back to article Brown creates one UK.gov website to rule them all

The government has announced plans for a personalised web page for every UK citizen to access all public services online in a single location. Gordon Brown announced this morning "Mygov", a new centralised "dashboard" to act as a successor to Directgov, which was originally designed to achieve the same thing. Emphasising the …

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  1. Number6

    A Good Idea?

    I used to think this was a good thing, but that was before I realised that Orwell's 1984 was a Government manual, not a work of fiction. Now I do my best not to give the government information if I can possibly avoid it.

    1. Francis Offord
      Grenade

      Back to the future.

      If "Chubby" Gawdhelpus Brown was serious about matters he would ensure that akll his crew were able to comprehend ethos of the internet and it's ramifications. The performance so far has shown just how little the politicians actually understand and what mistakes cost, not them, us.

  2. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    election in little over a month..

    .. ignore everything they say

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    It's a question of semantics

    So, he's fully cognisant of the way the web is going. That's nice to hear.

    Mine's the one with the very semantic web aware phone in it's pocket.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    must come up with a better name...

    ...something like iGov ? :)

    1. Richard IV
      Pirate

      OK!

      yourself.gov.uk

      ... or should that be the ID cards' site ;)

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      a better name....

      No, only a different name.

      "iGov", no you don't, theyGov, and you better do as you are f**king well told or it's room 101 for you matey!

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      FAIL

      A better tagline would be:-

      "Gordon proposes better Shitty-Stick Repeller."

  5. Elmer Phud

    E-iD card?

    "Mygov will allow citizens to "manage their pensions, tax credits or child benefits; pay their council tax; fix their doctors or hospital appointment and control their own treatment; apply for the schools of their choice and communicate with their children's teachers; or get a new passport or driving licence"."

    So, we get an id and password to get to our personal info which we will (eventually) need to prove our existence. To keep it simple we will need to have a card to wave at terminals at the doctors, dole office, A&E etc.

    So, it's either this or Dogdy Dave's fluffy cloud solution - where, co-incidentally, all our info would end up needing some form of handy, personalised, method of displaying it and proving we are who we are .

    Oh, FFS, it's got bugger all to do with IT but all to do with knee-jerk popularism and elections.

    It's also got a lot to do with politicians not having a bloody clue about IT - assuming that 'computers' will remove the need to pay lots of humans and centralising data while carping on about how dangerous the internet is.

    Really needs an 'Oh, FFS!' icon so it's a 'WTF? for now

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dreary man drones on

    ... the initiative would allow users to "to identify themselves simply and definitively".

    Sounds like someone's butthurt no-one wants an ID card.

    From the speech (rather than the article):

    "And millions of us can now spend more time with our families because technology allows people to work easily from home."

    This will be why our fucking binmen didn't turn up again this morning for the 3rd week in a row.

    "The next stage will be radical expansion and enhancement of two-way communication between service providers and homes"

    means "The council will now email you instead of sending you a letter."

    1. Peter White

      at least binning an email is green

      "The next stage will be radical expansion and enhancement of two-way communication between service providers and homes"

      means "The council will now email you instead of sending you a letter."

      at least it is more green to bin an email than recycle the letter as bog roll

      and easier to ignore, but yet again, the lack of security in unencrypted email , what happens if you use GMail that is scanned to provide adverts etc

      peter

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Peter White

        "at least it is more green to bin an email than recycle the letter as bog roll"

        True, but email isn't radical, and Monsieur LeBrun used a great many words to describe 'getting counciltards to use computers' when a few would have done the same job.

    2. Throatwobbler Mangrove

      sweet baby jaysus

      Not this digital government portal shit again! I suppose it was either make this announcement or launch the Pet ASBOs...

      And Martha Lane-Fox! HTF is she still squeezing her fifteen lastminutes of fame out all these years later? Typical New Labour approach: "She's rich! She must be able to do everything well! Let's give her a taskforce and 30 million quid!"

  7. Peter White
    FAIL

    phishers dream

    a single place like that would be a phishers dream, infect your pc with a nice little trojan and wait for you to logon to the mygov site and havest all the ID information they want

    yet one more way to gather information about UK citizens, no doubt the site will be laced with all sorts of trackers like OMNITURE, flash LSO's etc

    no thanks i would rather have face to face dealings with HM Gov, at least you can tell when they are lying (give away is their lips move :) )

    I just do not trust HM Gov with security of my data as far as i could throw the pm's limo

    peter

    1. Jason 24

      Really?

      no doubt the site will be laced with all sorts of trackers like OMNITURE, flash LSO's etc

      And google Analytics of course....

