats posed by climate change or health pandemics”.
The report comes as the UK coronavirus death toll reaches the worst in Europe.
Featured image via Wikimedia – Paul BuckinghamSupport us and go ad-free
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.