Articles about Cabinet

IBM botched geo-block designed to save Australia's census

Australia's Bureau of Statistics has heavily criticised IBM for the security it applied to the nation's failed online census, which was taken offline after a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that battered a curiously flimsy defensive shield. The Bureau also admits it could have done better in a submission (PDF) to a …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Sep 2016
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Woo hoo, UK.gov has unveiled yet another tech creche – for infosec

Plans are afoot in Westminster to burn even more taxpayers' cash by launching a new cyber-security startup accelerator in Cheltenham. The accelerator will be the umpteenth vehicle for funnelling money to muppets since the coalition government came to power. Other accelerators have included a military technology free-money …
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'Strategic' submarine cable to connect islands where locals just emerged from stone age

India's government has decided to build a submarine cable between the city of Chennai and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The where? The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are about 1,300km east of India, way out in the Bay of Bengal. The Islands are home to about 380,000 people, among them the Jarawa people who lived a more-or-less …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Sep 2016
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Margaret Hodge's book outlines 'mind boggling' UK public sector waste

Review It’s impossible to read former bollocker-in-chief Margaret Hodge’s account of being chair of the government's spending watchdog without repeatedly banging your head against the wall. Hodge presided over the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee between 2010-2015, during the coalition government’s austerity programme. …
Kat Hall, 20 Sep 2016

UK.gov oughta get its data-sharing house in order before Digital Economy Bill plans

Analysis The government has a funny notion of how to tackle failure. When it comes to contracts, suppliers that have routinely messed up are handed more deals. When it comes to policy, approaches that have proved unsuccessful get dusted off and pushed with renewed vigour. The author who wrote "the definition of insanity is doing the …
Kat Hall, 19 Sep 2016
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So, Gov.UK infosec in 2015. 'Chaotic'. Cost £300m. NINE THOUSAND data breaches...

The Cabinet Office is failing to coordinate the UK's government departments' efforts to protect their information according to a damning report by the National Audit Office. The NAO found that the Cabinet Office failed in its duty and ambition to coordinate and lead government departments’ efforts in protecting such …

When Irish eyes are filing: Ireland to appeal Europe's $15bn Apple tax claw-back

The Irish government formally decided to appeal the European Commission's $14.5 billion back-tax demand on Friday. "There are some very important principles at stake in this case," said the country's finance minister Michael Noonan. "A robust legal challenge before the courts is essential to defend Ireland's interests." "The …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Sep 2016

George W Bush hacker Guccifer to spend 52 months in the big house

Notorious celebrity hacker Guccifer will spend at least four years in prison on charges of identity theft and unauthorized access to computer systems. Guccifer – in real life, taxi driver Marcel Lehel Lazar, 44, of Romania – was sentenced today by US district court judge James Cacheris after hearing of Lazar's lack of remorse …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Sep 2016
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Good job, Oz feds: Conroy wants you investigated for privilege and contempt

As was inevitable, the fate of the “NBN documents” is off to the Australian Senate's privileges committee. The referral to the committee was a formality, since nobody in the Senate wants to find themselves raided by the Australian Federal Police for receiving leaked documents. However, Senator Stephen Conroy, chief target of …

Beardy Ed Vaizey: 'I can't let go. I like the tech sector'

Interview One month after Theresa May swept into government, former culture and digital minister Ed Vaizey is relatively sanguine about getting the sack. "The reason for me not being in my job is due to political reasons ... I didn't have perhaps enough credentials for her [sic] to stay in my post or even stay in government. Others did …
Kat Hall, 23 Aug 2016
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UK.gov depts in post-Mad Frankie Maude landgrab over IT spending controls

Analysis Government departments are winning significantly more exemptions to splash the cash on expensive IT projects since the departure of former Cabinet Office minister Francis “Mad Frankie” Maude last year, according to a Register analysis. The Department for Work and Pensions alone was given the green light for £200m in IT …
Kat Hall, 22 Aug 2016

Ofcom should push for fibre – Ex BT CTO

Tomorrow UK comms watchdog Ofcom will announce its plans for strengthening Openreach’s independence from BT and creating a more competitive UK broadband market. That follows a damning report by MPs last week that warned if BT doesn't get its house in order and address its significant under-investment in Blighty's …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016
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Asian nations mull regional 'Europol' in fight against cybercrime

