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Secrecy For The Sake Of Secrecy ?

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  • ~Alan~
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Mar 2010
    • 5019

    Secrecy For The Sake Of Secrecy ?

    I was going to post this on the Brad Pitt thread, but I thought it would mean excessive thread drift.

    As far as secrecy is involved, the world of aviation doesn't seem to be immune from it ?
    We've had threads before about aircraft locked away in hangars, which few if any people have seen and not
    allowed to be photographed. etc, etc

    I can appreciate secrets being kept if the information is commercially sensitive, someone has signed the OSA,
    or it is still under wraps from WWII, to protect families of those involved etc, but I am of the opinion that
    many feel they have a sense of power if they have secrets to keep.

    I hope I live long enough to see the name of the British intelligence officer published, who was responsible for
    passing on information to the Germans, regarding the disastrous Dutch resistance campaign.

    There's a chap I know who is obsessed with secrecy (in the broader sense of the word), the original secret squirrel.
    He sends me aircraft photos with a big copyright label on them, telling me I can only repost them with his
    permission. Most are scanned slides an prints, and the sort of quality I would dispatch to the trash folder.
    On one, All I could see was a field, but I was assured there were a couple of aircraft in it somewhere, I was
    still told that I mustn't post it online.

    He also worked for a local aviation company some years ago, but there's so much he couldn't tell me,
    and he made it sound as if he was second in command. I only found out recently from someone else
    who worked there, that he was chief sweeper upper, and head "Gofer"
    I telling him something my Brother in Law said to me a few years ago about the DC-4, rubbish he told me,
    you can't do that with a DC-4. I had to point out that my B-I-L was licensed for DC-4s, and knew exactly
    what he was talking about.

    There are secrets, and there are secrets. I would guess that the vast majority of our secrets during the Cold War
    were known by the Russians, and we no doubt knew quite a few of theirs.

    For instance, if you were in the RAF back in the 60s-80s and had signed the Official secrets act, are you still
    prohibited from giving performance figures of our front line aircraft of the time. Even though that information
    is freely available ?
    Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.
  • bazv
    olde rigger
    • Feb 2005
    • 5856

    #2
    Probably still covered by the official secrets act Alan - I certainly am since I have signed it many times since 1970 LOL
    Many secrets these days are more 'commercial'/company oriented !

    rgds baz

    Comment

    • charliehunt
      Nearly there!
      • Oct 2012
      • 11459

      #3
      I agree with Alan and particularly the penultimate paragraph. Secrecy for the sake of secrecy has always suited the state.

      The signature those of us who signed under intelligence and telecommunications criteria decades ago was long ago irrelevant.

      There will always be those who revel in having and retaining secret information even though it might be a lot less secret than they imagine.

      And as Baz says corporate secrecy is far more relevant and far more important for the parties involved.
      Charlie

      Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

      Comment

      • ~Alan~
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Mar 2010
        • 5019

        #4
        Originally posted by charliehunt View Post

        The signature those of us who signed under intelligence and telecommunications criteria decades ago was long ago irrelevant.
        Not if you talked to the person I mentioned in my original post.
        Last edited by ~Alan~; 26th October 2014, 14:54.
        Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

        Comment

        • charliehunt
          Nearly there!
          • Oct 2012
          • 11459

          #5
          No I am sure - an ex-colleague and ex-acquaintance of mine falls into the same category!!
          Charlie

          Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

          Comment

          • TonyT
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Oct 2006
            • 8991

            #6
            For instance, if you were in the RAF back in the 60s-80s and had signed the Official secrets act, are you still
            prohibited from giving performance figures of our front line aircraft of the time. Even though that information
            Yes, although a lot comes into the public domain if you think about it you are verifying those facts. True a lot of it is in the public domain, especially stuff like the special weapons we used in Bruggen etc, BUT NOT ALL OF IT IS, and indeed some of the procedures could be and will still be relevant today, hence the reluctance to speak about such things having signed the OSA, which still covers these items in the public domain or not.

            As for private companies, from the sweeper up to the managing director may have signed a disclosure contract forbidding discussing information outside their business. Remember they do not want their company secrets or business broadcast far and wide.

            Comment

            • silver fox
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • May 2008
              • 693

              #7
              Originally posted by charliehunt View Post
              I agree with Alan and particularly the penultimate paragraph. Secrecy for the sake of secrecy has always suited the state.
              So true, many moons ago I worked for a company producing (among other things) high pressure hose, among our customers were Rolls Royce and MOD, at times with them situations became farcical.

              For instance an order came in via MOD, but destined for the aero engine division of Rolls Royce, officialdom declared that this hose must only be produced on our test machine situated in the laboratory and under supervision of ministry inspectors, this immediately blew any secrecy straight out the window merely by drawing attention to the order, even better it was also very quickly realised that ministry inspectors and lab technicians didn't have a clue how to actually run a production machine, the order then landed on my desk followed by many worried officials concerned that this order didn't become public knowledge, the utterly stupid side was that the pipe was exactly the same spec as regular orders and could quite simply have gone through production without anyone batting an eye at it, but of course this pipe was destined for a new military jet engine which in itself was still secret.

