Two computer discs holding the personal details of all families in the UK with a child under 16 have gone missing.
The Child Benefit data on them includes name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number and, where relevant, bank details of 25 million people.
Why anyone is surprised, I don't know; Tom Paine agrees and is, indeed, thankful for their stupidity.
As most of my fellow-citizens seem inclined to surrender their (and my) independence to it, the incompetence of the British State is actually my only hope of one day living a free life in my own country. If you lived next door to a monster with unbridled power, wouldn't you be glad if it was short-sighted, forgetful and stupid?
Fucking hellski, though: fucking bank details! And the government's advice?
Chancellor Alistair Darling said there was no evidence the data had gone to criminals - but urged people to monitor bank accounts "for unusual activity".
Brilliant! Thanks Alistair.
Iain Dale wonders whether anyone will sue but, as Nation of Shopkeepers points out, a recent ruling showed that HMRC have no duty of care and cannot be sued. In other words, no matter how they fuck up, these bastards will get away with it. More evidence, if you needed it, that the state is not your fucking friend.
As ever, the Daily Mash finds humour in the whole situation.
DARLING SENDS 25 MILLION BANK RECORDS TO NIGERIAN DOCTOR
CHANCELLOR Alistair Darling has admitted sending millions of bank account details to a Nigerian doctor who contacted him earlier this week.
The Chancellor told the House of Commons he had received a 'very moving email' from a Dr Kwantana in Lagos who is hoping to begin a new life in Canada.
Luckily, we know that this hasn't happened because, via Alan, there is a very interesting auction on eBay...
Here we have two CD-R's for auction. They are not blank, but seem to have some sort of database written to them. I found them in my local courier firm's sorting office, addressed to
"Her Majesties Audit Office - Child Benefits Section" and marked
"Sensitive HM Government Information - DO NOT LOSE - ENSURE THESE DISKS DO NOT FALL INTO THE HANDS OF THE CRIMINAL FRATERNITY"
They were obviously surplus to requirements.
I haven't read the data myself. The database appears to have approximately 25 milion records in it, but is password protected, so it is impossible to read it and it's definitely impossible to extract any bank account data from it.
Any information that you might discover (should you be lucky enough to win the auction for these useful items and read the database thereon) must be kept in the strictest confidence.
0.99p start and no reserve, so grab yourself a bargain. All profit from these items will be donated to Sue Ryder Care.
Cash on collection ONLY please from Portsmouth PO8, since we wouldn't want these to get lost in the post!
PLEASE NOTE: Government departments should contact me by email before bidding, since they will have to be vetted for competence before entrusting such items to them.
UPDATE: Dizzy has the best assessment of this that I have seen, approaching it from the data security aspect.
In the private sector, companies are heavily governed by regulations on this matter and have to meet all manner of compliancy testing else face PR hell and massive penalty fines. If the company is listed on a US market they have to meet Sarbanes-Oxley compliance which is even stricter too and can result in jail time for directors. Are Government systems anywhere close to compliance?
Does anyone want to bet that the answer is "no"?