View Full Version : Lost Data.

29th Sep 2008, 11:49
At last someone is being held accountable for these acts of negligence....

BBC NEWS | UK | Lost data official to be charged (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7641707.stm)

In this case it is, I fear, only because the information lost was sensitive to the government and therefore the O.S.A was comprimised officially. This will no doubt put the frighteners under many a civil-servant , but what of all the other data losses due to incompetence, theft, whatever in the last 2 years ?

So many people (in the millions) have had their personal information put into the hands of others who have no right to see it and who will in all probability use it for nefarious purposes themselves or through further marketing of such information. The latest episode was last weeks theft of 50,000 ex-service (UK) personnel records......:ugh:

It amazes me that in this electronic age, where the majority (?) of transactions are done electronically that the law has not developed to protect the rights of the persons who's information is held, and that means ALL of us. The duty of care should be made concrete and those responsible for such caretaking of information held responsible and prosecuted criminally should such information be accessed illegally, sold, traded, etc and if lost or stolen (or left on a train :hmm:) whilst in their care. Encryption protocols of the highest order should be immediately adopted and only information needed for the job in hand and not the information of everyone within a catagory.

In olden times (only a few years ago) most of the data-bases were on paper and held in various locations, but nowdays they are often but a mouse-click away for the persons within an organisation or department and if not, well a CD or USB stick will hold an amazing amount of information...... I haven't seen any evidence so far in the press that anything has been done about all the data that has been lost, as to whether 'they' have investigated where it has gone or who has used it and so on. I cannot believe that up until now this information hasn't been used by criminals and noticed. Or perhaps these were just amazingly serendipidous happenings :rolleyes:



The Flying Pram
29th Sep 2008, 13:19
No doubt some of these data "leaks" will be used by criminals, the problem being how will we know which one is responsible? The intelligent crooks will sit on the info for a while, rather than use it straight away. What really angers me is the number of times databases are sent by post. For heavens sakes haven't Govt departments got secure electronic links? Even if they have to use public networks there's no excuse: you, or I, could send an Email attachment with an encrypted file using readily available (free) software, and these feckwits are putting CD's in a jiffybag....

As you said, years ago this much information would have taken up reams of paper, and would be much more difficult to take out of the office never mind copy.

Of course I could always put on my old cynics hat and suggest that it's all part of a plan to make sure that ID cards never see the light of day....

29th Sep 2008, 13:21
Worth noting that this case was a loss of good old fashioned paper ( left on a train ) and the prosecution is under a clause of the Official Secrets Act .

29th Sep 2008, 13:26
Of course I could always put on my old cynics hat and suggest that it's all part of a plan to make sure that ID cards never see the light of day....

Scuse me for bein stoopid, but why ? I thought that it was the government's aim was to have a verifiable data-base of people, that is to say one where every single person in the UK was listed. It has been implemented in other countries without the world collapsing, yet I must confess to being happier without having to carry this ID around with me at all times.



mr fish
29th Sep 2008, 15:58
ahhh, i see, nothing happens to all the other f:mad:kwits who 'mislay' info but this guy on a temp posting is hauled over coals.
something stinks yet again!!!!!

29th Sep 2008, 16:26
So you are travelling on a train and you find a packet containing a document:-
UK Top Secret - for your eyes only (or words to that effect).
What would you do?
Would you take it to a newspaper?
Should you not contact the nearest Policeman?
Could you trust the Police to deal with it confidentially?

The Flying Pram
29th Sep 2008, 21:05
SHJ, we know the Govt wants this database, I'm just wondering if a group of people against it are using (abusing?) their positions in various departments to try and prevent it ever coming to fruition.

As regards the Official Secrets Act I had to sign this when I joined the Post Office Telephones (as it was then) and was told that it is binding for life, regardless of who I might be working for in the future. And I didn't have access to anything like the amount of information that seems to go missing these days. Why then, are so many private companies and contractors both here and, more worryingly, overseas allowed carte blanch access to our personal details? It's not as if we even have any say in the matter - utility companies, my pension provider - all seem to be using overseas call centres. We occasionally get reassuring words to the effect that our details are safe, well excuse me but I don't believe you....

