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Another interpretation of a blunder

Coffee House links to the latest example of a government minister/official leaving potentially sensitive information on the train. As usual, one expects such stories to undermine yet further the credibility of government-created ID systems and databases. But I think it was our own Brian Micklethwait who wrote, a few months back (cannot find the link, sorry) that there is a chance that such “cockups” are deliberate.

What if such papers are being left lying around to create a false trail? Fanciful? Maybe. But it may just be that such officials are not quite as moronic as these stories suggest, or at least that another intepretation is worth thinking about.

Oh scratch that: they are all morons!

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7 comments to Another interpretation of a blunder

  • John K

    I’m sure you remember the time when Admiral West, now the government’s security tsar, “lost” some documents about cuts to the navy on a canal path (wot, no CCTV?), which were “found” by a journalist, who published them to the annoyance of the government and the pleasure of the Admiralty. He got a minor slap on the wrist and ended up First Sea Lord, so it does happen.

    In the case of Andy Burnham however, I would think he was busy applying his mascara, and just forgot his briefcase. Probably still traumatised at being jeered by 30,000 scousers last week!

  • guy herbert

    That’s the same Admiral West (“only a simple sailor”) who announced yesterday that HMG is indeed (after months of half denying it) aiming for on-demand tapping of any electronic communications, and a complete archive of all communications meta-data so where you live and who your friends are is available to officialdom for ever:

    And the same Andy Burnham (what sort of Ministry of Culture documents could be restricted, BTW?) who while junior minister responsible for the national identity scheme, said:

    I take the view that it is part of being a good citizen, proving who you are, day in day out.

  • John K

    As the man said, two cheeks of the same arse.

  • it may just be that such officials are not quite as moronic as these stories suggest
    Only if the officials are the ones who actually come up with these ideas. Watch any episode of Yes Minister for a hint of who might actually be coming up with the ideas.

  • Leaving laptops on a train (or in a taxi), just became outdated.(Link)

  • Pop quiz: is this(Link) an example of
    a) a genuine weakness of government computer systems?
    b) a false flag operation(Link), designed to prepare public opinion for more intrusive electronic and internet surveillance and regulation by the government?
    c) a peak into what the government is already capable of doing to private internet users?
    d) all of the above?

  • Laird

    Perceptive questions, Marc. I suspect that the answer is either (a) or (d), but we may never know.