Feeds

Thief swipes cabinet minister's laptop from Salford office

Don't worry, nothing really top secret on it

Security for virtualized datacentres

Gordon Brown’s government has lost another batch of sensitive information, this time courtesy of one of his own cabinet ministers.

A laptop belonging to Hazel Blears, the Communities and Local Government secretary, was stolen from her constituency office in Salford over the weekend, it emerged this afternoon.

The Press Association, quoting a government spokesman, said the PC was primarily used for Blears’ constituency work, and carried “some material from her department.”

“None of the departmental material included sensitive personal data about the public or would be of use to criminals,” the spokesman soothed. However, it is not “personal information” that is the issue of the week, but the government’s loss of top secret eyes only type stuff, after Whitehall staffers spent last Wednesday dumping bundles of hush-hush files on commuter trains running in and out of Waterloo.

The spokesman told PA that: "The PC did not contain any secret or top secret information and the contents of the PC are protected and clearly this is now subject to a routine police investigation."

The BBC however reported that “the machine contained a combination of constituency and government information which should not have been held on it". These included “sensitive documents relating to defence and extremism,” the Beeb said.

Blears’ department recently said it would send teams of Whitehall staffers into areas which had received large numbers of immigrants to help ease “friction”. It’d be a fair bet that “sensitive” documents detailing this policy might have been on the machine, and at best these could produce some embarrassment for the government.

Even more embarrassing though is the fact that despite repeated claims by the government that it took data security seriously, civil servants, and now even Cabinet ministers, clearly think the rules don’t actually apply to them. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.