back to article Damian Green: Not only my workstation – mystery pr0n all over Parliamentary PCs

Under-fire Cabinet Office minister Damian Green has reportedly told an internal UK government inquiry that he has proof he was not the one who downloaded porn onto his Parliamentary computer. The minister has forwarded to investigators an email from Eleanor Laing, deputy speaker of the House of Commons, detailing how one of …

  1. unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge

    Poor excuse for a politician

    And a poor excuse offered for his disgusting and immoral actions.

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: Poor excuse for a politician

      Wow, comment matches the handle...

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Poor excuse for a politician

        Wow, comment matches the handle...

        Nominative determinism, gets you every time.

        1. Martin Summers Silver badge

          Re: Poor excuse for a politician

          "Nominative determinism, gets you every time."

          I dare not ask what's involved in your job then ;-)

          1. SuccessCase

            Re: Poor excuse for a politician

            Fluffing... pillows?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Poor excuse for a politician

            He should be thankful he's not Damian Green's right hand...

      2. unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge

        Re: Poor excuse for a politician

        I suppose you think his sickening perversions should be tolerated. In my day we had ways of dealing with his kind.

        1. Martin Summers Silver badge

          Re: Poor excuse for a politician

          "I suppose you think his sickening perversions should be tolerated. In my day we had ways of dealing with his kind."

          Well I know how I'd deal with trolls.

          1. unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge

            Re: Poor excuse for a politician

            Why don't you share your wisdom with us then? As soon as you're done cleaning that sticky stuff off your keyboard.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Poor excuse for a politician

              > Why don't you share your wisdom with us then? As soon as you're done cleaning that sticky stuff off your keyboard.

              It wasn't his sticky stuff, it was mine. Let us tidy up a bit and we'll be with you.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Poor excuse for a politician

                "It wasn't his sticky stuff, it was mine"

                Is that you, Voland?

          2. adnim Silver badge

            Re: Poor excuse for a politician

            I sincerely hope that it is a troll post and unwarranted t (good name for a rapper but I digress) does not really think that way...I don't care enough to trawl through his/her past posts and psychoanalyse.

            The alternative is, it wasn't a troll post and unwarranted t (that really is a good name for a rapper) sincerely believes in what he/she wrote. Now in 2017 that is more scary than any trolling.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Poor excuse for a politician

              They should follow Trump's example and get their lawyers to say that they (the Lawyers) did it.

              Is Nadine Doris the new Babs Streisand?

              1. Dave 126 Silver badge

                Re: Poor excuse for a politician

                Just ignore UT, if you quickly check his posting history you'll see why.

          3. ibmalone Silver badge

            Re: Poor excuse for a politician

            Blacklist and/or ignore them?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          In my day we had ways of dealing with his kind.

          And there was me thinking Victorian morality finished after the Victorian age.

          Did you give them a good whipping or a stint in the stocks? or worse still a visit to the "Houses of Correction".

          Abstinence good sir, that's they key, that's whats with society these days old chap.

          I would ask your opinion on same sex marriage but you would probably blow a blood vessel.

          1. unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge

            Re: In my day we had ways of dealing with his kind.

            I supported the legalisation of same-sex marriage. How's that strawman of yours doing?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: In my day we had ways of dealing with his kind.

              What strawman?

              You clearly have Victorian morals or are very adverse to pornography at all. The MP in question is only in the wrong if he accessed it at work and it was policy that he shouldn't, other than that he hasn't done anything wrong.

              The same-sex question was to determine if you really were full on Victorian or just semi for their morals.

        3. dan1980

          Re: Poor excuse for a politician

          @unwarranted triumphalism

          "I suppose you think his sickening perversions should be tolerated. In my day we had ways of dealing with his kind."

          For me, I think personal revulsion (whether right or wrong) shouldn't overwhelm skepticism and the presumption of innocence*. Your way of 'dealing with his kind' sounds a bit like a kangaroo court to me.

          There is enough in this case that is just plain odd and suspect to warrant holding off judgement and I think a little healthy caution is a good thing before bounding (like . . . what's that animal?) to a conclusion.

