- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 26, 2002

LONDON An amateur radio-scanner enthusiast is putting Britain's royal family and political leaders at risk by publishing on the Internet classified information he picked up, British Broadcasting Corp. radio reported yesterday.

BBC Radio 4's "Today" show carried an interview with an intelligence source who said communications that radio scanner Paul Wey is putting on the Web would be "gold dust" to terrorists planning attacks.

The intelligence source, whose identity was withheld by BBC, said Mr. Wey and the Web site where he publishes his information represent "a severe danger to the public and to national security," and could even threaten the safety of Queen Elizabeth II or Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Mr. Wey told the radio that he uses commercially available radio-scanning equipment to monitor lists of frequencies used by police security, including Scotland Yard's elite special branch, to monitor major events or organizations and the movements of high-profile personalities.

BBC radio said it "has seen evidence" that Mr. Wey's Web site was providing not only details of frequencies, but also "information about police deployment and intelligence."

United Press International has located several such lists on the Internet, disclosing frequencies employed by law-enforcement organizations, police helicopters, security companies, surveillance teams, fire services and the coast guard.

Mr. Wey said he puts the information on his Web site to share it with other radio-scanner enthusiasts. He also conceded his actions were illegal but denied what he was doing was providing "gold dust" to potential terrorists.

"They would be aware of these things whether I published them or not," he said.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office confirmed that publishing such radio-transmitted information on the Internet was against the law, but she added that "the material would have to be assessed to see if any offense had been committed or if there was any civil wrong."

Conviction for listening to private radio communications with a radio scanner carries a maximum fine of $7,500 and confiscation of the equipment.

BBC radio's intelligence source said Mr. Wey's Web site amounted to an unlisted "directory of radio frequencies used by the government, security services, military and police and emergency services" throughout Britain and that some of it consisted of "highly restricted" information.

The source called for the Web site, which she described as "a menace," to be closed down and that the use of radio scanners by private citizens should be outlawed.

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