Articles about Home Office

Nokia 3310 family - colourful retro-looking line-up

UK Home Office re-bans cheap call gateways because 'terrorism'

Security minister Ben Wallace has signed a direction banning commercial multi-user phone gateways in the UK over terrorism fears – barely a week after the only ever prosecution for operating one flopped following years of Kafkaesque wrangling. The direction to Ofcom (PDF, 1 page), made under section 5(3)(a) of the …
Gareth Corfield, 26 Sep 2017
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

UK Home Office finds £20m to throw at Oracle cloudy ERP

The Home Office has tossed a paltry £20m of taxpayers' cash at Accenture and Oracle implementation outfit Certus Solutions to deploy a cloudy ERP system that hopefully works overhauls the way back-office services are provided. The aim of two-year contract, tendered on the UK.gov’s G-Cloud supplier framework, is to update …
Paul Kunert, 11 Sep 2017

UK govt steams ahead with £5m facial recog system amid furore over innocents' mugshots

The UK Home Office has put out to tender a £4.6m ($5.9m) contract for facial recognition software – despite the fact its biometrics strategy and retention systems remain embroiled in controversy. According to the tender announcement, a company is sought to provide "a combination of biometric algorithm software and associated …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Aug 2017

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3, 4G: Tube comms trials for emergency crews

Transport for London has tentatively started testing 4G on the Tube for emergency services. TfL's CTO said he was not "absolutely confident" it would be complete by January, 2019, however. The £2.9bn Airwave contract, which dates from 2000, will be switched off by 2020 and replaced by the 4G Emergency Services Network (ESN) …
Kat Hall, 19 Jul 2017
Screengrab from the Thick of IT - Brit govt satirical comedy show. Cast text furiously while in crisis mode.

One-quarter of UK.gov IT projects at high risk of failure

One-quarter of the UK government’s major IT programmes worth a total lifetime cost of £8bn are at high risk of failure, according to a Register analysis of the major project watchdog's annual report of 143 government programmes worth over £455bn. The Infrastructure Projects Authority report rated 39 ICT projects worth £18.6bn …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2017

UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

The UK government will push through orders next month to force all communications companies including Google and Facebook to break data encryption. That's according to the Sun newspaper, which quotes a government minister as saying "we will do this as soon as we can after the election, as long as we get back in. The level of …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 May 2017
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Just how screwed is IT at the Home Office?

The departure of UK Home Office chief information officer Sarah Wilkinson after two years at the helm comes at an interesting – and crucial – time for the department. Unlike many other Whitehall bodies, the Home Office is responsible for a number of mission- and life-critical programmes, a number of which are in the process of …
Kat Hall, 28 Apr 2017

UK.gov throws hissy fit after Twitter chokes off snoop firm's access

Twitter has reportedly blocked a third-party firm used by the Home Office from accessing its firehose, prompting the government to complain that the social network is siding with terrorists. In a Home Office press release dutifully churned by the Daily Telegraph and The Sun at bang on 10pm last night, the government whined …
Gareth Corfield, 26 Apr 2017
Trump

UK Home Office warns tech staff not to tweet negative Donald Trump posts

Exclusive The UK Home Office is warning staff and contractors not to tweet or retweet negative posts about Donald Trump, in an email about its social media guidance seen by The Register. In a missive to the department's Digital, Data and Technology unit last week, it told staff "a quick look through just a couple of known personal …
Kat Hall, 13 Mar 2017
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UK Home Office spy powers unit pretended it was a private citizen in Ofcom consultation

Exclusive The UK Home Office's Investigatory Powers Unit (HOIPU) anonymously responded to an Ofcom consultation urging the regulator to maintain a "security"-related ban on GSM devices that help people get cheap calls abroad. The HOIPU sent its anonymous response, written as if it came from a private citizen and not a government …
Schoolkids in uniform studying with books/apple. Photo by shutterstock

UK Home Office slurps 1,500 schoolkids' records per month

Brit schools are sharing the census records of up to 1,500 pupils per month as part of an attempt by the Home Office to crack down on illegal immigrants. The agreement has been in place since June 2015 under a memorandum of understanding with the Department for Education (DfE). The information came to light after it was …
Kat Hall, 16 Dec 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

Home Office extends mega 18-year Fujitsu contract

The Home Office has extended its mega Fujitsu contract to 2018, meaning that when the contract ends it will have been running for the best part of two decades. That is in contrast to the Cabinet Office's long-standing goal to get government departments to break up their expensive legacy contracts with single suppliers. The …
Kat Hall, 27 Oct 2016

Report: UK counter-terrorism plan Prevent is 'unjust', 'counterproductive'

Prevent is “not only unjust but also counterproductive” according to a study into the human rights impact of the strategy, which revealed how a 14-year-old was targeted over a Facebook photograph. Launched in 2003, Prevent evolved out of the panic regarding “home grown” terrorism, and involved entering Muslim children into the …
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

£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, 7 Jul 2016

Extension to blue light services' Airwave network is on the cards

The Home Office has already worked out the cost of extending Blighty's radio-based emergency services network, in the increasingly-likely scenario that a move to ubiquitous 4G coverage cannot be delivered by 2020. The £2.9bn digital radio communications Tetra (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) supplied by Airwave is currently due to …
Kat Hall, 1 Jul 2016
Phone thief, photo via Shutterstock

Home Office staff: Over 100 of our work mobiles lost or pinched last year

The UK Home Office has revealed that its ICT losses for 2015 amounted to 125 devices. In a publication today, notably pushed out shortly after The Register's expose of the department's mega database project, the Home Office has published information about its annual ICT losses for 2015. These losses may provoke concern as the …

Home Office declares: Detained immigrants shall have internet

The Home Office has issued guidance demanding that immigration detainees are provided with internet access so they can maintain “links with friends, families and legal representatives and to prepare for removal.” Publishing Detention Services Order 04/2016 (PDF) the Home Office has responded to an independent review into the …
Policeman claps in London street

Non-police orgs merrily accessed PNC without authority, says HMIC

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which inspects Britain's police forces, has reported on several cases of misuse of the Police National Computer (PNC) by non-police organisations. The PNC is a law enforcement database that holds personal information about people arrested by police or convicted of crimes – as …

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