* Posts by Vimes

802 posts • joined 3 Dec 2012

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It's OK – this was an entirely NEW type of cockup, says RBS

Vimes
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A new flaw?

Time for a new fine perhaps?

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Downing Street secretly deletes emails to avoid exposure to FOIeurs

Vimes
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Re: One rule for the rich..... @I Am Spartacus

Not sure what's with the downvotes, but consider this:

- Anything remotely private or otherwise considered outside the scope for publication has to be redacted from anything released to the public (probably not the case with other legal requirements mentioned elsewhere in this thread since presumably the information is being provided to the government rather than the general public)

- Such redaction probably has to be done by hand, since it's difficult to believe that automated systems could be trusted to do the job with sufficient accuracy.

- More emails to trawl through means more work. This is unavoidable and the cost of the storage will not change that.

Storing emails for longer means that it will actually be easier to hide information, not more difficult, since it will make it far easier for government departments to use s.12 of the act (excessive cost) to deny access. That greater ease in denying access IMO strongly suggests that avoiding the impact of FoIA is not the aim here.

If it was then they would have an interest in keeping things as long as is humanly possible to make any trawl of the information too expensive.

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Vimes
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Show me the part of FoIA that tells the government how long they need to keep emails (or any file for that matter).

I don't agree with it personally (I think they should be in a position to keep things longer than that, at least where it doesn't involve PII) but there is nevertheless a world of difference between 'should keep it' and 'have to keep it', and as somebody who has no experience dealing with this it would be wrong for me to at least not consider the possibility that there might be some reasons for this as badly thought through as they may be (for one thing filtering out personal information would be in itself a large task given the volume of email)

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Vimes
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Re: FOI Request: How many emails have come in over the past 12 months?

@Ken Moorhouse

Except that Hansard probably doesn't potentially contain private information that legally can't be stored longer than necessary (and 'in case we need it later' probably wouldn't count since if I recall correctly it has to be for the reasons it was originally collected & used in the first place). The same can't be said of emails, which can contain all sorts of private information not normally part of any government record like Hansard.

Which one is more important? The DPA or FoIA? Letting them think that storing anything remotely private just because it might be useful later on is a very bad idea IMO.

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Vimes
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Re: One rule for the rich..... @I Am Spartacus

This is done so that they can go in to court and say, truthfully, that all legal discovery is complete and comprehensive.

Again, playing devil's advocate for a moment: I strongly suspect that the number of court cases involving them is easily dwarfed by the number of FoI requests for any single government department that you'd care to name.

That 'legal discovery' costs time and money neither of which the cash strapped departments have much of. Now imagine having to go through all that every time somebody asks for something.

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Vimes
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Re: "It makes it easier if the nonsense emails aren't there"

"It makes it easier if the nonsense emails aren't there

It's true though if 'easier' means 'less incriminating evidence we then have to release' and 'nonsense' means 'anything that goes against what we want you to believe'.

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Vimes
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Playing devil's advocate...

http://www.foiman.com/archives/1584

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Instagram spam - what the fuck???? I'm not a user!

Vimes
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What about the CEO? Or was that in reply to your email to the CEO?

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Vimes
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Umm.... and what were the security reasons that allowed the account to be created *without* verification from the user I wonder?

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Vimes
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OR somebody posted a photo of me in a private discussion, tagging it with my personal information, and Instagram have then set up an account and spammed me about it as a way of increasing their userbase.

Possible, but very unlikely IMO. Somehow I suspect that even in relatively liberal countries like the US this type of gathering personal information coupled with the subsequent display of said information to the wider public WITHOUT any form of consent would probably end up breaking a number of laws.

Even Facebook - assuming this is true - when they track people that aren't users they don't then make it publicly visible.

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Vimes
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You own the fscking email address. Email from that address, ask to have the account removed, and suggest (respectfully) that they respond to your email address to verify that you actually don't want that account to exist anymore. Reply to the response.

If the response from other services that I've received in the past is anything to go by when I've tried something similar then they'll ignore this and demand proof of identity.

