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By | Lewis Page 5th April 2007 14:09

Smut-swapping sailors leak secret missile specs

Japanese naval porn ring probed

The Japanese navy was left red-faced today after newspaper reports revealed that smut-swapping sailors had inadvertently leaked high-tech missile data.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun, three petty officers in the Maritime Self-Defence Force (the Japanese navy's official title) have now been implicated, having accidentally sent each other specifications on the Aegis missile system along with "a large collection of obscene images".

The files in question were apparently held on personal computers. Since the filth-fancying matelots were not authorised to have the missile data in the first place, Japanese investigators suspect that the porn ring may also have included commissioned officers.

This is not the first time the MSDF has had snags with confidential data on sailors' personal machines. The Yomiuri says secret info has already been "accidentally uploaded to the internet last February through a crew member of a destroyer". This prompted the MSDF to issue an order to all personnel to delete classified files from their personal computers, but, the Yomiuri reports: "The three petty officers questioned did not follow the order."

The leaked info apparently included details on the number of targets the Aegis missile system can track, and "calculating formulas for its interceptor system". Destroyer-based Aegis may form a significant part of Japan's strategic missile-defence programme in future. In the wake of last year's ballistic-rocketry tests by North Korea, just across the Sea of Japan, this has become a critical local issue.

Exposure of Aegis data isn't only a problem for the Japanese, either. Aegis is an American system, very important to the US Navy. The USA sells Aegis widely to friendly countries, but won't be pleased to have its specifications leaked by nautical aficionados of digital filth.

For now, however, the American forces are showing solidarity with Japan at this trying time. General Bruce Wright, commander of US forces in Japan, said: "I know the Japan Self Defence Forces take operational security seriously."

The investigation continues. ®

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