RSA APAC A closed-door meeting of cabinet ministers from more than a dozen countries met yesterday to mull the creation of a Europol-style organisation to crack down on cyber crime in the region and abroad, The Register has learned. The Asian organisation is conceptual only, but has support from countries including China, Malaysia, …
Darren Pauli, 21 Jul 2016
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UK.gov digi peeps hunt open source chief

The British government’s Digital Service is looking for a chief penguin to head up open source. GDS has created a brand-new position for an individual to conduct open source technology projects, adoption and working practices for the government's IT arm. Moreover, the chosen candidate will be charged with forging …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Jul 2016
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UK 'emergency' bulk data slurp permissible in pursuit of 'serious crime'

Bulk collection of data from phone calls and emails by carriers acting under government orders could be permissible in the pursuit of “serious crime”. That’s the preliminary ruling in a case brought by Brexit chief minister David Davis against PM Theresa May before the European Union’s highest court. The ruling suggests bulk …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Jul 2016

Australia gets one-quarter of a minister for national infosec

If you were hoping tech would get some kind of boost in the Turnbull government's third ministry, prepare for disappointment. Mitch Fifield retains communications, and Fiona Nash remains minister for regional communications – which at least means the telcos don't have to spend the time and energy getting to know capturing …
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Ed Vaizey booted to backbench, Hancock booted to DCMS

New UK Prime Minister Theresa May's reshuffle last week resulted in higher pile of bodies than a Game of Thrones wedding. Among a number of big hitters to be axed, including George Osborne, was digital and cultural minister Ed Vaizey. Vaizey had held that position since 2010 and is succeeded by former Cabinet Office minister …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2016
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Lily Cole: Profit still looks almost Impossible.com

Impossible.com, the world-changing “sharing economy” website founded by millionaire supermodel and polymath Lily Cole lost even more money last year. Year end P&L accounts filed with Companies House revealed that I Am Possible Ltd - with Cole as director - was £257,889 in the red for year ended October 2015. That’s worse than …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016
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Backblaze hopes to melt Amazon Glacier customers' hearts

Backblaze has announced its B2 cloud object storage for $0.005/GB/month as an alternative to LTO tape drives. Unlike Amazon’s Glacier tape storage, its disk drive retrieval starts in seconds and takes minutes instead of hours and days, it claims. The first 10GB is free each month and there is no data upload charge. Download …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jul 2016
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£8 BILLION is locked into UK.gov's failing IT schemes, El Reg analysis reveals

The UK government has £8bn locked into IT contracts which are at high risk of failure, according to an analysis of the Infrastructure Project Authority's accounts by The Register. Of 143 major projects representing £405bn of government spending, The Register identified 19 IT projects that were flagged as “red” or “amber/red” …
Kat Hall, 07 Jul 2016
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Mind the GaaP: UK.gov needs to get a grip on digital

Analysis The UK government’s digital strategy is among the many things Brexit has put a lit match to, and, amid the current EU exit plan bunfighting, it’s unlikely to top any “Right, what the hell do we do now?” lists. Faced with the fallout from Brexit on IT systems, Whitehall technocrats will no doubt want to erect – or dust off – an …
Kat Hall, 05 Jul 2016
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UK digi strategy on ice post Brexit results - sources

BREXIT The UK government's long-awaited digital strategy has been put on ice following the landmark EU referendum decision last week, The Register has learnt. The strategy was intended to be a mixed bag of policy from the department for Culture, Media & Sport, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the Cabinet Office's …
Kat Hall, 27 Jun 2016
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Professor slams digital efforts of 'website-obsessed' government

A professor of digital governance has slammed Whitehall's IT 'transformation' efforts to date, blaming an obsession with websites for obstructing any real digitally-enabled revamps. Vishanth Weerakkody, who works at Brunel University, said: "Digital technology undoubtedly has huge potential to contribute to the functions of …
Kat Hall, 22 Jun 2016
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Microsoft cancels Remain speech after death of Labour MP

Exclusive Microsoft invited a UK government cabinet minister from the Remain camp to give its troops the big sell on why Blighty should stay in the EU – but shelved the meeting following the murder of MP Jo Cox, the company confirmed. The senior politician was to debrief the Windows giant's Brit workforce on the benefits of staying …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jun 2016
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Medicare payments privatisation dumped, but IT refresh is imminent

Australia's Medicare will have to contract its own systems to replace the current payment processing iron, with politics killing off the idea that payment processing could be privatised. The current government had long entertained hopes to get the payment processing off its books. However, that opened a political wedge for the …
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Voter registration site collapse proves genius of GDS, says minister