        4. Flywheel Silver badge

          Re: Poor excuse for a politician

          In my day we had ways of dealing with his kind

          Promoted to a higher position? Like Profumo?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Blackmail?

      "Green was accused by ex-senior cop Bob Quick"

      Was Bob Quick trying to make a Quick Bob?

    3. Winkypop Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Poor excuse for a politician

      I'm ready to be outraged and disgusted too!

      Anyone got the link....?

      (rain coat)

  2. J J Carter Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    It's jail time!

    Hope Lewis enjoys sharing a cell with 'Bubba' up at the penitentiary

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All these accusations about him looking at pron...

    ...but will it stand up in court?

    1. x 7 Silver badge

      Re: All these accusations about him looking at pron...

      be a damned stiff one to proove

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: All these accusations about him looking at pron...

        The prosecution will be looking for some hard evidence

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: All these accusations about him looking at pron...

          I'm sure they'll come up with something.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All these accusations about him looking at pron...

        The reason the porn allegations won't get to court is that no crime has been committed - the only thing we've specifically been told about the pornography in question is that it was legal. The question has always been over how it got there, who was responsible for it, and whether any of parliament's policies have been broken by anyone. If there's any action to be taken at all it would be for whatever passes as an HR department for MPs and the other staff of parliament.

        I'm not usually minded to defend tories against accusations of wrongdoing, but this seems surprisingly weak. This is office gossip material, it shouldn't be news.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: All these accusations about him looking at pron...

          As far as I'm concerned the only aspect of this I care about is whether or not he was beating off during work hours, which the public purse pays for.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: All these accusations about him looking at pron...

            "As far as I'm concerned the only aspect of this I care about is whether or not he was beating off during work hours, which the public purse pays for."

            Even "work hours" is difficult to define. MPs draw a salary and claim expenses. Just being in the office doesn't definitively mean it's "work hours". Some MPs put in a lot of hours, some far fewer. It's not a 9 to 5 job. Looked at one way, an MP is always "on duty", especially ministers and sometimes are in the House debating Bills etc well in the wee small hours.

        2. Seajay#

          Re: All these accusations about him looking at pron...

          whatever passes as an HR department for MPs

          That’s exactly the problem. Ordinarily this would be "No crime committed. HR investigate and sack if necessary" but there is no HR equivalent, MPs are self policing. With the assumption that they will get voted out if necessary. So for MPs (and only MPs) trial by tabloid is the constitutionally correct course of action.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: All these accusations about him looking at pron...

            They do have an HR equivalent in the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, overseen by The Committee on Standards

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: All these accusations about him looking at pron...

          I don't think his proof is anything of the sort. The issue isn't really the Porn its the possibility that he's lying about it. The details given by the forensics guy would suggest that he is. But without the computer or a call to GCHQ/NSA we'll probably never know.....

    3. DNTP Silver badge

      Re: All these accusations about him looking at pron...

      His lawyer states he is "determined to erect a turgid defense".

  4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Much whataboutery about nothing

    That it is possible to sneak compromising images into a browser's cache without the user being aware was demonstrated a few years ago when the politicians were trying to give the police the job of enforcing access to obscene publications. Didn't seem to worry the law and order brigade then or when they were draughting and the overreach nightmare that is RIPA.

    So why the fuss now? That an MP was browsing porn on his computer isn't news and isn't a crime.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

      For most employees, it is a sackable offence though - unless I guess you work for one of the online pron vendors or CEOPS

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

        He's not an employee. He's a representative of this constituents and a Member of Parliament. I think that what he's done is inappropriate, but don't think employment legislation is relevant.

        I'd be interested in where he was when it was downloaded - if connected to parliamentary networks, I'd have hoped that this stuff would have been blocked for security.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

          I'd have hoped that this stuff would have been blocked for security.

          I'm sure the category was explicitly excluded from any blocking system, since it would be necessary for research. After all, MPs really need to know what to oblige the rest of us to prove our age for.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

      That an MP was browsing porn on his computer isn't news and isn't a crime.

