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Laptops! Get yer laptops!

The latest terrible government IT security shock is that since 2005, the Ministry of Defence has lost three laptops containing unencrypted personal data – including one holding details of 600,000 people who had expressed an interest in joining the armed services.

Three? Since 2005? This is one of the biggest departments of the Government, and although it is of course shocking, outrageous and so forth that people’s personal data has gone missing, is losing one laptop a year really that appalling?

With classic Yes Minister reasoning – “We must do something; this is something; therefore we must do this” – the Civil Service has told staff not to take laptops out of Government offices. Of course they could routinely encrypt the data, like the MoD rules say they should, and then it wouldn’t matter when the occasional shiny toy went missing…

(Image: from maveric2003’s flickr stream)

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