Stop me if you've heard this before: an MoD laptop with top secret, unencrypted data about the movements of British troops has been found in a London pub.

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According to The Sun, the laptop was left in the boozer by absent-minded, brilliantly named Royal Engineers Captain Luke Badger. And yes, there is a suggestion that he may have had a drink. Or seven.

'Pissed badger leaves soldiers under pub table'. This story has everything. But, like all good yarns, it has a very serious side, too.

Reports suggest that the laptop contains... unencrypted mind... the personal details of 200 soldiers. And details about their movements. Plus, ooh, their exercises. And where there weapons stores are.

And Bully's special prize: the names of their wives and children.

Er, thanks Captain.

Surely there should be rules against this sort of thing? There are. New rules too. Just a few weeks ago the Cabinet Secretary banned Whitehall apparachniks, mandarins and goons from removing unsecured data from their offices. Because, you know, it's generally quite a bad idea to leak personal data. Especially the personal data of people who take the Queen's shilling to defend our nation from insane terrorists. And civil servants, it seems, are on the sieve-side of leaky.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Defence promised an “urgent” probe. This almost certainly won't involve Captain Badger, a pair of rubber gloves and no lubricant, but I am no expert on military protocol.

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