Attorney General Suella Braverman applied for an injunction to prevent a BBC story from identifying an MI5 agent without confirming or denying his status as an agent. The BBC submitted that revealing his identity would not put him at risk, but would protect other women.
The government did not want to name X because he would put national security at risk.
Mr Justice Chamberlain said that if the alleged agent’s identity became public, he was at risk of being killed or seriously injured, and that any attempt to protect him would undermine the public interest in naming him.
Mr Justice Chamberlain ruled that the BBC’s story about X would damage national security because agents who read the story would not assume that it was accurate in every respect and might conclude that the story was based principally on the say-so of one of the women.
BBC fought the case to tell the story of two women’s alleged abuse, but the court said it could not comment on the case and the BBC didn’t know the reasons why the court decided to protect the women’s identity.