US Defense Contractors Stole Images From UK Secret Surveillance Station

Croughton is home to the USAF 501st Combat Support Wing (pictured).

In 2013, RAF Croughton was implicated in routing back to Washington the NSA phone tap on German chancellor Angela Merkel. 

In March 2016, a major upgrade to RAF Croughton's Satellite Communications (SATCOM) was revealed when the UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and prime contractors Mott MacDonald and HLM Architects submitted a very detailed planning application to South Northamptonshire Council.

The plans show a new windowless mission building "PL1" (Priority Level 1) and an antenna field comprising six new "golf ball" radomes, to provide the next generation of US DoD command and control data and voice lines to military operations.
This is known collectively as the Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex (JIAC).

In a major embarrassment to US and UK military authorities, Mott MacDonald and HLM Architects decided it would be a good idea to lift from this website an exclusive copyright protected aerial image of the existing antenna radomes at RAF Croughton, without prior permission, payment or even any accreditation (pictured).

It is used in Section 2.3, "Site Analysis" of the application's Design and Access Statement document, complete with protective watermarking. 

Alan Turnbull, a security researcher who operates the website Secret-Bases.co.uk, approached senior management at each company for comment in early December 2017. They refused to respond to emails and calls for almost a week, until finally being prompted by an approach by technology news outlet The Register, eager to run a story. It made it to infamous rogue US secrecy-busting website Cryptome, with the headline "RAF Croughton spies caught"!

Imagine the newspaper headlines dropping on someone's desk in Whitehall: "US Department of Defense contractors steal from UK Secret Bases website". So much for the "special relationship".  

More seriously, it is concerning that major defence contractors with such lucrative projects have such a poor grasp of corporate governance and due diligence procedures. 

Summary and Conclusions. Serial offenders, it seems, and US DoD / UK MoD seem quite happy to deal with contractors who don't bother with time consuming concepts like "due diligence".

Secret Bases:

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