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hobgoblin
The UK Inland Revenue department has lost discs containing the social security numbers, bank details, names addresses, dates of birth etc. of 25 million people. They lost it in the post. They put the discs with all this sensitive information in an envelope and sent it by normal letter post (not even registered post). The discs have gone missing and are now no doubt in the hands of some identity fraudsters who will make use of them to raid people's bank accounts, set up false id's, take out hire purchase etc. etc.

I reckon this ranks as the most incompetent act ever carried out by a UK government department that I can remember.

How does this rank against incompetent acts carried out by your own government's departments?
Tibro
Careful what you say, I know who you are. In fact, I could be you. Now.
hobgoblin
And not only did they send the discs by standard post, the data on the discs wasn't even encrypted.
speedle
We're all just gonna be data on a chip soon anyway, readable by anyone anywhere. And yes, our government is just as incompetent as yours. The only governments that make no mistakes are the totalitarian ones that can cover up what they do.
Tibro
Um, are you saying that if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it …

Totalitarian governments are mistaken from the outset.
speedle
Shirley, you can't be serious?


hobgoblin
QUOTE(speedle @ Nov 24 2007, 10:24 PM) *

The only governments that make no mistakes are the totalitarian ones that can cover up what they do.


Sure, everyone make mistakes, but putting the details of 25 MILLION people into the hands of fraudsters is not simply an understandable error. There are only 60 million people living in the UK; fraudsters now have the confidential details of over 40% of the UK population.

This error means that every single person in the UK who has children can now safely assume that fraudsters have all the details necessary to raid their bank account, take out loans in their name, etc. etc.

The financial ramifications of this error for close to half the population of the UK are huge; particularly since the banks will still be placing the onus on the person who has been defrauded to prove that they had not contributed to any personal lapse of security that may have helped the fraudster (despite the fact that the UK government has indicated otherwise in its efforts to reassure the public).

This is not an error that should simply be accepted as part and parcel of living in today's society.
Donnie Darko
I had heard about that mess. That definitely is deserving of a Darwin award. I bet the launch codes for their nukes are written on the back of a napkin.
hobgoblin
Buy hey, don't worry everything will be OK. Despite the fact that the discs weren't even encrypted, according to our Chancellor of The Exchequer we should not worry because the discs were password protected.

Obviously he thinks that criminals who get hold of these discs will be computer-illiterate morons who would not be able to crack open password protected discs (despite the fact that the data held on these discs could be traded for up to £2.5 million, based on a price of 10p for the data of each individual).

Mind you, they probably won't even have to crack the passwords, since the Inland Revenue pillocks will probably have written the passwords on the disc sleeves anyway.
The Standard Deviant
Fabulous. Let's all vote for Davey C.
Donnie Darko
Those sorts of passwords are easy to crack. Often times just having an old disc reader that isn't supported by their password protocol is good enough to get you in. The most optimistic outlook is that the UK postal service is as incompetent as the UK govt and the disc just ended up in the trash bin and got destroyed. If they're anything like the US postal service, then I'm sure no one will ever see that disc in one piece.
Fredfry
the password is password
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Nov 27 2007, 12:59 AM) *

The most optimistic outlook is that the UK postal service is as incompetent as the UK govt and the disc just ended up in the trash bin and got destroyed.


Or it may have fallen behind the photocopier in one of the Inland Revenue offices.

Anyway, this amongst many other recent cock :Smokin Monkey:, now a major financial scandal involving funding of the Labour Party (which breaks the funding rules set up by the labour Government in response to their last funding scandal), the monumentous military and political failure that is the war in Iraq, the disgraceful treatment by the British Government of British troops in Iraq and on their return home, means that the Labour Government in the UK is now pretty much 'dead man walking'. Blair's legacy, it seems, is the destruction of his own party's chance of winning another election in the forseeable future. I guess it will now be the Conservative's turn now to get elected and fuck things up with gross incompetence, sleaze, arrogance, and financial scandal, etc. and then have their party leave office in disgrace after a few terms.

