back to article Daring Register raid snatches key government URL

On Friday the UK government announced a joint industry-government marketing strategy designed to promote the UK's expertise in Information Communication Technology (ICT). The strategy, said Trade & Investment Minister Lord Digby Jones, "is a catalyst to stimulate discussion amongst Government and business about how we sell the …

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Boffin

Point it at your news story about the 25 million names missing..

After all that demonstrates our governments IT capabilities quite nicely.

"If nothing else a fool can serve as a warning to others"

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Go

Tempting

In the absence of a nonsensical government approach perhaps a poll as to what "official" message should be posted. Without going too far overboard on spoofing a few erudite comments on a site may not go too far amiss. I would have thought that the El Reg posse could knock some sort of sensible website together.

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Ash
Paris Hilton

This can only end badly

Something tells me that because you published the fact you

a) Bought a domain name listed as "to be working" in a Govt. Document, and

b) Seek compensation for the return of said domain name to those who would seek to use it for their business (or some other such legal bullsh1t),

I can only surmise that you will be sued, the people who resolve these issues will find in the Govt's favour, and common sense will once more be beaten in the background by corporate / Govt heavy-handedness.

Otherwise, specify Tyrrels crisps; they're really very nice. Lemon and Jalapino Chilli are a personal favourite.

No, you may not use that information to offer me advertising or promotions which may of interest to me.

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Paris Hilton

Do your own little consultation page

Please, do a *proper* consultation page that gives the site the El-Reg treatment that it deserves.

Cover:

- The government's excellent record on Data Privacy

- Public Private partnerships in the government IT projects

- Success Stories like the NHS, HMRC, etc.

- How Biometrics will save the World?

- RFID implants for all Children to protect them, of course

- ANPR and how it will never get hacked

- Encryption Policy enforcement throughout government departments

Yup, definitely plenty of scope for El-Reg to get busy on.

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Coat

Cunning Plan

In fact, it's a cunning plan by the government to get El Reg to cybersquat the URL, build up the website and do the consultation, all for the price of a bag of crisps! And hey presto, a government project done on time and within budget!

Or maybe they just lost the domain name registration form in this pesky internal mail system.

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Heart

Cheeky idea

...redirect the URL to El Reg in a frame that says "this government programme is sponsored by the leading UK IT publication"

It wouldn't be a lie - you have, after all, paid good money to obtain this URL...

Please post all correspondence once they catch on!

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Silver badge

I'll bid 2 pints

alternatively take Phil's advice and point it at a suitable article about uk.gov's arse and elbow disorder.

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Dead Vulture

Oh you have to do something good with this

What about all of those wonderful stories about government IT (in)competence?

Wrap it up as a fake advert for the government.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: This can only end badly

Well, we reckon we know a thing or two about marketing ourselves, and are of the opinion that there's a goodly quantity of cheap publicity to be had, should HMG feel the urge to sue us for cybersquatting. So whenever you're ready, Lord Jones...

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Coat

@Ash

If you're talking crisps, it has to be Tyrrells root-vegetable crisps. Carrot and beetroot make such good crisps, you wonder why anyone initially bothered crisping potatoes. Although the game crisps earlier in the year were particularly tasty - sadly they seem to have been a limited edition, cos I could do with some for Xmas.

Yes, that's me checking my jacket pockets to find where I left my last bag of crisps...

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Paris Hilton

Tell me how you feel

Perhaps you could put up a big form that asks visitors to fill out all of their personal and financial details, and then when they have done so, you could take all that data and sell it on the open market - or use it for your own ends. You'd have to stick an official-looking government stamp at the top, with a photograph of Gordon Brown, and a speech bubble that says "I am Gordon Brown, and I endorse this website".

There might be a legal issue with this kind of plan, and I'm not seriously suggesting that you do it yourself, because that would probably also be illegal.

Perhaps you could offer to "protect" the URL from evil cybersquatters, for a fee. Drop hints that, if you aren't paid on time, the URL might get... damaged. It might fall on the floor. Fragile things, URLs. It would be a shame if it "got wet", if you know what I mean.