Incidentally I'll admit to using Instragram, albeit rarely. I don't recall receiving any email from them when I set up the account with my own email address and when I started the app on my phone I get a message asking me to send a confirmation email to secure the account, but this is entirely optional and there seems to be nothing to stop me from ignoring it.

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Vimes
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Try emailing the CEO?

http://www.ceoemail.com/s.php?id=75919&c=Instagram

It'll probably end up getting dealt with by the same people, but sometimes having the additional note 'deal with this' from the CEO attached to the call can sometimes encourage them to get it sorted more quickly and to your satisfaction.

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Testing Windows 10 on Surface 3: Perfect combo or buggy embuggerance?

Vimes
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Re: Decent screen for once

Perhaps I just have better eyesight than most (or just sit closer to the screen) but applications where no resizing appears to be happening - Blender for example - still seem to be readable if a little on the small size. Nevertheless I've never personally had a problem with that on my own Surface Pro 3.

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Vimes
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How does Windows 10 perform on a Surface Pro 3?

Mine currently seems to overheat extremely easily. I do use it occasionally as a tablet but would be happy to compromise a little on this if I got a tablet that didn't get uncomfortably warm and noisy just from playing Microsoft's own Solitaire.

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'Snowden risked lives' fearfest story prompts sceptical sneers

Vimes
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Re: Au contraire, they certainly want the cluefull to be afraid @Shannon Jacobs

I'm sure their anti-spook spooks detected him

They might have been eventually caught, but the likes of Ames or Hannsen still managed to cause a fair amount of damage. Personally I get the impression you're assuming competence where it may well not exist.

And as for leaking what they wanted: what benefit did the government get from this exactly? Most of what has happened seems to consist of court cases and being forced to limit programs. Unless the agencies themselves thought their powers went too far - unlikely given the effort to protect them - then they seem to have lost more than they have gained (in their eyes in any case - personally I have yet to see anything to justify this extensive surveillance).

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Vimes
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Re: hush you

Almost as interesting as the hack is the lack of official response from other governments, including our own. How, for example, can they be certain that our own systems aren't just as vulnerable to attack as those in the US?

For that matter they seem to have conveniently forgotten that the leak occurred thanks to a US employee and the only reason UK information was compromised in the first place was because the government here were so willing to share it.

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Vimes
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Interesting legal shenanigans being deployed by the Sunday Times against those pointing out the problems.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2101948-news-uk-dmca-notification-first-look-productions.html

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Vimes
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You're assuming that people with a clue are the target of this sort of thing.

They aren't.

It's the general public. A far bigger group that collectively have the attention span of a concussed kitten. And are also generally easier to fool.

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Commish snaps on rubber gloves, Amazon readies itself for antitrust probe

Vimes
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If Amazon are found to have acted in the same way that Apple previously tried, then surely that would make them just as guilty? That stuff to do with contract terms being at least as good as competitors in particular sounds eerily familiar.

Personally though I'd settle for getting the same treatment as US customers. There are a number of both audio books and ebooks not available to people in the UK despite them being available on the other side of the pond - and not new ones either, since the ones I'm currently trying to find are old Asimov novels.

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Top Eurocop: People are OK with us snooping on their phone calls

Vimes
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Re: The UK Police

I should add that I was referring to a warrant issued by a third party that has no direct interest in the request being either granted or denied (so that some degree of oversight of those making the requests is maintained).

If memory serves the authorisation for such surveillance can come from anybody with sufficient authority to do so. This includes the chief constable.

So the police can authorise itself to spy on people using RIPA as their legal cover.

Is this really 'the right area' in your view? Or is 'because we say so' sufficient reason?

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Vimes
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However, he still made the now-standard case of all police that they need more data.

Why?

Despite all the cries of 'because terrorism' I have yet to understand how more access can actually help the situation. Look at the cases 'foiled' by the likes of the FBI for example: they seem to include cases where the only reason the idiots got anywhere in the first place was because the agency helped them in order to entrap them (*). Even those working for the NSA have admitted that they're having problems dealing with the levels of data they're currently collecting (**), so how will it help matters over here if we repeat those mistakes?

