Feeds

Border Agency comes out with another e-Borders deadline

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

High performance access to file storage

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And as for the £9m spent on iris scanners - withdrawn this year - and the stored eye scans of 5 million people who used them, the government repeated that both would be decommissioned this year: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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
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
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
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.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
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.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.