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Thumb Up

That's great, but need to put some decent web page there

That's awesome. Journalism in action.

However, I was disappointed with the standard boilerplate web page. Maybe you could put some news about the iPhone, Paris Hilton, and include a picture of that Eee PC girl on the beach.

Or possibly and advertisement for your consulting services with the results of your latest survey.

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Plan B

I thought perhaps they mistyped http://www.ictmarketingstrategy.gov.uk/, but that domain is free as well.

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Only as good as your weakest link

and the government have dared to affiliate themselves with the word "expertise" and tell everyone how they should sell themselves when they haven't a clue about IT.

This is just designed to level the playing field by tarring everyone with the "know nothing bonzo" IT approach that the ministers, secretaries and senior civil servants love to promote as their gold standard for IT delivery.

Well here it begins; the spin to make out that the IT illiterate UK Gov. has something worth having (barring everyone else’s data of course, which they also don't have now).

Well done El Reg for this pre-emptive strike against UK.gov spin and disinformation.

And I agree with Phil Launchbury, point all the URLs at your articles on the fiasco that has been the UK government approach to data security.

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Coat

I wonder...

If the reg did make a spoof site i wonder if the people from the gov who were ment to make the site would notice it is not theirs :D

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...but seriously...

...(just for a bit - promise!)....

This really does show a truly staggeringly Herculean level of incompetence on the part of the bods in charge at MH Gov.

I mean, what the f*** are they playing at? It's SO funny that it actually STOPS being funny any more!

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Strategy Boutique?

Although you seem to have stopped doing that particular t-shirt.

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Quango

Not one person has commented on the creation of this new and presumably very well paid quango? Come on; IT, strategy and marketing? All in the same committee? Very well paid indeed! Now you have the URL, why not apply for a position on the board?

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Alien

Redirect required

point it at some some shocking image, perhaps a close up of Lesters chilling visage, underlit of course for added spookyness.

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Paris Hilton

Is this the same Digby Jones ?

@Paul Smith: Sorry I'm late :-)

Is this the same Lord Digby Jones as the Senior Non-Executive of iSoft - coders for the NHS project?

What is a Senior Non-Executive, and where do I apply?

Can we have Paris Hilton instead, please?

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Nice try...

but I'm thinking they'll just replace the .co.uk with .gov.uk if this is a Government study.

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a catalyst to stimulate discussion, eh?

... why not put up a wiki and see what the site visitors want to say?

Then, later, we can all have a nice discussion impugning its moderation policy.

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ICT???

Thought that term was banned. The gov doesn't know it's called IT.

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Flame

Who hasn't been there...

At my last company the PR types were always doing this kind of thing: Advertizing products before they were even coded, before the coders even knew about them, before the domain names were registered, etc. Unfortunately that always meant the tech guys had to achive the impossible, and the sales people were given fat commisions for creative marketing. Good to know that the government works similiarly to private industry.

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Pirate

Shocking redirect

I personally feel Lester's face is not enough for a shocking image. Perhaps a redirect to wherever goatse resides nowadays would be more appropriate to the governments IT strategy.

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One word...

Porn!

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Rob
Black Helicopters

Seriously El Reg....

.... use and abuse it.

Government IT cock-ups and maybe lob some specially crafted stories from BOFH in there as well.... even better than that does BOFH have a BPFH (Barstard Politican From Hell) Cousin.

Also could you ask why we have a dictator running our country.... I didn't vote for him and neither did anyone else.

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Blame the yanks.

I'm sure it's George Bush's fault.

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Pirate

what to do....what to do.....

goatse?

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Anonymous Coward

@can we have Paris Hilton instead

Are you sure? I thought the plan was to get someone who didn't want to screw anyone and everyone.

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We got your name

Perhaps you could get the guys who devised "we got your name/we like donkeys" for a similar exploit to reprise the song ...

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Dead Vulture

changing to .gov.uk might be a start

But then the ICT Marketing bods would have to explain why they went to media with the wrong domain name (that they didn't own) and then had to revert to a different domain (that they didn't at the time own either). Which might put a small dent in their credibility.

