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Parliament's security staff lose parliament security data

Laptop goes MIA from Westminster

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A laptop containing information about Parliament's security systems disappeared from, er, the department responsible for Parliament's security last week, claims the Daily Telegraph. According to the paper, the machine belonged to an official working for the Serjeant at Arms, and disappeared from inside the parliamentary estate.

Westminster's security pass system is famously insecure, passes having been handed out liberally to thousands of people over the years. The Mother of Parliaments is also reasonably notorious for its high volume of thefts and disappearances (equipment and furniture, rather than MPs and Peers), and the vanishing laptop ties these together neatly.

A new system of Parliamentary security passes is currently being rolled out, and although it won't be particularly sophisticated (more information here), it will have at least a short term effect in that it will expire all the old passes that have gone missing. The laptop, however, includes information about access control which could possibly compromise security. But if somebody has successfully lifted it from inside Parliament, then it's quite possible that the laptop doesn't have a great deal useful to tell them. ®

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