In our so-called democracies, why do we always end up with assholes in charge? Perhaps we get the leaders we deserve? Fucking depressing really. And then we espouse this so-called democratic system of ours to the rest of the world and we put it up on a pedestle.
Donnie Darko
It's no coincidence that so many politicians are lawyers. I highly recommend the fantastic film Michael Clayton to anyone curious about what lawyers are up to these days.

Ideally I think our government should be run by scientists. I'd much rather have people in charge that are inclined towards objectively testing ideas and the examination of evidence, as opposed to nepotistic bums that just legislate to either help their powerful buddies become more powerful, or legislate to promote their personal "values", or both.

Obviously there are some competent politicians that propose policies which either serve some altruistic purpose or help some sort of enterprise which will benefit much of the population, but those politicians are a tiny minority.
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Nov 28 2007, 08:42 PM) *

It's no coincidence that so many politicians are lawyers.


It's worse than that, most of the politicians in government in the UK are career politicians who have never had any other job outside of politics. Half of the cabinet are under the age of 40. Not that being under 40 means you are in some way incapable, but if you consider that these people are at the top of their profession 'in terms of politics being a profession' then quite clearly they would not have had enough time to achieve anything meaningful in any other career and then climb to the top of the greasy pole of politics all by the age of 37.

Charlie Whelan, Gordon Browns chief adviser and long-term side-kick, when asked about the lost discs scandal replied "Gordon Brown has suffered worse than this". These people don't get the fucking point. It's not about Gordon Brown suffering some political embarrassment, it's about all the ordinary people who may now suffer as a result of having their identities cloned and their bank accounts raided. Let's face it, what's the worst that could happen to Gordon Brown? Lose an election, make a fortune from publishing a book or two, head to the USA and make even more money touring and giving speeches, then get a high ranking job for a major bank where he can work 15 days per year and get paid millions. If that's what 'suffering' is then I wouldn't mind a bit of suffering.
traineraz
. . . except nobody's bank accounts will be raided, and nobody's identities will be cloned.

The account numbers will be reassigned, as will the social security numbers (if needed).

Same thing happened with Visa in the US a couple of years ago. An annoyance, but not the end of the world.

QUOTE("DD")
Obviously there are some competent politicians that propose policies which either serve some altruistic purpose or help some sort of enterprise which will benefit much of the population, but those politicians are a tiny minority.

They're also derided as "limousine liberals" because they have money but are trying to do things to help people who don't, thus they must be insincere.
hobgoblin
QUOTE(traineraz @ Nov 28 2007, 09:51 PM) *

. . . except nobody's bank accounts will be raided, and nobody's identities will be cloned.

The account numbers will be reassigned, as will the social security numbers (if needed).


Will they indeed?

The missing discs have still not been found, and nobody's (at least none of the people I know who are vunerable, i.e. anyone with a young family) bank account numbers or social security numbers have been reassigned.

Nothing is likely to happen over here until a large number of people start to suffer from this.

Maybe things are done more efficiently in the USA when it comes to things like this, but over here our government's automatic response to such a crisis is to tell the public not to panic, then stick its head in the sand and hope the crisis goes away. And banks over here will not do anything that would cause them any extra administrative costs unless the government pressurises them to, and a government with its head in the sand is not about to pressurise the banks into any action.
Donnie Darko
Our excessively letigious society would file a dozen lawsuits over something like this as soon as evidence emerged over the first identity stolen. Lawsuits are a nuisance, but occasionally they do give incentive towards preventing such fuckups. When the government is involved, however, those fuckups usually get covered up, whereas the UK counterparts aren't competent enough to pull off a cover up. Remember the Downing Street memo?
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Dec 5 2007, 05:07 PM) *

…whereas the UK counterparts aren't competent enough to pull off a cover up.


I'm not sure whether or not that is something we should be grateful for.
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