Feeds

Thief swipes cabinet minister's laptop from Salford office

Don't worry, nothing really top secret on it

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.