Another day, another stash of Governmental and National secrets goes missing. Once again the information wasn’t meant to be there, and once again the information was not encrypted.
Hazel Blears, this time a senior Government Minister, decided that she could bloody well do what she liked with national secrets. Her ‘Office’ have been quick to make this seem like a storm in a teacup saying:
“The PC did not contain any secret or top-secret information and the contents of the PC are protected.”
There are four levels are of secrets information – restricted, confidential, secret and top secret so everything is OK as it wasn’t anything from the top two levels! I assume that restricted and confidential are misnomers then, and that anything marked in such a way is actually publicly accessible information!
No, this is more serious than her ‘Office’ are letting on, nothing marked restricted, confidential, secret or top secret should be taken out of Parliament unless on an approved Government laptops, i.e. encrypted. This is her personal computer, it was not encrypted.
I can only assume that by ‘protected’ they mean that the Blears has a login password, which even I know is easy to circumvent. Password protected is not real protection, a quick Google search found any easy way to circumvent this. To take files off a hard drive you do not even need to log in, or even use windows for that matter.
All the media coverage has also made the thief acutely aware of the price of their booty and they are ready, I am sure, to sell those secrets to the highest bidder.
Blears is apparently under investigation by the police and I can see no reason why she should not be prosecuted for this. The Official Secrets Act was created for a reason and the categories restricted, confidential, secret and top secret were created for a reason and the rule about only accessing such files remotely on a secure laptop is there for a reason. Blears obviously thought that they were not.
Being a politician, the worst she’ll get is a slap on the wrist, or perhaps be forced to resign, laws don’t really apply to such people. And of course, we only have her word for it that no top secret information was on that PC, she was hardly likely to admit it was she?
It’s shocking that a senior Government Minister could be so blasé with top secret information. Then again most of these MPs see crime as something that happens to other people.