e-Government Framework is Rather Broken

FIPR colleagues and I have written a response to the recent Cabinet Office consultation on the proposed Framework for e-Government. We’re not very impressed. Whitehall’s security advisers don’t seem to understand phishing; they protect information much less when its compromise could harm private citizens, rather than government employees (which is foolish given how terrorists and violent lobby groups work nowadays); and as well as the inappropriate threat model, there are inappropriate policy models. Government departments that follow this advice are likely to build clunky, expensive, insecure systems.

4 thoughts on “e-Government Framework is Rather Broken

  1. This issue is not specific to the “Framework for e-Government”. Whitehall could do a lot worse than throw a few ¬£million at OpenID and related initiatives.

  2. Ross,

    From what has been seen of other E-Initiatives in the past the primary requirment appears to be get consultants in to say yes, to any idea from the top no mater how ridiculous in nature or time scale and then plan how do we spend money lots of money with “high tec” companies, and trample any oposition to the process.

    Normaly I would not sully a blog with political bile but, on this occasion it is actually background to why I suspect your work will get little more than lip service.

    –Bile on–
    Of course this desire to procead on these major ICT Projects with all of this unreasoned unseamly hast to get overly expensive inefectual, impractical and unsecure systems in place would have nothing to do with things like money flowing back in the oposit direction.

    Oh and nice little directorship jobs for those failing to be re-elected and lets not forget the senior civil servents looking to spread their wings into industry (where the real money is supposedly to be found after tthey have handed it out).

    How does the money flow back, by little things like sponsorship of industry discussion events which are realy political lobying events, taking exhibition stands at political conferences and events and all sorts of other “hidden” party political fund raising,

    Also by other less minor means such as a director of a well known (in terms of failing) company making a personal donation of a very large sum of money (by comparison to the average wage) into party political funds.

    Did any of this behaviour have a cautionary effect on those handing out the contracts and money to the companies?

    No not at all, in fact the very oposit, but then there would of course be no reason for cautions would there, other than it would be most inapropriate if it where known publicly.

    And then we find out that a “watch dog” who is supposedly there to protect the interests of the voter agains this sort of sleaze, when he dares to wimper a little bit about a deputy priminister taking undeclaired freebies from organisations and people with extreamly vested interests, the Prime Minister goes out of his way to ensure that the watch dog’s contract does not get renewed. I assume as a warning to whom ever followes to keep their mouth shut.
    –Bile off–

    As I said Normaly I would avoid political coment but it goes part of the wat to explain why sound common sense reasoning that would protect not just the public but the “lords and masters” as well is going to be effectivly ignored.

    I suspect that you and your coleagues will be written off as “Ivory tower academics with no sense of the real world”. After all those who hand out the money and those who receive it have absolutly no interest in doing anything sensibly just as long as the gravey train keeps on rolling at full steam.

    However it does not fully explain it and I am left with a very clear sense of unease over the way the current incumberents are trying to gather and centralise as much data as possible about individuals. Whilst also puting into place as many rules and regulations as possible to prevent the individuals objecting to their confidential data being treated this way.

    Esspecialy when you consider that a number of the current incumberents at ministerial level had good reason to complain about the survalence they found themselves under in the past.

    If you step back from the issue and look again you see a situation arising that Stalin could have only dreamed of, and would have given Orwell even worse night mares at the bottom of Pond Street.

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