Security consultant hired by Foreign Office linked to string of hacking complaints

A British private investigator and security consultant whose company has just completed a four-year contract to protect the UK’s embassy in Tel Aviv is linked to a string of telecommunications hacking complaints dating back more than 20 years, according to high court judgments.

a car stopped at a traffic light on a city street: Photograph: Michael Jacobs/Alamy

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Michael Jacobs/Alamy

A court judgment that touches on the career history of Stuart Page – the 69-year-old founder of the private security and intelligence firm Page Group – noted last May that the businessman “operates in a world of covert surveillance in which agents acquire confidential information unlawfully”.

The judgment explores how Page, who was appearing in the case as a witness, was linked to hacking allegations stretching back to 1998, where the businessman is said to have received stolen materials and passed them to clients. The judge concluded that the allegations did not establish that Page had ever carried out or authorised hacking himself.

Page Group’s alleged role in passing illegally obtained materials to clients raises questions about the use of stolen personal information within UK civil court proceedings, as well as the company being awarded a £1m Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) contract to protect one of the UK’s most sensitive embassies – a deal that concluded in December after almost four years.

a car stopped at a traffic light on a city street: The Embassy of the United Kingdom in Tel Aviv, Israel

© Photograph: Michael Jacobs/Alamy
The Embassy of the United Kingdom in Tel Aviv, Israel

The FCDO’s Supply Partner Code of Conduct states: “Supply partners and their delivery chain partners must declare to FCDO where there may be instances or allegations of previous unethical behaviour by an existing or potential staff member or where there is a known or suspected conflict of interest.”

Neither Page Group nor the FCDO would say if the company had highlighted the historical allegations to the government.

Video: Full statement (Birmingham Mail)



Lawyers for Page, whose companies have also worked guarding EU diplomats and on intelligence engagements for Middle Eastern rulers, told the Guardian: “No findings of hacking…