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Son of Assange/Battersbee judge Arbuthnot linked 2 anti-data leak company created by UK intelligence

According to various articles on the internet, the son of Julian Assange’s senior judge being the SAME judge who visited ARCHIE BATTERSBEE in hospital is linked to an ANTI-DATA LEAK COMPANY created by the UK intelligence establishment and staffed by officials recruited from US intelligence agencies behind that country’s prosecution of the WikiLeaks founder.

The son of Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate who WAS OVERSEEING the extradition proceedings of Julian Assange, is the vice-president and cyber-security adviser of a firm heavily invested in a company founded by GCHQ and MI5 which seeks to stop data leaks, it can be revealed.

Alexander Arbuthnot’s employer, the private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, has a multimillion-pound investment in Darktrace, a cyber-security company which is also staffed by officials recruited directly from the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

According to various articles PUBLISHED ON LINE TOWARDS THE END OF 2019, these intelligence agencies are behind the US government’s prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secret documents. Darktrace has also had access to two former UK prime ministers and former US President Barack Obama.

The revelations raise further concerns about potential conflicts of interests and appearance of bias concerning Lady Arbuthnot and the ties of her family members to the UK and US military and intelligence establishments. Lady Arbuthnot’s husband is Lord James Arbuthnot, a former UK defence minister who has extensive links to the UK military community.

As far as is known, Lady Arbuthnot has failed to disclose any potential conflicts of interest in her role overseeing Assange’s case. However, UK legal guidance states that “any conflict of interest in a litigious situation must be declared.”

Her son, Alexander Arbuthnot, a graduate of Britain’s elite school Eton, joined Vitruvian Partners as vice-president in December 2018 and is likely to be managing the firm’s Darktrace account. Vitruvian, which has a portfolio of over £4-billion, made its first investment in Darktrace in April 2018, leading a consortium of firms committing £50-million.

“Alexander Arbuthnot advises Vitruvian on cyber-security” was the headline in Intelligence Online when he joined, while the article noted that the company had “recently stepped up its investment in cyber-security”. Darktrace appears to be one of two cyber-security companies in Vitruvian’s portfolio.

Relations were further cemented in 2018 when Alexander Arbuthnot’s colleague Sophie Bower-Straziota, then managing director at Vitruvian, was appointed to the board of Darktrace.

Darktrace and UK intelligence

Darktrace, which Alexander Arbuthnot describes as an “AI [artificial intelligence] based cyber-security” company, was established by members of the UK intelligence community in June 2013.

GCHQ, the UK’s major surveillance agency, approached investor Mike Lynch—regarded as Britain’s most established technology entrepreneur – who then brokered a meeting between GCHQ officers and Cambridge mathematicians who co-founded the company.

Company material openly mentions “the UK intelligence officials who founded Darktrace”. It states that its team includes “senior members of the UK’s and US’s intelligence agencies including the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the Security Service (MI5) and the NSA.”

Another co-founder was Stephen Huxter, a senior figure in MI5’s “cyber defence team” who became Darktrace’s managing director. Soon after the company launched in September 2013, Darktrace announced that former MI5 director-general Sir Jonathan Evans had been appointed to its advisory board. Huxter welcomed Evans’ “unparalleled stature in the field of cyber operations”.

Huxter then hired 30-year GCHQ veteran Andrew France as chief executive of Darktrace. France, like Huxter, had been involved in dealing with “cyber threats”, rising to the position of deputy director of cyber defence operations at GCHQ, where he was charged with “protecting government data” from cyber threats.

France is also linked to Alexander Arbuthnot’s father, LORD ARBUTHNOT*,who was until November 2018 a member of the advisory board of Information Risk Management (IRM), a cyber-security consultancy based in Cheltenham, the home of GCHQ. France is listed as one of IRM’s “experts”.

Darktrace later appointed Dave Palmer, who had worked at MI5 and GCHQ, as its director of technology, while John Richardson OBE, director of security, had a long career in “UK government security and intelligence” working on “cyber defence”.

Darktrace staff has also included ex-MI6 officials, former senior managers at the UK Ministry of Defence, and veterans of the UK military, including the special forces.

“We are a mixture of spooks and geeks,” says Nicole Eagan, the chief executive of Darktrace, which now has a thousand employees and 40 offices worldwide. Poppy Gustafsson, another co-founder, has said that her work left her feeling like she was “living in a story by the novelist John le Carré”.

The ‘insider threat’

Vitruvian’s investee Darktrace appears to have been established in response to data leaks from Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks and from NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Darktrace was, in fact, incorporated just four days after the first of the Snowden revelations was published by The Guardian in June 2013. These showed GCHQ to be operating programmes of mass surveillance.

As Channel 4 News put it when Darktrace launched: “In the wake of the massive data leaks from Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning, Darktrace is targeting corporate and government customers by promising to track down troublesome employees or intruders that are already within the firewall.”

Another article on Darktrace, this time from Wired in 2018, noted, “After Edward Snowden’s data dump from the NSA and Chelsea Manning’s transfer of military intelligence to WikiLeaks, governments and companies woke up to the dangers of sabotage from within.”

Additional information

LORD ARBUTHNOT* - AKA - Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom

Married to EMMA ARBUTHNOT Arbuthnot oversaw Archie Battersbee's case in the Family Division of the High Court in London.


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