UK civil servants have reportedly edited an array of Wikipedia articles relating to the high profile killings of Jean Charles de Menezes, Lee Rigby and Damilola Taylor.
Government computers were allegedly used to add inaccurate data to a Wikipedia page documenting Jean Charles de Menezes’ death. De Menezes was shot and killed by Metropolitan Police officers at Stockwell tube station in 2005.
Official’s computers were also reportedly discovered to have been used to edit the pages of Damilola Taylor, a 10-year-old Nigerian schoolboy who was murdered in Britain in 2000, and Lee Rigby, the 25-year-old victim of the 2013 Woolwich terror killing.
A spokesman for the de Menezes family expressed deep shock that anonymous editors working from the government computer network altered vital information on his Wikipedia article. The edits allegedly sought to obscure police failings from public knowledge.
Asad Rehman, a spokesperson for the De Menezes family, condemned the revelations, claiming that this wasn’t the first time the account of De Menezes’ killing had been targeted in such a manner.
“This is yet one more smear and attack on the family. We’ve seen over many years lies, misinformation and smears during the family’s attempt to find the truth and justice and answers about how an innocent young man on his way to work was gunned down by police officers,” he said.
Questioned as to whether UK civil servants had breached their legal responsibilities under the Civil Service Code, a Westminster spokesman stated that “Government takes these matters very seriously.”
He subsequently confirmed plans to issue more thorough guidance for civil servants on the use of internet and social media technology in all UK government departments.