Interesting elaboration of the story over at New Statesman.
The Lords discussion around the time of the discontinuation of the case is helpful for picking up the context (over at Hansard). I found this intriguing, from Lord Wright of Richmond:
“I believe I am right in recording that following the Ponting case a counsellor was appointed to help individuals in the intelligence and security agencies—I think I am right in remembering that that included GCHQ but it may not have done—faced with crises of conscience about intelligence matters. Can the noble and learned Lord tell us whether that post still exists; whether the counsellor was used in this case; and whether Mrs Gun consulted him? If not, I suggest that the existence of a counsellor, if he is still in post, is brought to the attention of all employees in the security and intelligence agencies.”
Not sure what this counsellor does. Is the idea that you go with a crisis of conscience and they give you a dose of CBT to cure it?