- Latest available (Revised)
- Original (As enacted)
There are outstanding changes not yet made by the legislation.gov.uk editorial team to Official Secrets Act 1989. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and are referenced with annotations.
Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the legislation in the affected provisions. Use the ‘more’ link to open the changes and effects relevant to the provision you are viewing.
This section lists the changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act, associated Parts and Chapters where applicable. This includes any insertions of whole new Parts, Chapters or provisions yet to be inserted into this Act. These effects are included in this view as they may be (but won’t necessarily be) relevant to the specific provision that you are viewing.
(1)A person who is or has been a Crown servant or government contractor is guilty of an offence if without lawful authority he makes a damaging disclosure of any information, document or other article relating to defence which is or has been in his possession by virtue of his position as such.
(2)For the purposes of subsection (1) above a disclosure is damaging if—
(a)it damages the capability of, or of any part of, the armed forces of the Crown to carry out their tasks or leads to loss of life or injury to members of those forces or serious damage to the equipment or installations of those forces; or
(b)otherwise than as mentioned in paragraph (a) above, it endangers the interests of the United Kingdom abroad, seriously obstructs the promotion or protection by the United Kingdom of those interests or endangers the safety of British citizens abroad; or
(c)it is of information or of a document or article which is such that its unauthorised disclosure would be likely to have any of those effects.
(3)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that at the time of the alleged offence he did not know, and had no reasonable cause to believe, that the information, document or article in question related to defence or that its disclosure would be damaging within the meaning of subsection (1) above.
(4)In this section “defence” means—
(a)the size, shape, organisation, logistics, order of battle, deployment, operations, state of readiness and training of the armed forces of the Crown;
(b)the weapons, stores or other equipment of those forces and the invention, development, production and operation of such equipment and research relating to it;
(c)defence policy and strategy and military planning and intelligence;
(d)plans and measures for the maintenance of essential supplies and services that are or would be needed in time of war.
Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.
Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.
Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.
Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:
Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:
Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including: