Feeds

UK govt new encryption system only works with MS kit

Isn't it time someone looked at this relationship?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

The UK government's increasing reliance on Microsoft software has been demonstrated yet again with leaked documents regarding its new email encryption system. The documents - available on the cryptome.org site here - show that the PGP setup will only work with Microsoft OSes and Microsoft's browser.

With regard to email programs, it will work with just Lotus Notes, Eudora and Microsoft's Outlook products.

We revealed a fortnight ago that the government was planning a new email encryption system based on Network Associates PGP security. It's to be called PGP HMG.

The government is obviously not looking to upgrade its OSes to Windows XP in the near future, since the PGP system requires Windows 95, 98 or NT4. Although, MS will no doubt help with any future compatibility problems.

It needs Internet Explorer 4.0.1 or greater. Then Outlook 97/98 or Outlook Express 4x and 5x. The only non-MS kit it will work on is Lotus Notes 4.5, 4.6 and 5.0 and Qualcomm Eudora 4.x.

This latest document is evidence that the government is becoming worryingly close to the Beast of Redmond. Tony Blair is known to refer to Bill Gates on this technology stuff, plus Microsoft is taking a bigger and bigger stake in New Labour's e-government plan. Recently, we reported that the new government gateway site that it hopes will be the first port of call for all UK citizens only works with Internet Explorer.

And then during the election, Blair decided to launch his business manifesto at Microsoft's UK HQ in Reading. (He was usurped by MS using the event to publicise Windows XP.)

We're not saying that there is anything dodgy going on but surely this cosy relationship should be subject to Parliamentary review. While many civil servants no doubt use Windows and Explorer, shouldn't a government-wide plan be a little more inclusive?

And we haven't even mentioned the security concerns that surround all Microsoft kit. Until now that is. ®

Related Link

Download the PGP data here

Related Stories

US expands Echelon spying in UK
A vote for Labour is a vote for Microsoft
Blair savaged over Microsoft visit
e-Envoy's office defends Windows-only portal - climb down begins?
MS-built UK 'Government Gateway' locks out non-MS browsers

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.