Construction companies routinely boast about their latest building projects on their web sites. However, MI5, the UK's internal security and counter-intelligence agency, wishes that the company that had built its new Northern Headquarters operating center had learned to keep its mouth shut.
According to the London Sunday Times, the company (which the Times has kept nameless for security reasons) posted on its web site in a company brochure the location and cost (£20.2 million) of MI5's latest building, which the intelligence agency had hoped to keep secret.
The Times, which did not release for security reasons where in the northern part of the UK the new MI5 building is located, also noted that the local planning council where the building was being constructed had also made the building's plans available to the public last year for several months before the plans were withdrawn from view at MI5's insistence.
You would have thought that MI5 then would have warned its contractors about the importance of keeping its new building under wraps.
MI5 also probably insisted the plans be withdrawn because some 60 residents raised objections to the planning board about the building being an eyesore.
I give it less than a month before someone posts a picture of the new building using Google Earth, even though the number of government buildings in the northern part of the UK that can be said to be eyesores number in the hundreds.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.