'Should have lawful access'. I think most people would agree with that to an extent. The problems start when 'lawful access' means no control over how much is accessed and insufficient judicial oversight (and this includes a lack of needing warrants).

(*) https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/16/howthefbicreatedaterrorist/

(**) http://www.zdnet.com/article/nsa-whistleblower-overwhelmed-with-data-ineffective/

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Ex-Microsoftie in worthless Euro netizens data security promise

Vimes
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'With Zettabox your content is safe from cybercriminals and foreign government intervention.'

Strictly speaking true for a given value of 'foreign'.

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EU digi-chief to meet ministers and sort out the net neutrality thing

Vimes
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If any user is using too much then you penalise them, not the services being used by everybody, including those not breaking any rules.

Anything more than that is profiteering, pure and simple.

For that matter when it comes to work, how many complaints about service turn out to be from people trying to use their residential connections for commercial reasons?

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Vimes
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No, we need better investment to ensure that there is adequate bandwidth in the first place.

Netflix speeds mysteriously jumped up when they started giving in to the blackmail.

The bandwidth is already there, the ISPs are just looking to maximise their profit in every way imaginable.

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NHS blows £5 MILLION on delayed Care.data

Vimes
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Just imagine it. They might actually be forced to do something about problems like this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/10133557/Pharmaceutical-scandal-The-NHS-the-drug-firms-and-the-price-racket.html

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New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

Vimes
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If you continue to keep the 10 minute editing window, would it be possible to add a spell checker? I just noticed a typo in one of my posts (and there are probably others too elsewhere that I have simply missed), but because the 10 minute period had already expired I'd lost the chance to correct it.

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So, EE. Who IS this app on your HTC M9s sneakily texting, hmm?

Vimes
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Using a foreign company for purposes internal to the network isn't new.

Not so long ago some telcos were using Bluecoat for their filtering system. Bluecoat is based in the US and even when the filtering is switched off the websites were still receiving shadoow requests from Bluecoat IP addresses in the US.

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Badges for Commentards

Vimes
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Re: Oh, how cute. (was:@1980s_coder) @jake

Personally I would have thought anybody sufficiently narcissistic to want this sort of attention is not going to care whether they get up votes or down votes - as long as they get votes.

Perhaps they'd see them as some sort of geek equivalent of marbles? They care more about the size of their collection rather than the type of each vote?

Ignoring somebody would be a bigger insult in that situation.

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Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

Vimes
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Another Pratchett related thought I'm afraid - has anybody here read 'Strata'? Now I can't get the image out of my mind of a God with a sense of humour leaving a skeleton of a dinosaur buried in the ground somewhere with said skeleton holding the placard 'Stop nuclear testing!'.

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Ban the Banner!

Vimes
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Re: Ban the Banner!

You must have missed the discussions elsewhere. Anything related to the design of this site - barring bugs - seems to fall on deaf ears.

It looks like an interesting case of cognitive dissonance where because they have problems coming up with anything better they decide what they already have is the best solution.

As I've said elsewhere it's just a pity they haven't offered some sort of paid option for this site. I suspect the changes will probably encourage more people to use ad blockers which is a shame.

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Queen's Speech: Snoopers' Charter RETURNS amid 'modernisation' push

Vimes
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@phuzz

'It was illegal before because the population didn't know about it, but now they do (because of Snowdon) it's fine'.

Not quite.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/05/15/case_against_gchq_scrambled_by_under_the_radar_legislation/

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Vimes
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Re: An appropriate quote...

but he's the one who scotched this nonsense back in 2012

Except that there are suggestions that opposition also originated from within the tory party itself, so he can't even claim that he was responsible for that.

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Vimes
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Re: An appropriate quote...

This is the same man that supported DRIPA when the Data Retention Directive was thrown out in court.

So much for fighting for liberties. He actively helped sacrifice them to help protect his precious coalition.

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Vimes
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anti-snooping != anti-tory.