      1. Christoph Silver badge

        Not a problem

        When you mark google analytics as untrusted, NoScript puts in a dummy version so that sites that require it still work.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Way

    They've already tried this with a government portal. Further centralisation and expansion, possibly even compulsion, is an appalling breach of privacy for those of us who wish to minimise our interaction with central government, rather than be part of their Big Brother society. 'But this is just a tidy way of helping YOU with the information we already have'... Rubbish, more control, more power to the faceless ones.

    And please don't forget to print out and sign the opt out form for the NHS Central Database:

    http://www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk/options/optoutform.pdf

    To make optout as difficult as possible, you have to take the printed form to your docs...

    1. Russell Brown

      Only technically

      Most of us would accept it being sent, in which ever way you wish to send it.

  9. Chris 3
    Pint

    Sounds like a reasonable idea to me

    No, I'm not a member of the Labour Party, yes I realise that there is plenty of room to slip twixt White Paper and implementation, nonetheless...

  10. Dogbyte
    Stop

    Integration...

    Means that a civil servant can leave all of your data on a train in one go rather than having to do it piecemeal.

  11. Craig 12
    Thumb Down

    waste of valuable cash?

    Can we start building websites when children aren't dying from neglect, people don't live rough, etc etc.

    I can already do all the things Brown lists online, just on (OMG!) different pages. We don't need to spend £silly just to get it on one page.

  12. Ash!

    "manage their pensions..."

    Will there be a checkbox saying "tick here if you do NOT want the chancellor to royally fcuk your pension by dumping the nation's gold reserve at a knock-down price"?

  13. John A Blackley

    Yippitty Skipee!

    So now I'll be able to sit in the comfort of my own home and find out that, "due to an unforeseen backlog your passport processing time will be nine weeks instead of the four weeks quoted on our website".

    What an advance!

  14. Anthony Shortland

    why why why why why?

    Why do the government insist on huge replacement IT projects instead of just developing what they've already got?

    How many more identities does the main governement website need, we've had open.gov.uk, then that got binned and completely replaced/rebranded as direct.gov.uk and now again for my.gov.uk.

    Why not just add the bloomin features to the old site rather than waste however many million on a rewrite? So much for trying to save money and cut the deficite.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    "dashboard"

    Someone's sold them the "dashboard" idea. When shown a flashy screen with stats pulling together highlights from multiple systems, a senior person on a jolly just can't resist.

    My money is on IBM or Accenture.

    1. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!
      Flame

      Every time I hear THAT word.....

      "Dashboard" - *shudder*

      In principle, great idea.

      Said by any sort of a manager (and Brown is the PHB^big number*), it's a frickin' nightmare.

      *whereas "Call Me Dave" is the sort of manager who says his door is always open, and wants his staff to "think of him as their friend", organising "team building excercises" and the like. I almost want the LHC to open up a portal to a new dimension of invading aliens to spare us from the "choice".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not just me then

        Some of our own public sector pointy-hairs have latched onto "dashboard" too. Quite often seen in proximity to the word "sharepoint". Yikes.

        @AC1: EDS shurely?

    2. Pirate Peter

      gravy train

      "How many more identities does the main governement website need, we've had open.gov.uk, then that got binned and completely replaced/rebranded as direct.gov.uk and now again for my.gov.uk."

      it's called the gravy train for I.T. suppliers to HM Gov, how else can US companies syphon off huge sums of money from the UK economy,

      Peter

  16. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
    Grenade

    So who do you think is running Global iSystems and Britain into the Buffers ...... Them or Us?

    If any of you have ever had cause to email government, you will know that they do not even acknowledge receipt of communication, lest they have to explain why action was not taken on the matter raised. Obviously the official mantra is ....."Ignore, and if there is anything worth stealing in the communication, steal it and use it as if one of our own ideas" ..... which of course, with the way that things have so radically changed in just the last few years, with the InterNetworking Communities reverse engineering their dodgy Systems and Modus Operandi/Vivendi, is no longer available to them whenever dealing with Prime Players in Greater Game Modes.

    And of course, with everything digital supposedly so easily tracked and forever stored, are they petrified of the technology themselves and can you imagine the dirt which Intelligence has on them.

    Please file the initiative away where it belongs, with ....Save the world/Save the banks nonsense.

  17. dephormation.org.uk
    FAIL

    Government and Security

    If you believe Govt can be trusted to store and present all of your personal information securely, try this simple experiment.

    Go to Google. Cut/paste the terms below. Looks through the pages of results.

    site:gov.uk +viagra (21,000 results)

    site:gov.uk +cialis (18,600 results)

    site:gov.uk +levitra (12,900 results)

    etc..etc...

    So when you find yourself being offered "Best Prices on Xanax" rather than family tax credits, you'll know why trusting the UK Govt to do this was a mistake.

