UK Security: April's Data Fools

More government security shenanigans on the other side of the pond

April 2, 2008

1 Min Read
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Suddenly, the storage snafu that rocked the British government last fall doesn't seem quite so bad. After losing disks containing tax credit details of some 25 million people, the bungling Brits are at it again, according to the Scottish National Party (SNP).

SNP Member of Parliament Mike Weir has published a stunning list of items either lost or stolen during the Labour Party's 11 years in power. The list includes 600 laptops, 400 mobile phones, and, perhaps the topper, an official car that was somehow misplaced by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

The figures, pulled from a series of official parliamentary questions, paint a worrying picture of a government clearly struggling to keep track of its assets.

"These figures reveal a shocking lack of security across UK government departments," said Weir, in a statement. "Clearly the loss of the child tax credit data was just the latest in a long line of reckless disregard for computer security."

Last year's missing disks, incidentally, have still not been found, offering the U.K opposition parties a slam dunk when it comes to the government's security policies."To lose one laptop might be careless, but to loose 600 is simply unbelievable," added Weir, clearly warming to his theme. "I suppose we should be glad that the falling cost of computers has reduced the annual cost!"

Just to make matters worse, the SNP's figures do not include the U.K.'s Ministry of Defence (MoD), which has reportedly lost 503 laptops since 1998.

The U.K. government's lax security policies meet all criteria for foolhardy data mishandling. Sadly, April Fool's Day has passed, and the situation really isn't a laughing matter.

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