back to article Government halts work on Scope intelligence network

Ministers have frozen the development of the Scope project, a secure computer network providing key officials with speedy access to secret intelligence on terrorism and other threats. The government has refused to disclose the cost of Scope, but it has been described by parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) as …

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Lack of intelligence?

Surely they can just use secure e-mail to a dedicated Blackberry-style device?

How hard/expensive can it be?

Although you'd have to trust the Canadians...

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Happy

Maybe

Maybe they have realised that spending millions on a highly secure network is pointless when using it to deliver information to the same government officials who will leave it on a train.

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Anonymous Coward

heh

it was stopped to divert funds into the ID card scheme (whichi s of course going to stop all terrorism)

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Paris Hilton

Well there you go ...

>> The technology involved in making the system secure is more complicated than

>> officials first realised when funding for the project was approved in 2003. The

>> costs escalated as contractors and departments struggled to solve the problems.

So, they have found out that security is hard. And proper security is very hard indeed. Well, what a suprise. I assume that they were using the experts from the Child Benefit Office, the Passport Office to assist senior civil servants who use trains out of Waterloo as their advisers.

So, back to the drawing board, I guess. Or more likely, they will print the sumaries and fax them around. Thats secure, surely?

Paris - because she learnt the hard way that even private data is rarely secure.

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Can't do an Extranet?

The "intelligence community" can't manage to cobble together an Extranet?

I mean, how secure does it need to be? What'd be wrong with running SSL on top of an IPsec VPN or something? Lots of companies run well-configured and administered IPsec VPNs, surely its a a good beginning for the netowrk security part. Then make sure any PCs are made tamper-proof, put a good network architecture with clean seperation between accesible and inacessible, Host material on a system that can account for who sees each document and when. This would be good enough for sharing analysts' output, certainly against any non-governmental attack, certainly more secure than the people involved.

Back to the paper age for them!

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Alien

Scope IntelAIgents do not halt work on Government.

"The technology involved in making the system secure is more complicated than officials first realised when funding for the project was approved in 2003. The costs escalated as contractors and departments struggled to solve the problems."

Hmmmm. £7,777,777 for AI Solutions to Complicated Intelligence Problems are the Bargain of the Century and no more than Chicken Feed, in Anyone's Book.

And that is Pretty Specific, is it not? .... and with MI5, MI6 and GCHQ for ConneXXXXion, £23,333,331.00 [which incidentally is Failsafe RingFenced against any Capital Loss thus Ensuring Guaranteed Added Value for Money Lodged in Innovative Safe Havens which I suppose would be not dissimilar to Ye Olde Gilts in the System, albeit under Novel Popular Proxy Virtualised Control.

RSVP amfM

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So, it's an expensive intranet then.

And they can't get it working?

I reckon the spooks are just claiming that so they can avoid giving access to all those civil servants who'll inevitably end up saving copies on their laptops before they lose them somewhere.

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"undisclosed reasons at an undisclosed cost"

Reason: It doesn't work.

Cost: Too much.

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Anonymous Coward

Secure?

Yeah, as we all know governments employ the most secure practices with their data...

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Everyone here knows

When a variable goes out of scope, its value is at best inaccessible and at worst total garbage. Tell it to the horse marines in the security apparatus.

"The technology involved in making the system secure is more complicated than officials first realised". Especially if they hadn't read Kafka's story "The Burrow".

// no icon spooky enough (tho there are plenty toothy enough)

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been watching too much spooks me thinks

with all their flashy gizmos and screens hidden away in thames house.. they'll be wanting revolving glass security airlocks and immunity from driving vauxhall vectras really fast round the streets of london..

fact they couldn't get it working shouldn't be a shock to anyone.

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@amanformMars

> £7,777,777

<pant>yes yes yes yes yes</pant>

> for AI Solutions to Complicated Intelligence Problems are the Bargain of the Century and no more than Chicken Feed,

<query><quote agent=33>My name is Chicken, Finger Licken' Chicken</quote></query>

> and with MI5, MI6 and GCHQ for ConneXXXXion,

I am sure in Langley, Red Square, and Tell A Viv Another Porky there were a few "oh well, scratch another one"s.

> Money Lodged in Innovative Safe Havens which I suppose would be not dissimilar to Ye Olde Gilts in the System, albeit under Novel Popular Proxy Virtualised Control.

I would suppose so. And yet they still peddle the Same Old Guilts - perhaps because, despite rampant hyper-inflation, they can still get a most excellent rate of exchange on their commerce. Who needs a new religion when the old one will do?

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@ 1for the road

1fortheroad

If you thought it is that easy, why not apply for a job? Clearly everyone who works on the project is far too stupid to pick up on the obvious solution you have so cleverly outlined in 2 minutes. There can't possibly be any other complications in building a system so secure that the full resources of the worlds best intelligence agencies can't break it.

Why oh why does everyone always assume that people working on government projects are morons and think that they can do better???

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Boffin

@IHateWearingATie

Part of the problem with anything involving GCHQ is that they are so keen on using their own methods and algorithms that they won't use well reviewed publicly used things like SSL, IPSEC, VPNs etc. That leads to extra costs, increased timescales and probably not a lot of extra security.

I'll grant that this sort of thing isn't easy, but they make it harder for themselves with this approach

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Dead Vulture

@all the fools

Who says ss/vpn/ipsec is secure and has not been hacked ?

Just because you dont hear of large security breaches does not mean that it hasn't been achieved. And you can be guaranteed that the people that can do this wont be running around telling the world they can do it.

Even med/large corporations have bespoke software written for them, as they dont fancy having their data contained in the same software that George from number 22 down the road can run on his home pc.

But of course, this method is wrong !!!

There's readers at the register with 2 rolls of sellotape and 3 paper cups, a copy of windows server and employing some ssl/ipsec technologies can make a much better system.

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Happy

System Requirements

Contractor: "So, where's the requirements spec?"

User: "Sorry, it's classified."

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