Tuesday, December 18, 2007

An unstoppable flood

This is getting to be beyond a fucking joke.
The Government is reeling from a fresh data scandal after the pension details of more than 6,500 people were lost, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.

A data cartridge containing the information was misplaced by HM Revenue and Customs, which previously admitted losing two computer discs containing the entire child benefit database and the details of 25 million people.

The pensions cartridge is not encrypted or password protected and contains the details of policy holders with Countrywide Assured plc, leaving them open to the threat of identity fraud.

It holds their names, addresses, dates of birth, National Insurance numbers, a total valuation of their pension fund, the date of that valuation, the amount of their pension contributions and National Insurance rebates received. Their bank account details are not included.

I think that we should stop asking what data the incompetent fuckwits of the state have lost; it will be quicker simply to list the data that they haven't actually misplaced.

As the poor little Greek boy points out, this has probably been happening for years.
I repeat what I said last month when a slew of revelations about lost data came hard on the heels of the child benefit discs fiasco. Are we to believe that "junior officials", who up till November were following procedures to a tee, have all of a sudden become incredibly sloopy? That mail and data transfer systems that had been working fine are now suddenly going haywire at the rate of one a week?

No, the only conclusion any sensible person can draw is this: that this has always been happening and it happens all the time, that government has always been cavalier with our data, and that our names, addresses and bank account numbers have been lost in the post, gone missing in transit or thrown in the bin for years now. The only difference is that previously nobody in government could be fucked to tell us about it, whereas now, in the wake of the child benefit fiasco, they have no choice but to do so—and, even then, reluctantly and nine months after the event.

Indeed, the corollary of this is that the state should not be allowed to hold any but the most basic data sets. But will they admit this? Will they fuck says Tom Paine (I paraphrase, of course. Ahem).
If they knew how the world worked, they would understand that government on the scale we have it now is doomed to fail. Millions of people administering tens of millions of other people's money will never take care of how it is spent. Especially when more can simply be taken by force to meet any shortfall. Such people will inevitably be taken for a ride by service providers. They will be overcharged and under served in every respect. With no meaningful economic forces at play in their lives, their employees will be lackadaisical at best; corrupt at worst. Yet our "leaders" have no such concerns. Every day they propose some aspect of our lives that they should manage. The grandiosity of their schemes varies inversely with their ability to execute them.

Almost all politicians are completely fucking useless, and the Tories will be no more efficient; the only way in which they might be better is that they might try to actually do less. However, I wouldn't bet on it: those fuckers are just as likely to cling onto power—and knowledge, or data, is power too—as the rest of the corrupt bastards.

Hanging's too good for them. I'll get the cockroach-sharpener...


Tom Paine said...

Thanks for the link, DK. A name check would have been nice. B^)

Devil's Kitchen said...

Heh. Happy now?


Anonymous said...

Wait for the suggestion to prevent the loss of all this data!

Anonymous said...

Delighted. A perfect paraphrase. Thanks. B^)

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