Feeds

Border Agency comes out with another e-Borders deadline

Pop it in the diary so you can have a laugh in 2014

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The UK government has defended its under-fire Border Agency after MPs blasted the e-Borders passenger-scrutinising system as broken and its £9m iris scanners a waste of money.

The written response to a Parliamentary select committee's report on the agency does make some concrete promises including extending the e-Borders technology to cover maritime and railway passengers by 2014.

The traveller identification project has slipped some notable deadlines: by July 2011, the e-Borders system was collecting details of 55 per cent of passengers and crew on airlines, with no coverage of ferries or trains. The original target was to collect 95 per cent of passenger and crew details from everywhere by December 2010, and that could take another 2 years from now.

"We believe that the technical ability to collect data from the rail and maritime sector can be delivered by December 2014," the government report stated, although officials haven't worked out a way to deal with the data yet. "We are working closely with these sectors, and European partners, to find an operationally viable way to capture this data."

In response to the lack of confidence in e-Gates evinced by Border Agency staff - as well as the complaints from frustrated travellers - the government reiterated that the smart chip-checking gates are fine, and made some commitments to step up communications with front-line staff. They added that they'd improved the servicing contract for the eGates:

We work closely with our suppliers to ensure we provide a good e—Gate service and we have recently improved our service management contract to a 24/7 service. The resilience of the e—Gate system is achieved by having banks of e—Gates that allow the service to continue even when one gate develops a fault.

The government also batted off criticisms that the figures and data coming out of the Border Agency was so opaque and contradictory that even the agency's own CEO couldn't understand it, promising to be as transparent as possible.

And as for the £9m spent on iris scanners - withdrawn this year - and the stored eye scans of 5 million people who used them, the government repeated that both would be decommissioned this year:

The lifespan of any IT equipment is finite. IRIS is planned for closure because the system is close to the end of its useful life. IRIS images (not retinal scans), along with all personal data, will be destroyed six months after de—commissioning.

The Whitehall bods stuck to their story that the data gathered from the iris scanner trials was useful in helping them decide not to use Iris scanners any more: "We are currently developing a strategic plan for automation but it is likely that IRIS as a biometric will not be used." ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
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.