Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More data losses as minister's laptop is stolen

In a week that has already seen the misplacing of top secret documents on a train the British government has come under fire after it was revealed that a laptop containing sensitive information was stolen from the constituency office of Hazel Blears [BBC ]. According to the BBC there were documents relating to defence and extremism on the computer and an inquiry has been launched.
On Sunday the Independent newspaper revealed that documents had been handed to them which revealed highly sensitive information about the government’s war on terror [BBC / CNN / Sky News]. The revelation came within a week that the BBC was handed documents of a similar nature that had also been left on the same train. Besides the civil servant being suspended and previous assurances by the government that it would tighten rules over classified information, there are repeated examples that these measures are not working. In April it was revealed that an MoD laptop was stolen from an army captain while he was eating in a McDonalds restaurant [BBC] and in January the Defence Secretary Des Brown told an astonished House of Commons that there had been two MoD laptops stolen between 2005 and 2008 [BBC]. Last year several CD ROM discs went missing in the post with the loss of details of 25 million British citizens.
Last week David Davis stood down from his position as Shadow Home Secretary to force a debate on the governments erosion of civil liberties and the promotion of a data base state. In part he was prompted by the governments inability to safeguard the information they already retain about the population. But for governments who share intelligence information with Britain there will be heightened concerns over how securely it is being kept. Surprisingly the issue was not brought up in Monday’s press conference when George W Bush and Gordon Brown stood side by side resolute in their committment in fighting the ongoing war on terror. Meanwhile a top terror suspect, Abu Qatada, often seen as al Qaeda’s representative in Europe, is to be released on bail within the next 24 hours [BBC].

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have thought, maybe its a stretch I dont know! There's something that's recently been invented I think it came out yesterday morning. I believe it's called Encryption. I guess the British never heard of it. This is ridiculous! why isn't the file Password protected along with other things? They say that these people shouldnt be having this classified information on their computers. It's not the fact that they shouldnt, it cleary the fact that they don't take precautions for themselves.