A fair few of us - myself included - would be against this regardless of who proposes it.

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Vimes
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Re: Who?

Mainly civil servants I assume. People like Charles Farr who survived the transition from a Labour to Tory government.

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Vimes
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Re: "capability gap"

For some reason I can't get the name 'Bloody Stupid Johnson' out of my mind right now...

(for those of you that don't read Discworld books, see the following link: http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Bergholt_Stuttley_Johnson)

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Vimes
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Re: "close a capability gap"

Unless the Good Friday Agreement is rewritten and the status of devolution revisited for Wales and Scotland then they'll never be able to put a bill of rights into place.

Thank God.

For that matter, how can the Data Retention Directive be unacceptably broad at the EU level, but something like the Snoopers Charter can exist at the national level?

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Vimes
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Provide for appropriate oversight and safeguard arrangements

Appropriate by whose definition? Those that actively seek to avoid any such oversight?

Don't forget that until recently the government was repeating the guff about GCHQ's activities being legal, and when it was found to be illegal they simply changed the law. These are the people we're relying upon to define 'appropriate'.

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Change.org petition: Remove Sepp Blatter from FIFA presidency

Vimes
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Change.org petition: Remove Sepp Blatter from FIFA presidency

https://www.change.org/p/fifa-remove-sepp-blatter-from-the-fifa-presidency

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Yahoo! must! face! class-action! suit! over! email! snooping! – judge

Vimes
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"Better targeting" is the key?

Really?

How many people here wouldn't mind having a conversation online about a private matter only then to see adverts based around that conversation?

Personally speaking I'd find that very creepy and would subsequently be very reluctant to buy anything from a company that uses those sorts of tactics.

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RAF Eurofighter gets a Battle of Britain makeover

Vimes
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That should be 'Nicolson' of course, but unfortunately I don't seem to have the option of correcting it.

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Vimes
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I wonder what Nicholson would make of the idea of having carriers without any planes to land on them?

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O2 craps itself on national Blighty holiday as cabinet minister moans: 'Oi, sort it out!'

Vimes
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Note the time of the tweet

https://twitter.com/O2/status/602991401354268672

Somebody thinks tweeting somebody here at 2AM is a good idea?

Damn those Indian call centres and time difference...

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Choose Deutsche Telekom for all your bargain spying needs

Vimes
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Is anybody really surprised by this given that their partners have previously included the likes of Vodafone? (or should that be Gerontic?)

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Ye Bug List

Vimes
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Re: Problem with this sites CSS?

It seems to happen mostly with comments on articles in 'the channel' section of this site. Not sure if this helps.

It also happens in both Chrome and Metro IE.

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Vimes
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Problem with this sites CSS?

On a number of occasions over the last few days the font used is Times New Roman (or something that looks very much like it). It seems to happen sporadically too. I don't think it's my connection as this has happened now on my work PC, my home PC and even my phone.

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Hold on to your hats people, the MoD's found the cloud

Vimes
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Microsoft has rolled out data encryption with "bring your own keys" HSM encryption based on military grade Thales HSM systems to store certificates without Microsoft or anyone you don't want having access to them

I just hope that the MoD aren't relying on this 'HSM in the cloud' that Microsoft seem to provide. Otherwise they're still relying on hardware provided by and run by a 3rd party.

http://www.informationweek.com/cloud/infrastructure-as-a-service/microsoft-matches-amazon-with-cloud-crypto-key-storage/d/d-id/1318548

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Vimes
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I know that there is plenty of cooperation with the US. That said shouldn't the government here be more careful than to use a US based service when the US response to the concern of non-US citizens/organisations being spied upon is little more than 'screw you'?

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Ex 'Tech City' chief Shields appointed junior Fun minister for internet safety

Vimes
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Re: Hah!

I wonder: is having an ex-employee from Google working for HMG the quid-quo-pro for employing an ex-ICO staffer at Google?

There are previous patterns that also suggest that this revolving door exists: just ask Patricia Hewitt, Norman Lamont, Ian Livingston and BT.

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