Sunday, August 2, 1998 Published at 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Spy lawyer calls for Web protection
David Shayler's homepage remains secret for now
The lawyer acting for a former MI5 agent has told BBC News online the UK Government is wasting its time trying to stop confidential information being published on the Net.
Mr Wadham was speaking hours after his client David Shayler was arrested in Paris.
Mr Shayler left Britain last year after revealing details about the service to a Sunday newspaper, and was living in exile.
Letter litter claim
Last week it was revealed that the government had attempted to stop him revealing further allegations on his Website.
But Mr Wadham says because of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, lawyers acting for the company probably advised the firm to "put the government's letter in the bin".
He said: "Injunctions relating to issues of parochial national security and the Official Secrets Act, probably won't cut any real ice with other people in other countries."
Mr Wadham said negotiations with the government had been going on for six months to ensure that any disclosures made did not damage UK national security
"Issues of freedom of expression and the right to information are now worldwide issues and there needs to be proper worldwide regulation to protect those fundamental rights and also protect national security.
"At the moment we have a mish mash of rules which apply to one country and not another."
Mr Wadham said he had not been able to speak to Mr Shayler since his arrest so did not know whether he still planned to publish any further revelations on his homepage.
As he spoke, all the page in question showed was a picture of a pocket watch and the message: "Welcome to the Future Website of shayler.com."
Government accused of hypocrisy
Mr Tomlinson has also been questioned by French police.
The arrest on Saturday night came before a scheduled appearance on Sunday morning's Breakfast with Frost programme on BBC One.
Mr Wadham, who briefed the Labour party on security matters when they were in opposition, stood in for his client.
He said the Attorney General, a government minister, was acting hypocritically as he had opposed the act while in opposition, when Mr Wadham remembered Labour saying it was "too draconian".
He said he could not discuss the details of the case but that the information was in the public interest.
The act makes it illegal to reveal anything about the workings of the intelligence agencies, even if the disclosures were made in the public interest.
Mr Wadham also denied that Mr Shayler has no evidence for his claims, and blamed bureaucracy and the failure of different government departments to communicate for the arrest, which had come as a surprise.
'Nobody twisted his arm'
The spy novelist Frederick Forsyth told the programme he had no sympathy for the former agent.
"He signed a contract, he broke it. He swore an oath, he broke it. He knew the parameters of the Official Secrets Act, he decided to break it."
Mr Shayler's girlfriend Annie Machon also appeared on the programme to express her anger, and complain that she had not been allowed to speak to her partner, or even find out where he was being held.
Mr Shayler can be held for a period of up to 48 hours before an examining magistrate in France decides if there is a case to answer, although the BBC's Paris correspondent says he may be extradited sooner.