Sketch The high profile collapse of the UK Government Digital Service’s voter registration site last week only shows how brilliant the Government Digital Service is, says the minister responsible* for it. Matthew Hancock MP, minister for the Cabinet Office, ran through all the latest TED talk buzzwords (he's an Oxford PPE graduate) …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2016
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NBN chairman's rant breached caretaker conventions says public service boss

An op-ed written by nbnTM chairman Ziggy Switkowsky defending the company's handling of leaks breached the “caretaker conventions” that apply during election campaigns. That's according to the secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Martin Parkinson, in a letter published by Fairfax today. Following the …
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No 10's online EU vote signup crash 'inevitable' – GDS overseer

MPs have taken the Government’s digital masters to task for their inability to handle online voter registration for this month’s European Union referendum. Members grilled Cabinet Office minister for Government Policy Oliver Letwin after the Government Digital Service’s EU voter registration site crashed under "unexpected" …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Jun 2016

China pledges tighter privacy as it centralises personal health data

China will create “more comprehensive regulation and legislation in personal information and data protection” to facilitate a new national big data scheme it hopes will improve health policy and services. China's State Council (the equivalent of Cabinet) announced the strategy this week, with premier Li Keqiang declaring that …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016
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EU referendum frenzy bazookas online voter registration. It's another #GovtDigiShambles

Updated Registration to vote in the UK's EU referendum has been extended until midnight June 9 after No. 10's voter registration web site crashed. Legislation is being introduced to the House of Commons to extend the deadline for those wishing to register to vote in this month's referendum, minister for the Cabinet Office and …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Jun 2016
Archive

Brit upstart Arkivum gets new CEO

UK Archiving-as-a-Service product startup Arkivum has a new CEO, Guy Yaniv, who has been appointed three months after its new chairman, Jim McKenna, took office. Yaniv was general manager of customer experience analytics at NICE Systems, recently leading its cloud-based Big Data Customer Analytics Division. He moves into the …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jun 2016
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Oz PM's department red-faced after database leaks in the cc: field

The Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, in an excess of security ineptitude, has mistaken the cc: field for the bcc: field. The inevitable result: a database of names and addresses has leaked. The department, on behalf of the Australian government, was e-mailing women on a register called AppointWomen to tell …
Snail photo Jurgen Schoner CC wikimedia

Switkowski wades into NBN leak debate, ALP is furious

nbnTMchair Ziggy Switkowski has penned an article for Fairfax saying the “NBN leakers” aren't whistleblowers, but partisan ideologues. The article, coming as it did during an election campaign, has drawn immediate fire from the ALP's Tony Burke, who accuses Switkowski of breaching the “caretaker conventions”. With the …
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More than half of people on UK counter-terror biometrics databases are innocent

A new report from the UK's independent biometrics commissioner has revealed that more than half of people on British counter-terrorism databases are innocent, more than a thousand more than previously thought. The commissioner has revised upwards his figures on fingerprint and DNA profile retention, stating that 53 per cent of …

Blighty's National Cyber Security Centre cyber-reveals cyber-blueprints

The UK government has released the prospectus for its National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), ahead of the launch of the facility this Autumn. The blueprint [PDF] outlines that the NCSC will act as a hub for sharing best practices in security between public and private sectors, and will tackle cyber incident response. As …
John Leyden, 26 May 2016

Don't tell the Cabinet Office: HMRC is building its own online ID system

HMRC is pushing ahead with its own plans to build an online authentication portal following the decommissioning of the current Gateway portal in 2018, according to multiple sources. One source said the department is building its own authentication capability that will deal with businesses – something the Government Digital …
Kat Hall, 24 May 2016
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Business dept sinks £14m into canned shared services plan

The department for Business, Innovation and Skills has sunk £14m in consolidating its legacy kit as part of a cross-government shared services plan that it later pulled out of. According to an FOI response, BIS invested £13.9m during the first phase of consolidating back office services for the department and 13 public bodies …
Kat Hall, 23 May 2016

Wayne Rooney razzles in X-Men: Apocalypse plug

It's Friday, and if you need a solid excuse to run screaming from your PC in search of a pint, look no further than this direful Manchester United plug for X-Men: Apocalypse: Anything for the team you say, @WayneRooney? Good luck! #XMenApocalypse https://t.co/ym1XtMansq — Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 20, 2016 Reaction …
Lester Haines, 20 May 2016
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Shared services centres supposed to save £128m saved £0... and cost £4m

Moves to shift departments' back office servers and ERP systems into two privately owned shared services centres - which had been touted as set to save the taxpayer £128m - have failed to prove "value for money", according to a report by the National Audit Office. The shared services centres, run separately by IT provider …
Kat Hall, 20 May 2016

What's holding up Canada's internet?

