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D Notices

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many D-Notices were issued by the Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee in each year since 1997. (158231)

[holding answer 15 October 2007]: D Notices were replaced by the Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system in 1993. There are five standing DA Notices that constitute a voluntary code that provides guidance to the United Kingdom media on the publication and broadcasting of national security information. They cover:

DA Notice No 1: Military Operations and Plans;

DA Notice No 2: Nuclear and Non-Nuclear Weapons and Equipment;

DA Notice No 3: Ciphers and Secure Communications;

DA Notice No 4: Sensitive Installations and Home Addresses;

DA Notice No 5: United Kingdom Security and Intelligence Service and;

Special Services.

These are published at:

www.dnotice.org.uk.

Additional guidance is issued on behalf of the Committee by its Secretary to all editors in the United Kingdom to cover specific circumstances or to meet particular concerns. Since January 1997, the Committee Secretary has written to all UK editors on the following occasions in relation to various DA Notices:

1997: No record of any letter being issued;

1998: No record of any letter being issued;

1999: Three letters;

2000: Two letters;

2001: Three letters;

2002: One letter;

2003: Two letters;

2004: Two letters;

2005: Two letters;

2006: Two letters;

2007: Seven letters.

The Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee Secretary may also write on behalf of the Committee to a particular editor, author or broadcaster when a breach in the DA Notice guidance is judged to have occurred. Such letters are written on a ‘personal and in confidence’ basis, to remind the editor, broadcaster or author concerned of the content of the code and the availability of advice. Since January 1997, the Secretary has written to individual editors on the following occasions:

1997: One letter;

1998: No record of any letters being issued;

1999: Two letters;

2000: Five letters;

2001: Five letters;

2002: Six letters;

2003: Four letters;

2004: Three letters;

2005: Four letters;

2006: Nil;

2007: Nil.