Man in court on terror charges following PSNI data breach

todayAugust 21, 2023 6

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Man in court on terror charges following PSNI data breach

A man has appeared in court charged with two terror offences following a major data breach affecting the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Christopher Paul O’Kane sat handcuffed between two police officers during the hearing at Coleraine Magistrates’ Court in Ballymena – and refused to stand when the charges were read out.

He has been charged with possessing documents or records likely to be useful to terrorists, and possession of two mobile phones for use in terrorism.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 MONDAY NOVEMBER 30 File photo dated 20/01/19 of a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) logo badge in Derry City in Northern Ireland, as a number of recommendations for improvements in PSNI professional standards have been made following several controversies, including allegations of misogyny and misuse of social media by officers.

The court heard two phones were discovered in his bedroom when he was arrested on Friday.

Bail was refused amid concerns about the current heightened security situation in Northern Ireland, and he was remanded in custody for four weeks.

A data breach earlier this month saw the names of 10,000 officers and staff published online in response to a Freedom of Information request.

Details included the surname and first initial of every employee, their rank, where they are based, and the unit they worked in.

Chief Constable Simon Byrne has confirmed that dissident republicans have access to the information, and said he fears it will be used to intimidate and target police.

The PSNI has recently suffered two other data breaches relating to officers’ personal details.

Missing sections of a PSNI notebook that fell from a moving car on the M2 in Belfast contained details of 42 officers and staff. The sections have not been recovered.

In a separate incident, a document containing the names of officers and staff was stolen along with a police-issue laptop from an officer’s car on 6 July.

Written by: Newsroom

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