In Britain, Information Really Wants To Be Free

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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  • More fun in the United Kingdom: "TOP secret files on Al Qaeda were left on a train by a senior intelligence officer, it was revealed today. It is understood that the two documents—both marked 'Secret'—relate to al Qaeda in Pakistan and the security situation in Iraq and were lost yesterday." The documents were eventually recovered and returned to authorities, but coming several months after two discs containing the personal information of 25 million Britons—every family in the country with a child under 16—were lost in the mail, the whole thing only serves to support our vision of Britain as an island nation where drunken teens stab each other while drugged-out pop stars sing racist ditties as reams of paper containing private details fall from the sky on a citizenry too disinterested to notice because it's too busy filming its members fucking each other in cars and jumping off cliffs for thrills. Also happy slapping. At the very least the British government should be thrilled that the files were lost on a train; due to massive inefficiency on the rails, the likelihood of the documents getting very far was slim at best.

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