29th Sep 2008, 22:06
As regards the Official Secrets Act I had to sign this when I joined the Post Office Telephones (as it was then) and was told that it is binding for life, regardless of who I might be working for in the futureIn fact when you sign a copy of the Official Secrets Act it has no, additional, basis in law. Some organisations ask you to sign it but it's just to remind you of your obligations. Everyone in the UK is bound by the Official Secrets Act whether they sign it or not, it's a law just like any other law. Certain people, like those in the armed forces or the intelligence agencies can be prosecuted for certain offences whereas a civilian cannot. But, apart from that it's a common misconception that to be be bound by the act you have to sign it. The act applies to everyone regardless.

30th Sep 2008, 13:15
It appears that they have still not grasped the concept of 'Data Security'.

Data card in a camera sold on e-bay contains spooks plans, photos etc.concerning an Iraqi baddie now on an extended holiday in Cuba.

FOXNews.com - For Sale: Used Spy Camera With Top Secret Terror Records - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,430428,00.html)


30th Sep 2008, 14:02
Officers banned the shocked family from talking to the media.

Terrorism author Neil Doyle said: “These are MI6 documents relating to an operation against Al Qaeda insurgents in Iraq. It’s jaw-dropping they got into the public domain.
Not only do they divulge secrets about operations, operating systems and previously unheard-of MI6 departments, but they could put lives at risk."

So how did the information get into the public domain?
Did someone from the Police 'leak' it?
Or did the 'owners' of the camera blab?

If these incidents are becoming public, how many are being kept quiet?
I think we should be told . . .

30th Sep 2008, 17:59
The world has got this far without obsessing over or needing data on everyone and everything. I've yet to hear one proveable genuine benefit to the majority of people on the earth in shifting life towards a semi-cyber existence. Anything that couldn't be done before, usually more efficiently and securely. I mean this within the sphere of general life, as opposed to medical advances etc.

It's disappointing but not surprising that the technological developments of very recent years have so quickly been commandeered in this way. All I see is control, marketing and cost savings (but not savings felt by most as it usually amounts to job losses and streamlined more profitable "services"). Lay bare the very details of our lives and activities to constant monitoring, and pay for that? WHY?

As to data loss and its effects, what's been seen so far, whether accidental or otherwise is nothing to what's ahead IMO. We may be needing a new definition of "criminal".

25th Apr 2009, 23:35
Here we go again.

Imagine having to tell your bosses that you have left your handbag on the airport bus and that there is a data stick in it that contains the details and names of people involved in covert anti-drug operations in South America.

Your boss may well say 'fudge, fudge, fudge. Ok then we will stop and search all the buses at Victoria Bus Station'.

You reply: 'I am in Bogota.'

British spy loses secrets in a handbag - Times Online (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6169077.ece)

Edit to add:

Much more detail here including:

“She’s a lovely girl but a bit daft and scatterbrained — the sort of person you could imagine forgetting her handbag on a bus,” said one former officer who has worked with her.A source claims the memory stick contained details of anti-narcotics intelligence compiled over more than five years. The loss risked the lives of undercover agents and informants who have now had to be relocated. He said the total cost of aborted operations was £100m.Bumbling agent lost ‘crown jewels’ of drugs war - Times Online (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6169946.ece)

26th Apr 2009, 00:10
She’s a lovely girl but a bit daft and scatterbrained

Just the sort to entrust with stg100 million! :uhoh:

26th Apr 2009, 11:02
Someone I am close to, used to work in the very early 1970's at a place I can't mention (they know where you live as Private Eye says) - well: they were not allowed to take classified documents out of the office, let alone the building, photocopy sheets were numbered and recorded, OF COURSE cameras were forbidden on-site, you couldn't carry envelopes out of the building, random searches & inspections etc....In my own job - about that same time - I had to sign the Official Secrets Act and I "took it very seriously" (i.e., I was terrified of making a slip-up).

Lets face it guys, the idiots running the various branches of UK Intelligence today couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery as far as security is concerned. I bet they leave the keys to the front door and classified offices (if they still have them) under the doormat when they go home at night.

But nobody needs to break-in and steal stuff with employees like this "lovely but a bit daft and scatterbrained" girl employed to carry sensitive data to South America.