Sysadmin Blog Canadian internet providers are frequently bemoaned as terrible. Americans get lots of media play about getting the sharp end of the stick from their providers, but many Canadians look longingly at the internet packages south of the border and wonder: what's the holdup in Canada? While Canadians usually like to fool ourselves …
Trevor Pott, 19 May 2016

Remember when gov.uk said it would give big biz contracts to SMEs?

The Cabinet Office has lost its enthusiasm for prising open Whitehall's wallet and handing more cash to SMEs, according to a report by the Committee of Public Accounts today. Back in 2010, the government pledged to carve off 25 per cent of its £45bn spend in goods and services to small businesses. But today the committee said …
Kat Hall, 18 May 2016
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PHP pioneer and Zend co-founder enlists for AWS big-data mission

Andi Gutmans, a pioneer in scripting language PHP and co-founder of Zend Technologies, has joined Amazon’s cloud. Gutmans has become general manager of the NoSQL Group, part of the AWS data services unit. According to his LinkedIn profile, Gutmans is “working on the next generation of NoSQL database”. Gutmans blogged here: “ …
Gavin Clarke, 16 May 2016

UK.gov is about to fling your data at anyone who wants it. How? Why? Shut up, pleb

Analysis The government is poised to legislate on how it intends to use your data for public services – but its woefully worded “data sharing” consultation suggests it hasn't learnt much from the ongoing controversies of Care.data. Whitehall is due to publish a response to the consultation, set out in Better Use of Data - Consultation …
Kat Hall, 13 May 2016
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Super cool: Arctic data centres aren't just for Facebook

Dotted around the near-Arctic are several data centres, each taking advantage of the cold air in that region. We know that low temperatures are great for cooling, but it isn’t the only reason that operators chose those locations. Facebook opened its data centre in Luleå, northern Sweden in 2011. Google rolled out its Hamina …
Danny Bradbury, 12 May 2016
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UK's GDS to hire 300 folk. Silver lining: They'll be evicted from Holborn

The UK Government Digital Service (GDS) is to hire nearly 300 more staff, beefing up its full-time employees to 830, according to sources. As such, the body is planning to move from Aviation House in Holborn, London, where it has been based since its formation in 2011. Apparently that office is no longer big enough. Insiders …
Kat Hall, 29 Apr 2016
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Central gov spent £6.3bn on IT. Nearly half handed to just 3 suppliers

Central government splashed £6.3bn with IT suppliers for the year 2014/15 – with 42 per cent going to just three suppliers, according to government data shared with The Register. Sixty-five per cent of the total figure was hoovered up by 10 suppliers, with HP coming top at £1.2bn, followed by Capgemini at £861m, and BT at £ …
Kat Hall, 29 Apr 2016
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Whitehall waste: Cash splashed on consultants and temps up 90% in half decade

Update Taxpayers cash that government spends on consultants and temporary staff has soared by up to 90 per cent over the last five years to £1.3bn, as Whitehall struggled to build technical skills in-house, an official report confirmed. The Committee of Public Accounts probe into temp costs found departments’ overall spending had …
Kat Hall, 22 Apr 2016
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Hey, Britain! Meet Mr Maxwell, our new National Tech Advisor

The government's chief technology officer, Liam Maxwell, is escaping the Digital Services wing to take up the newly created post of National Technology Advisor. Under the promotion, the former head of IT at private school Eton will provide consultancy on Blighty's digital economy. Maxwell, who is leaving the post earlier than …
Kat Hall, 18 Apr 2016
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Ah, so that's why Adapt wasn't put in the shop window in 2015

The reason why Lyceum-backed Adapt remains Lyceum-backed is contained in their latest set of annual profit and loss accounts - company growth stalled and so a sales process was halted. The London-based outfit was expected to come onto the market last last year and tasked M&A and corporate finance advisor ARMA Partners with …
Paul Kunert, 18 Apr 2016
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HMRC Verify is '2nd class'

HMRC's new Personal Tax portal won't work fully with new ID system Verify. You can do your personal tax management online, but the GOV.UK webpage warns "you won’t be able to use some services" if you use Verify. Instead you’ll need the Government Gateway to get all the services, HMRC warns. It’s a further blow to the Cabinet …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Apr 2016