Even if they did do that, if el Reg get an working site up and running with some content it would be a nice counter-weight to the quango.

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@Ashley Pomeroy

"Perhaps you could put up a big form that asks visitors to fill out all of their personal and financial details"

Why has no one thought of sending scam emails saying something along the lines of: this is the tax office, as you may have heard we've lost a lot of peoples' personal details, unfortunately you were one of those people and you have to email us your bank details etc so that we can put them back on our systems. If you don't do it within 24 hours you go to prison.

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Danger!

In view of the obvious threat to national security posed by this exposure of incompetence, the intrepid hacks should be held incommunicado for 28 days until Her Majesty's Ministry of Truth spin doctors have corrected history. Of course 42 days or forever would be far more reassuring to the populace at large, but then I enjoy reading these stories.

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Heart

It's a gold mine!

1. Obtain URL heavily advertised by the InCompetent Technologists (that's what "ICT" means, you lot!).

2. Place attractive and compelling content on said URL.

3. ??

4. Profit!

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This post has been deleted by its author

They didn't want it anyway

The one referenced in the linked document (now dated 07 December) is as below.

"It is also available on the internet at www.ukictmarketingstrategy.co.uk This will also let you know how to participate in the consultation. "

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Silver badge

No to Goatse

Seriously. The one really great thing about quantum physics is that one day we may be able to erase goatse from history.

The good thing about this is they have a better chance of getting it back from El Reg (with a few red faces) than some third world cybersquatter who would no doubt have registered it sooner than the government.

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Silver badge

Changed now

link is now quoted in the online brief with uk in front.

www.ukictmarketingstrategy.co.uk

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terrorists!

clearly your attempt to embarass and humilate the Nation's elected representatives who've delivered ten years of sustained economic growth blah blah blah is indicative that you *may* have been penetrated by an Al-Quaeda associated network in order to undermine our democratic principles. You should turn yourselves in and surrender your hard drives and other data storage devices, for after all, if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide }:)

no Gordo icon?

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Go

Brilliant!

Not much else to say really, that's...... that's BRILLIANT that is.

Oh, you sure about those crisps? I'd rather a nice bag of pork scratchings myself.

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Unhappy

They have changed it

They have added "uk" at the front of the url hence defying Registers attempts at blackmail or just making them look stupid.

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Go

ICT Marketing. Hmmm.

Well probably the only fair use of this is to use it as a site to flog ad space on El Reg which is, of course, ICT marketing.

I much prefer the idea of an El Reg Government IT Cock-ups channel though.

Either way, jolly good show, chaps!

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Silver badge

I just grabbed...

http://ictmarketingstrategy.blogspot.com/

...for no apparent reason.

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Stop

Hmm...Has all of this been a little hasty?

I notice the web link you provide points to another URL, one that seems to work fine, and one that was registered on Registered on: 17-Oct-2007 (src: www.who.is)

I suspect nothing more than a typo has given a lot of publicity to the new site and you know what they say about 'all publicity'

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Perhaps we can clear this up

A small typo crept into an earlier version of the press release publicising the ICT Marketing strategy URL. Those interested in reading the strategy document can do so at www.ukictmarketingstrategy.co.uk

UK Trade & Investment

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Perhaps we can clear this up

Well, erm, a small typo crept into an earlier version of the press release that was published on 16th November, and again in a second release published on 7th December. Nobody apparently noticed until we publicised it, so well done for that, team. Would we be correct in thinking that traffic to your splendid registered-users-only consultation site has in the interim been in the high severals?

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Nice one

Well done El Reg. I'd have thought they would have registered the few likely addresses which people might use, e.g. ".gov.uk", .org and .com, and the one without the uk at the beginning - any commercial operation would have covered that one. This is just silly for a so called major initiative.

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IT Angle

Re: Perhaps we can clear this up

El Reg, I suspect you're dead right about the site's traffic volume, but I suspect we'll never know - UKTI probably don't even have a way of monitoring it. What a botch-up.

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Top URL gov people!

Really rolls off the tongue with that uk at the front, although I'd have recommended "www.ukictmarketingstrategy.co.ck", less redundant and more descriptive.

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