Feeds

Transcript disappears minister's 'hack-proof' ID register claim

So who hacked Hansard?

Top three mobile application threats

At the end of February Home Office minister Meg Hillier explained the UK ID scheme security system to the Home Affairs Committee. "The National Identity Register, essentially," she said, "will be a secure database; ...hack-proof, not connected to the Internet... not be accessible online; any links with any other agency will be down encrypted links."

Except she didn't, apparently, because by the time the Committee session transcript was published, here, Hillier words had become: "The National Identity Register, essentially, will be a secure database; it will not be accessible online; any links with any other agency will

be down encrypted links."

Spooky? We are indebted to William Heath's Ideal Government blog for spotting the difference between what was actually said (noted at the time by an eyewitness) and what appeared in the official record. We should also explain at this point that Hansard, the UK parliamentary record system, is not intended to function as an entirely verbatim transcript of proceedings. It is largely verbatim, but includes some facility for publishing what the speaker meant to say, or perhaps even what they ought to have said.

Ordinarily, however, changes amount to little more than polishing and seldom materially affect the meaning. Ordinarily...

In this case, the removal of "hack-proof, not connected to the Internet" goes some way beyond minor polishing. Do we understand from this that Hillier's officials think it unwise (which, of course, it is) to claim that the NIR is hack-proof? And are they keen to leave wiggle-room on Internet connectivity? A database that is "not accessible online" is not necessarily the same thing as a database that is not connected to the Internet, depending on what you might mean by "not accessible".

Hillier is relatively new to the ID card brief at the Home Office, and has come up with several improbable and/or unfortunate claims in recent months (e.g., "we should see an identity card, like a passport, in country"). At the Committee session, Ideal Government reports that "the officials present were passing notes to try to get her back on message", which we would guess is just the sort of thing that's likely to prompt the acute observer to take especially careful notes. It's a tough job minding some people. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.