    This is an identity thiefs wet dream. All your data. In one place. All accessible through Internet Explorer 6. And no regulator (looking at the ICO) willing to stop it.

  18. Is it me?

    So easy to say...

    So difficult to do. Why is it people think that putting a computer in the mix makes things:

    a) Easier

    b) Better

    c) Cheaper

    d) Quicker

    Having worked in IT for 30 odd years, I've found that, for example getting support for a problem is more time consuming than before because a problem that used to be solved by phoning the support desk and having an interactive conversation lasting 10 minutes, now takes five or six message exchanges over a similar number of days.

    How they expect to get all the government departments, SIs, Agencies and Authorities to all subscribe to a common portal is beyond me, and the power that the SI running that portal will have will be enormous, you want to add a new portlet, change request, ching.

    Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should Gordon. Some of us really like to talk to people you know.

  19. Graham Marsden
    Big Brother

    And of course...

    ... to access our wonderful new system, you'll just need to sign up to our new iDcard...

  20. Robert E A Harvey
    FAIL

    But but

    We've been here 13 years ago. It was called open.gov.uk. They could not be bothered to do it properly then, and they won't be bothered now.

    Go and look for the maps that define floodplains and areas at risk from innundation. They are at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/37837.aspx

    HOME AND LEISURE? is property flooding really a barbeque issue?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why am I cynical?

    Oh yes, that's it ... Broon's lips are moving again...

    1. M Gale
      Terminator

      There you are!

      Been wondering where the Martian got to. Bet you're just waiting until everything's in one place before you send in the killbots.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "to identify themselves simply and definitively"

    Wow! With the government's history of IT failures, I'm very impressed that they've managed this!

    Of course, in reality, it'll either be tied to one's NI no / voter reg id or it'll be some complex, error laden, support prone "this is my real email address, honest guv" type scheme.

  23. SlabMan

    Yeah, this is going to happen.

    Wasn't the Goverment Gateway supposed to do this? And Direct.gov?

    So, what with the Tories wanting to publish details of any government purchase more substantial than a box of staples, and Labour wanting to set up a one-stop-shop for identity theft, that's two parties making campaign promises about ill-thought and unworkable IT projects. Lib-Dems, what's your boondoggle?

    Just a thought, O Mighty Government Mega Brains, but open standards are more important than big systems. Set a standard for federated ID for government services, and there's no need to build yet one more portal to failure.

  24. LinkOfHyrule
    FAIL

    FAIL

    Universal gov log-on - sounds like an ID card to me.

  25. Tony Dunlop
    Thumb Down

    "...control their own treatment"

    Now there's a fine thing. Maybe we could do away with Doctors and Hospitals once this splendid feature is enabled. That would make real inroads into the budget deficit unlike this hogwash...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    joined up thinking?

    The governments digital economy bill will force you offline on the basis of an accusation and an IP log - the same government wants to put all your interactions with their beaurocracy online.

    Whats the betting that you'll only be able to complain about being suspended from the internet through this new portal

    1. Pirate Peter
      Joke

      you missed a bit

      "the governments digital economy bill will force you offline on the basis of an accusation and an IP log - the same government wants to put all your interactions with their beaurocracy online.

      Whats the betting that you'll only be able to complain about being suspended from the internet through this new portal"

      what you missed was you apply from the IPinitially registered and have since been banned from the internet on

      just to make it more difficult

      oh and there will be a manual process (process detailswill be available online for 1 minute every day)so long as it is on the official form (available online only) signed by your MP, doctor and a police officer to verify you are who you say you are once they have checked your ID card is valid

      peter

    2. Elmer Phud

      Offline?

      Not so much 'offline' as:

      404

      Identitiy Not Found

  27. lumpenfolk
    IT Angle

    We don't need high speed broadband!

    Isn't that what they told us a few months ago?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's bound to work if MiLF is running it.

    Ah! Gordon Brown

    Everything he touches turns to shit.

    Pensions! Oh dear.

    Housing! Oh dear.

    MP expenses. Oh dear.

    The incredibly cheap PPP model that is paying a company to build a hospital and rent it back to the government.

    Gold! In a conspiracy theorist's wet dream, Gordon ignores the Bank of England, and almost all the investment specialists able to give advice, and causes a worldwide gold price collapse within weeks of victory, and one of his team, Peter Mandelson, spends his spare time on the yacht of a man whose family set the gold price for the last 250 years. Fortunately this is so obvious, there can't be any truth in it. (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1655001.ece)

    The waste of the highest earning ten years of taxation in history, plus a trillion pounds more, for

    3 million officially unemployed and another two million not claiming any unemployment benefit.

    Don't mention the war. I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it.

    11 million and counting from the union formerly known as decimate.

    100,000 population in the UK's southern Tory constituencies, but only 40,000 in the Northern Labour ones.

