BBC Covering Up The Operation Ore Child Pornography Investigation

Sean Moran made this Freedom of Information request to British Broadcasting Corporation

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

Waiting for an internal review by British Broadcasting Corporation of their handling of this request.

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

Under the Freedom Of Information Act please provide the following

I am requesting information about the Operation Ore Child
Pornography invetigation, it's cover-up by the Blair administration
and the BBC's lack of coverage of it. I have enclosed a summary of
the case here:

The Sunday Herald : Child Porn Arrests Too Slow
Herald And Sunday Herald : Sunday January 19th 2003

Operation Ore : The Police enquiry which plans to arrest a further
7000 men across the UK , in addition to Who guitarist Peter
Townshend, for buying Child pornography online is set to end in
disaster with many suspects walking free.
Detective Chief Inspector Bob MacLachlan, former head of Scotland
Yard’s paedophile unit, told the Sunday Herald that the lack of
urgency in making arrests will lead to suspects destroying evidence
of downloading child pornography before they are arrested.
The Sunday Herald has also had confirmed by a very senior source in
British intelligence that at least one high profile former Labour
Cabinet Minister is among Operation Ore suspects. The Sunday Herald
has been given the politicians name but, for legal reasons, can not
identify the person.
There are still unconfirmed rumours that another senior Labour
politician is among the suspects. The intelligence officer said
that a “rolling” cabinet committee had been set up to work out how
to deal with the potentially ruinous fall-out for both Tony Blair
and the Government if arrests occur.
Since the September 2002 Operation Ore arrest of Detective
Constable Brian Stevens, a key officer in the inquiry into the
murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, the public have been
aware that wanted suspects had downloaded Child pornography from a
US website called Landslide.
MacLachlan, who was one of the main officers on Operation Ore
before his retirement last year, said “Sufficient warnings have
been given that if people haven’t got rid of their computers then
they are either stupid, don’t believe they’ll be arrested or are so
obsessive about their collections that they can’t destroy it. As
time goes on, the chances of successful prosecutions will diminish
with speed and the information out there must impact on the
With only 1200 men arrested so far, MacLachlan says that claims by
Police Chiefs and the Government that they were prioritising
paedophile crime were “smoke and mirrors”. Paedophilia is still not
a priority on the Home Office’s National Policing Plan for 2003-06.
MacLachlan claimed that before he left Scotland Yard his team were
under-staffed, over-worked, under-funded and reduced to using free
software from computer magazines.
There are around one million images of an estimated 20,000
individual Children being abused online. Some Police seizures
involve hauls of more than 180,000 images. Last year, images of
13,000 new Children were uncovered. Only 17 Child victims have been
identified worldwide.
Police have also revealed that images of Fred West abusing one of
his Children are among Child pornography available for downloading
from the internet. It is unclear whether the Child was West’s
murdered daughter Heather.
Peter Robbins, the Chief Executive of the Internet Watch
Foundation, which works with the Police, Government and internet
service providers, in tackling paedophilia online, says software is
in development which could remove child pornography from the net
forever. The software should be ready in two years.
Police say that the list of rich and famous Operation Ore suspects
would fill newspaper front pages for an entire year.

Please provide the following information:
1. What coverage did the BBC give Operation Ore and it's cover-up
by the Blair administration?

2. A copy of all minutes of meetings and communications in relation
to Operation Ore and the cover-up.

3. Was a D-Notice (not legally binding and strictly advisory)
served on the BBC in relation to Operation Ore? Were any other
legal restrictions imposed on the BBC in relation to reporting
Operation Ore and it's cover-up?

4. Was Margaret Hodge's daughter Lizzie Watson ( at the time a BBC
employee) involved in the decision making relating to reporting on
Operation Ore?

5. Is the BBC still subject to a D-Notice on Operation Ore or any
other restrictions preventing it's reporting?

6. How many BBC employees were under investigation in relation to
Operation Ore? Please list them all by name and job title at the

7. Apart from Lizzie Watson what other family members of Blair's
administration were employed by the BBC at the time of the
Operation Ore cover-up?

Yours faithfully,

Sean Moran

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Moran,

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email below. Your request was received on 25th February 2014. We will deal with your request as promptly as possible, and at the latest within 20 working days. If you have any queries about your request, please contact us at the address below.

The reference number for your request is RFI20140336.

Kind regards

The Information Policy & Compliance Team

BBC Freedom of Information
BC2 B6, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TP
Email: [BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2882

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Moran,

Please find attached the response to your request for information. Reference RFI20140336, which is a duplicate of RFI20140335.

Yours sincerely,
The Information Policy and Compliance Team

BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room BC2 B6 Broadcast Centre
Wood Lane
London W12 7TP

Email: mailto:[BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2882
Fax: 020 8008 2398

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Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of British Broadcasting Corporation's handling of my FOI request 'BBC Covering Up The Operation Ore Child Pornography Investigation'.

This is a reasonable request for information of great public interest considering the BBC's extensive links to paedophilia and corruption so please answer it.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours faithfully,

Sean Moran