The Labour party in Lambeth has been split after it began disciplinary proceedings against one of its councillors on the basis of intercepted emails sent from his council email address. Kingsley Abrams, a Labour councillor in the South London borough, was suspected of leaking papers to the local press, a charge the veteran left- …
council info swat team...
We iz in youz exchange cluster reading your email
... the most alarming part of this case is the unerring self-righteousness of the snoopers. Frankly, almost synonymous with the phrase 'local government' these days. Not to mention the use of salaried officers in what is perilously close to a political role.
Though - once again in areas of political and social confidentiality - it's a pity the word 'encryption' isn't more widely understood.
Thin end of the red wedge?
When local authorities finally get it into their fat heads that they really do need to make an awful lot of cuts we can expect council IT staff to be asked to carry out a lot more of this sort of snooping.
It is almost certainly a lot cheaper to get rid of someone if you can prove they have breached a code of conduct.
My what a wordy quote!
Let me shorten that:
"We fully embrace the practice of openness and transparency in local government, but only when it suits us."
There. Exactly the same meaning in umptysomething less words.
Encryption is not always secure...
as depending on the solution deployed, the encypted key used (by an employee) could be generated to include an additional ADK (Additional Decryption Key). This would be useful for employers where they want to guard against external data loss / distribution while maintaining the capability to decrypt ALL emails, documents etcetera created and distributed within the organisation.
My current contract is with a customer that seems to use something very close to this...
Not evil these days?
Arrogant council workers...
What this shows is that our elected arrogant council worker representatives don't want us to see what they are doing and they are prepared to go as far as spying to undermine, punish and so silence anyone telling us what our representatives are doing. They fail to see we vote them in to do a job *for us*. They work for us and we pay them to do that work.
This shows a number of problems with them:
(1) They are our elected representatives - We have a right to know what they do with our money, in our name!
(2) They have no right to silence anyone telling us what they are doing.
(3) They have no right to spy on people so they can intentionally undermine them to punish and so silence them.
(4) It shows they are determined to abuse technology, because they want that power to dictate their will to people so they can then punish and silence anyone daring to speak out against them. They are going to keep abusing technology until society stands against them to force it into law that they don't have a right to undermine our freedom and liberty let alone their failure to be representatives as they claim to be during elections.
This news highlights so much of what is wrong with our arrogant elected representatives, where they own actions show they get into power to be our dictators, not our representatives. They are not working for us they are working against us and punishing anyone who dares to tell us what they are doing with our money!
I find this news infuriating they can be that arrogant. They don't represent us, so time to throw them out their jobs. History has repeatedly shown, for all their arrogance their position of power means nothing when everyone is angry enough to stand against them. They hold power only when they represent us and the sooner they are reminded of that, the sooner we can stop this slide towards an ever more Orwellian/Fascist level of control from these arrogant people.
The right to snoop...
"Employment contracts routinely give employers the right to monitor staff emails, to guard against misuse as well as for operational reasons. Whether Lambeth Labour has the authority to monitor Councillor Abrams' council email address is a quite different matter."
When a councillor is given his email account and anything else in connection with that (PC, laptop, blackberry, whatever) I would fully expect that they will have to sign up to some terms and conditions of use. You know the sort of thing, only to be used for legitmate council business and so on. Among these I would expect there to be a clause along the lines of "the authority reserves the right to inspect logs and email in order to police these Ts&Cs". If the authority do no include such a clause then they are stupid.
Where I think they have fallen down, however, is in the way they carried out the investigation. If they suspected the councillor concerned of leaking certain information then they could have searched the email archive for key words or phrases. Actually setting up a sting is clearly entrapment.
OTOH I can't believe how dumb the councillor concerned was is using his council email account to forward on this information.