    Indigenous terrorism by people they flooded the country with, to try to water down their opponents' votes.

    His famous comment that "We shouldn't be allowing 120% mortgages", just six months and one financial catastrophe after he'd positively encouraged them, in the name of prudence, at Mansion House.

    16 Billion on the rejuvenation of Leeds, oops! I mean the NHS.

    Education, Education, Education. ask any kid who hasn't been to a private school, under the age of 25 what is seven nines, 6 eights, or 12 eights, and then watch while they go blank.

    The child investment fund! Who did he take the money off? That's right! The parents!

    Lloyds. Does anyone seriously believe he, a scot, and his chancellor, a scot, and Tony, a scot, and the Speaker, a scot, had no idea what situation the Bank of Scotland was in, when he half nelson'd the Lloyds chairman into buying it without enough due diligence?

    Still, he's had two kids, and they're alright, so it's not like he's completely useless.

    Oh, and did I mention he's a financial genius too? Thank god he saved the world's economies.

  29. EdwardP
    Flame

    FFS

    Can you fix the economy please first?

    Stop fucking spening money....

  30. Firefox Russ
    Thumb Down

    Pension?

    I'd love to be able to manage my pension on the internet. Sadly Gordon has done away with that as well as any gambling I could have spent it on.

  31. Gulfie
    FAIL

    If you're going to fail...

    What complete and utter rubbish!

    "Let's build a single web site, accessible to everybody, to do everything."

    Yeah right, and that's not got epic fail written all over it has it?

    Haven't learnt from the NHS fiasco have we? This must be a factor of ten bigger project at least. It'll take so long to do that it won't be able to keep up with changes in the government's own legislation, tax and benefits rules. And now, when it gets it wrong, everybody will be affected.

    How much money on this being tied into ID cards - one system to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them. Oh, you'll need your ID Card Mk 2 to log in. For anything.

  32. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    FAIL

    End to end data security.

    We've heard of it.

    Well someone who works for Gordon has.

    Probably.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Hang on though

    Once we need this system to vote, doesn't that mean cutting off your internet access (after 3 strikes for instance) would become a violation of your human rights? I think we need to think about this before slating the idea....

    YARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!

  34. MrHorizontal

    Insane

    I have a couple of mates who work at direct gov, and their problem is nothing technical, it's just they've never had the mandate to force other government departments to transfer content to Direct Gov.

    Regardless, this is a futile exercise that just won't work. Why?

    The public sector is not a single institution, and there's no real cohesiveness to it - it is a sector of an entire economy. You would never get any site that is a hybrid of other sites in the private sector because of competition. In the public sector you don't so much have that kind of competition but you do have a huge variety of very, very different camps.

    Given that Direct Gov has failed even to merge in 'soft' parts of the public sector - like the NHS - and really only has a bit of Home Office information and a bit of DVLA stuff, it proves that without coercion or mandarin support, such an exercise is entirely futile.

    Furthermore, as many others have said above, while it's a pain for us as citizens to have to replicate information when applying to various different government bodies, at least it maintains control for everyone's information. Government departments were never usually allowed to share much information, and that right has been eroded heinously since 1997.

    I think the real underbelly of this whole 'My Gov' lark is that Martha Lane-Fox after being appointed by Herr Brown as 'Internet Czar' or whatever pompous dictate he's bestowed on her has convinced Brown of the need to have a single sign-on, and merging of services altogether.

    The problem is while Google and Microsoft provide single-sign-on across their broad array of services for practical reasons, there are services like OpenID already available that provide this without much work or expense to the taxpayer.

    With all this in mind, I would continue to request the Register to contact friends at Outlaw.com and other sources to an investigative piece about the relevance of the Data Protection Act in 2010, as it seems to me that virtually every announcement this government puts out is in breach of one or other clause of the DPA. Furthermore has the Information Commissioner got any teeth or has he been blighted by the Number 10 Scurvy infecting any civil liberties part of government that doesn't toe the line of the Great Brown Puppetmaster?

  35. David Beck

    How does this differ from the "government gateway"?

    I use the single sign-on "government gateway" on a regular basis for VAT, pension and tax access and have for the past several years. Can anyone describe what differs?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Match funds

    I hope they give the police another 30 million to deal with the online fraud and data leaks of this plan. What did PECU get 7 million over 3 years?

  37. Mike Bird 1
    FAIL

    nice name .. shame about the lack of registry

    yougov.gov.uk ?

    - nope 404

    yougov.gov ?

    - nope 404 - and anyway that would be (by convention) a USA gov site.

    yougov.com

    - a "public opinion and behaviour" site been registered since 2009

    nah-gov.gov.uk

    - for the disinterested

    oi-gov.gov.uk

    - for those seeking attention

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