On the cover of every newspaper in the UK is this news, which should come as no surprise to anyone:
Revenue & Customs loses personal details of 25m people
Deborah Summers and agencies
Tuesday November 20, 2007
The chancellor, Alistair Darling, today admitted the personal details of 25 million individuals had been lost by HM Revenue and Customs.
The information includes the names, dates-of-birth, national insurance numbers and in some cases the bank details of those claiming child benefits.
Paul Gray, the chairman of HM Revenue and Customs, today resigned over the “extremely serious failure” of security.
In a Commons statement greeted by gasps of astonishment from MPs, Darling told the Commons that two discs containing details of the 7.25 million families claiming child benefit, sent to the National Audit Office, failed to reach the addressee.
I hate to say it, but I TOLD YOU SO.
The personal details of TWENTY FIVE MILLION PEOPLE contained on TWO DVDRs is now missing.
Here are some obvious questions you would ask of a person who is not incompetent:
What the hell are you doing sending data by post? THAT IS WHAT TEH INTERNETS ARE FOR.
What the hell are you doing burning data onto DVDs?
Data sets the size of DVDs are downloaded MILLIONS OF TIMES A DAY. Are these people really THAT INSANE?
Is there anyone left ON THIS PLANET that thinks the government should take your fingerprints and photos and use them to administer a national ID card? Is there anyone left IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE that thinks ContactPoint is a good thing?
I should think not.
Even if they get those discs back, this is a vivid demonstration of how two very small objects can hold the details of the lives of MILLIONS of people. If this information was not held on computers, it would not be possible for the government to create and then misplace such discs, and that is the way it should be, since they are amongst the most incompetent organizations in this or any other universe.
A database of convicted criminals is another story, but these databases of ordinary people must be COMPLETELY OUTLAWED so that it is impossible for data breaches of this kind to take place. Just read the absolute STUPIDITY of these people:
The chancellor told MPs the information went missing after a junior official in the department failed to follow standard procedures and sent a “full copy of the data” to the NAO by courier – not by recorded or registered mail.
When it became clear the discs had not arrived, the same official sent the information again – this time by registered post.
What this article does not mention is wether or not the data on these two, sorry, FOUR DVDRs was encrypted or not.
Had the data been encrypted with GPG, it would not matter if the discs went missing, because it would be impossible to get anything off of them.
But then, using GPG is something COMPETENT people do, not the likes of Citizen Brown and his bumbling buffoons.
Amazingly, this incompetent government has just invoked RIPA against an animal rights activist, threatening her with gaol if she refuses to provide the password to the encrypted data on her hard drive.
You cant make shit like this up.
These people REALLY ARE BUFFOONS.
Think about it. Those discs are worth literally MILLIONS of pounds to a large number of people, criminals being far down on the list.
Finally, this is the insult above all insults:
Campaign group Action on Rights for Children (Arch) warned that children could have been put in danger. “It’s a simple and vital precaution which any self-respecting government agency should be practicing,” its director, Terri Dowty, said.
“This appalling security lapse has placed children in the UK in immediate danger especially those who are already vulnerable.
“Child benefit records contain every child’s address and date of birth. We are not surprised that the chair of HMRC’s board has resigned immediately.”
Arch accused the government of ignoring warnings over the dangers of creating “large centralised databases” of sensitive information about children.
Now that everyone can see what a TOTAL NIGHTMARE these systems are hopefully this will add tremendous momentum to their absolute abolition.
If you go along willingly with any of this, ID Cards, NIR, ContactPoint, then you can count yourself amongst the stupidest people in the history of mankind.
Once again, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
The Telegraph echoes BLOGDIAL:
The disks are now either languishing in the bottom of a postbag in the bowels of a London sorting office or are in the hands of organised criminals somewhere in Africa or Asia.
It is an astonishing, almost grotesque, failure that will come to symbolise the gradual collapse of Whitehall’s Rolls Royce reputation into the equivalent of an old heap ready for the scrap-yard.
The only benefit that might possibly come out of it is that surely, now, the Government cannot proceed with the ID card project.