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[WIW] A submariner watches "Hunt for the Red October"

taschoene

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In the UK there is a long and storied history of people leaving important briefcases/documents/computers on trains or in cabs or on the underground.
But not generally by Americans. US rules for carrying classified material are stringent -- you don't stop on your route.

Of course, info like this wouldn't be couriered by an analyst for an informal exchange. That sort of data would be covered under the Five Eyes agreements and shared formally between the various agencies. And the US agency in question wouldn't be the CIA but the Office of Naval Intelligence, which has access to the technical experts to assess it properly.
 

DrunkenGrognard

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In the UK there is a long and storied history of people leaving important briefcases/documents/computers on trains or in cabs or on the underground.
Canada's big intel outfit, CSIS, is infamous for some incidents like that.

Also, Woo! Red October! One of my favorite thrillers; and I look forward to reading more of your insights into it, Fish.
 

Rabbit

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But not generally by Americans. US rules for carrying classified material are stringent -- you don't stop on your route.
Yeah mostly it's ministers and other politicos that lose things. Kind of embarrassing.
 

g026r

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Canada's big intel outfit, CSIS, is infamous for some incidents like that.
I immediately thought of them as well; must be a Commonwealth thing. Any Australians care to weigh in? ;)

The Red October's hull number is painted on the side of the sail. I don't know if the Soviets painted their hull numbers on the sails, but we didn't. Operational Security (OPSEC). You don't want them to know which of your subs it is.
A quick Google search of images suggests that no, they did not. I'd guess probably for the same reasons as well.
 
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Boris

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Another reason for the Political Officer to be excited about sea trials would be the new, experimental technology which they will be testing.
 

Shade the Lost

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I immediately thought of them as well; must be a Commonwealth thing. Any Australians care to weigh in? ;)



A quick Google search of images suggests that no, they did not. I'd guess probably for the same reasons as well.
I always took that to mean that CIA agents in/near the sub base had reported Red October's sailing. Also, i don't think Jack ever lived in New England, but I believe he lived in rural Delaware or something in Patriot Games, where he had a house on Chesapeake Bay.
 

taschoene

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I immediately thought of them as well; must be a Commonwealth thing. Any Australians care to weigh in? ;)



A quick Google search of images suggests that no, they did not. I'd guess probably for the same reasons as well.
It varied over time; you can find pictures of Soviet boats with numbers on the sail but there's no obvious rhyme or reason to when the were carried and when they were not.

.
 

neutrondecay

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This is the thread I was waiting for! This movie was very important for me and my brothers when we were younger. I found the book interesting, but the film was always central for me.

In the UK there is a long and storied history of people leaving important briefcases/documents/computers on trains or in cabs or on the underground.
I did this once myself. Fortunately it was just an ordinary secured computer, nothing Protectively Marked, and I got it back within 24 hours unopened, but I've been there.

But not generally by Americans. US rules for carrying classified material are stringent -- you don't stop on your route.
On the UK side, something like this would be Top Secret (unless it was further restricted by inter-agency agreements, which as you indicate it probably would be); in that case it could be taken home if you were going home, but you could never let it out of your sight even on your own private property. It's my understanding that these days they give SIS officers' spouses clearance rather than keep them completely in the dark, but this sort of stuff is exactly the sort of stuff that officers aren't supposed to discuss at all.

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Ghoti

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I just posted part 2.

The rules about having secret stuff at home could be different for actual spies, analysts, etc. We definitely weren't allowed to take anything home.

When I was in San Diego on my first boat, a sonar chief on a different boat was being investigated for taking classified material. His XO told him to bring in anything classified that he had the next morning so that it wouldn't be there when they searched his house the next day. They nailed him the next morning when he was bringing a briefcase full of classified stuff - mainly periscope photos - onto the boat. I don't think that the pictures were of anything really important, but the fact that they had periscope crosshairs on them made them classified. His career was over.

This may sound rather harsh to you, but I got to my first boat just two years after they caught John Walker. They weren't playing around.
 

neutrondecay

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I just posted part 2.

The rules about having secret stuff at home could be different for actual spies, analysts, etc. We definitely weren't allowed to take anything home.
Oh, I'm sure. I never had clearance above Confidential; I'm just going by my recollection of the general rules for handling UK Protectively Marked documents. (Which is what the Red October photos would be, in the first instance.) The actual specifics would necessarily be more restrictive. Certainly I was advised not to work on Confidential material at or from home, but I know others higher up the food chain did.

When I was in San Diego on my first boat, a sonar chief on a different boat was being investigated for taking classified material. His XO told him to bring in anything classified that he had the next morning so that it wouldn't be there when they searched his house the next day. They nailed him the next morning when he was bringing a briefcase full of classified stuff - mainly periscope photos - onto the boat. I don't think that the pictures were of anything really important, but the fact that they had periscope crosshairs on them made them classified. His career was over.

This may sound rather harsh to you, but I got to my first boat just two years after they caught John Walker. They weren't playing around.
No, that sounds about right. I never experienced Cold War paranoia about this stuff; I was in my first central government job when 9/11 happened. I do remember one occasion where we nearly released a sensitive document without the redactions being properly removed - that would have been at least a matter for an official internal enquiry if we hadn't caught it. That one was just marked Personal; higher-level stuff brings dismissal and legal action under the Official Secrets Act. As far as I can tell, Ryan doesn't breach the Act.

nd
 
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