Dominic Raab’s private mobile phone number was available online for 11 years as Foreign Office swoops to remove it and insists ‘no security was compromised’ but experts warn it will have ‘increased risk’ of being spied on
- Dominic Raab’s mobile phone number available online for more than a decade
- Foreign Office said it removed number when it became aware it was available
- Foreign Office insist ‘no security was compromised’ but experts issued warning
The Government was facing fresh security questions today after it emerged Dominic Raab’s private mobile phone number has been available online for more than a decade.
The Foreign Office said it had the number ‘removed immediately’ once it became aware and insisted that ‘no security was compromised’.
But security experts warned the ‘wide availability of Mr Raab’s personal phone number must increase the risk that other states, or even criminal gangs, have been able to eavesdrop on his calls’.
The discovery comes weeks after it was revealed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s phone number was freely available on the internet for more than a decade.
The Government was facing fresh security questions today after it emerged Dominic Raab’s private mobile phone number has been available online for more than a decade
The Foreign Office said Mr Raab’s number and other private information was swiftly removed once the department was made aware of the oversight.
The Guardian, which first reported the number’s availability after being notified by a reader, said it appeared to have been online since before he became an MP in 2010.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘Private information was wrongly retained online, before the Foreign Secretary’s appointment.
‘Once we were made aware, we had it removed immediately. Most of it was out of date, and no security was compromised.’
In April it emerged that Mr Johnson’s number remained on the bottom of an online press release from when he was shadow higher education minister in 2006.
That disclosure prompted concerns that Mr Johnson had left himself vulnerable to covert activity by hostile states.
The Prime Minister had already reportedly been told by Civil Service head Simon Case to change his number, because it was too widely known from his career as a journalist.
Former UK national security adviser Lord Ricketts told the Guardian: ‘The wide availability of Mr Raab’s personal phone number must increase the risk that other states, or even criminal gangs, have been able to eavesdrop on his calls.
‘It also means that anyone who happens to have had his phone number… is able to lobby the foreign secretary, bypassing the official channels which everyone else has to use.
‘Anyone taking on a role as sensitive as this should in their own interests pay as much attention to online as to physical security.’
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