Plans of British intelligence services became public due to unfortunate mistake

MI5 is working on a program to use small quadcopters in spy operations.

Given the importance of secrecy to the UK Security Service, an accidental error in documentation regarding the agency’s covert project is a shameful failure. So, in a report from the Imperial College regarding the work on charging remote agricultural sensors using quadcopters, the authors mentioned that MI5 is the sponsor of the program.

According to The Guardian, the documentation referred to the Communications Planning Office. This name is used by the British government to refer to MI5. And although the authorities demanded the authors of the report to correct the mistake, the journalists have already managed to draw attention to the annoying oversight.

Intelligence agencies have long relied on modern technologies in espionage activities, and the use of drones is one of the promising programs, writes The Guardian, citing intelligence sources. The drones are planned to be used for installing bugs, but here a problem arises: the batteries of the drones must be charged for a long period of time.

“It’s not impossible to get someone to a key location to place a listening device, but what’s more difficult is sending people back to charge it [the drone] if you want to keep it in place for months, for example”, – said the interlocutor of the journalists.

The solution, according to the Imperial College report, is to take advantage of “advances in the integration of low-cost drones or drones with wireless local sensors”.

This, the authors add, “could pave the way for long-life monitoring systems in remote and extreme environments”.

It is worth noting that the disclosure of the secret project is not MI5’s only problem. As it turned out, one of the members of the research group left the UK and now works for the Chinese company Huawei.


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