              Comment

              • John Green
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Mar 2011
                • 6643

                #8
                Alan,

                You know my opinion about the silly charade practised by some.

                Comment

                • Wokka Bob
                  Thread Killer
                  • Jun 2011
                  • 382

                  #9
                  Commercial–in-Confidence in modern times is more relevant than ever. With instant social media and the ability to photograph and post on line within seconds makes life extremely difficult for entrepreneurs let alone joe public. How the Google exec managed to keep his record breaking sky dive a secret is a lesson for us all.

                  All I can say about the OSA is that I am covered, having signed many times over 39 yrs service, rightly or wrongly, until I leave this mortal coil. No, I am not that Norwegian blue!

                  One thing I can relate is our Unit Test Pilot who flew both XM 135 (before it went to Duxford) & 137 (EE Lightning Mk1) said that on approaching Mach2, he was still pressed hard into his bang seat. I still do not know the top speed of said EE Lightning (of any mark).

                  Whatever! I am of the opinion that the less you know the less you can compromise/talk about!

                  We seem to be in a world that everyone expects to know everything about everything. Is this a good thing? I personally, would feel safer knowing less but feeling someone further up the chain was in proper control of our destiny. Wishful thinking?

                  Comment

                  • bazv
                    olde rigger
                    • Feb 2005
                    • 5856

                    #10
                    Bob

                    In one of his later books/editions istr that RB wrote about taking a Lightning up to either mach 2.2 or 2.25 - the limit would prob have been skin temperature (ally alloy)

                    rgds baz

                    Comment

                    • ~Alan~
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Mar 2010
                      • 5019

                      #11
                      It goes without saying that there are some secrets which need to be kept, for whatever reason.
                      Friends of ours who work for a company involved in the manufacture of items for the space industry, have to
                      sign a letter of confidentiality, and don't even talk to us about what they do.

                      This video of a Ch.4 programme, sums up a lot of the absurdity surrounding secrecy.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itqMwuB8gOk
                      Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

                      Comment

                      • ~Alan~
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Mar 2010
                        • 5019

                        #12
                        I thought it might be a good idea to revive this thread. from 2014.

                        As mentioned previously, aircraft restoration seems to be riddled with secrecy, for no apparent reason.
                        Unless it is to have a grand unveiling to the media of a latest project.
                        I quite expect the new colour scheme of (the now) Thumper will remain shrouded in secrecy ?
                        Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

                        Comment

                        • Mpacha
                          Moderator
                          • Jan 2000
                          • 1279

                          #13
                          pb::

                          Comment

                          • TonyT
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Oct 2006
                            • 8991

                            #14
                            I thought it might be a good idea to revive this thread. from 2014.

                            As mentioned previously, aircraft restoration seems to be riddled with secrecy, for no apparent reason.
                            Unless it is to have a grand unveiling to the media of a latest project.
                            I quite expect the new colour scheme of (the now) Thumper will remain shrouded in secrecy ?
                            It often can be a case of the client not wanting their property plastered all over the web and quite rightly too, also why would one allow pictures of ones tooling such as jigs that have often been produced at great expense to be photographed so competitors can produce their own.

                            Statements like this really peeve me, would people like me turning up at their home and demanding to walk around and photograph their possessions as if I had some divine right to? Because that is what it is tantamount to doing.

                            End of the day the scheme applied is down to the owner and it is their right to apply it in privacy without having to justify it to anyone. It is up to them to reveal the scheme and take advantage of the publicity at the time, it also helps stops someone trying to gazump them by applying the scheme ahead of the launch.
                            Last edited by TonyT; 24th October 2016, 21:33.

                            Comment

                            • ~Alan~
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Mar 2010
                              • 5019

                              #15
                              Originally posted by TonyT View Post
                              Statements like this really peeve me, would people like me turning up at their home and demanding to walk around and photograph their possessions as if I had some divine right to? Because that is what it is tantamount to doing.
                              Totally different I would have said. Although I had forgotten this has been discussed before : http://forum.keypublishing.com/showt...hlight=secrecy
                              Last edited by ~Alan~; 25th October 2016, 09:06.
                              Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

                              Comment

                              • bazv
                                olde rigger
                                • Feb 2005
                                • 5856

                                #16
                                I am with Tony T on this one - private owners have an absolute right to secrecy for their own security.
                                Also re colour schemes - it is probably easier to present it as a fait accompli (and then have the internet inquisition !) rather than say 'I was thinking of painting it' and having the internet inquisition before you can even decide yourself.

                                Comment

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