      BBBBBut sir... Conservative MP and straight, legal adult porn? What has this country come up to. What a spectacular collapse of the standards of public life.

      1. BeakUpBottom

        Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

        I challenge you to dredge murky depths of Jacob Rees-Smug's browser cache. I'll be prepared to bet that would hold some eye-watering stuff.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

          "I challenge you to dredge murky depths of Jacob Rees-Smug's browser cache"

          Steamporn?

        2. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

          I challenge you to dredge murky depths of Jacob Rees-Smug's browser cache. I'll be prepared to bet that would hold some eye-watering stuff.

          You're telling me he has a computer?!?

          Coal-fired I would imagine with the butler acting as stoker.

    3. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

      Years ago I've worked on someones computer where they most certainly did not knowingly download any dirty images. This was a little old lady who lived on her own and only she used the computer. However there certainly were some naughty images on the computer. She said she'd clicked on a link to what she thought was her old school. It had turned out to have been a dormant domain that a porn purveyor had taken over. When she came back from getting a cup of tea there were a load of 'websites' open on the screen. She'd closed the browser and all of the pop up windows as quickly as she could. A week later visiting another supposedly legitimate site she'd had more "nakedness" thrust upon her screen.

      Despite her speed at closing things a few weeks later she'd discovered the images on her computer, when doing a search for pictures of the church flowers. She was horrified that these smutty pictures were there and worried that someone might see them and what they might think. I said that they were in a place on the computer where she was unlikely to stumble across them. I said I'd delete them and do a virus scan which proved negative but there were about a thousand images on the machine that certainly weren't SFWI (Safe For the Women's Institute). She was most concerned the vicar might see them! There wasn't anything illegal (as far as I know) but there was a lot of it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

        "[...] but there were about a thousand images on the machine that certainly weren't SFWI (Safe For the Women's Institute). "

        WI members are as human as everyone else. There was a time when they perhaps had to appear to portray middle class Christian morality - as did the vicars. The Calendar Girls probably blew that away as far as many people were concerned.

        Talking of vicars reminds me of a cousin's wedding many years ago. The groom was a newly ordained young vicar - so the guests included his fellow seminarians and a particularly honoured middle-aged vicar. At the reception they formed a cluster - to which the vicar began telling very blue jokes in a loud voice. My mother and my aunt were horrified - definitely a case of "not in front of the children" .

        A very elderly neighbour used to like my company on winter's evenings for a chat to pass the time. As a a school governor and a member of a legal office she was a veritable pillar of society - and knew where many local skeletons were buried. She would also regale me with tales of her extramarital love life - her lovers ranging from schoolboys to wartime bomber pilots.

        She kept a daily diary in her own variant of shorthand. After her death her daughter decided to transcribe it. Apparently the "immoral" assignations were coded entries.

        1. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

          WI members are as human as everyone else.

          Whilst I agree that everyone is human [insert Piers Morgan Joke here] I don't think she thought many in her branch of over 50's WI would have been impressed with images of the beast with two backs etc. On the flipside I know someone who is well into their retirement who has no problems at all with anything like that. "It's all natural"

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

        Years ago I've worked on someones computer where they most certainly did not knowingly download any dirty images.

        This seems to be the line that Green's team is pursuing that of an innocent victim: firstly, of some kind of dodgy website infection; and secondly that some dastardly copper with a grudge kept notes and has now published them.

        Sorry, I don't buy this. If there was nothing to hide then why all the smoke? Make it a three-day wonder by admitting to having been unwise but having done nothing illegal.

        Sharing login details is far more worrying and likely to exclude someone from a government job. Well, except for BoJo, who seems unsackable despite being patently not fit for pupose.

        So, again, why throw this up? Sorry to sound conspiratorial but what is Green really trying to hide? I suspec the BBC team have reason for thinking this as well.

        1. Blotto

          Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

          @Charlie Clark

          Sorry, I don't buy this. If there was nothing to hide then why all the smoke? Make it a three-day wonder by admitting to having been unwise but having done nothing illegal.

          but what if he is telling the truth. How do you know he caused those images to be there. Its more than likely that even if he had sole access to those PC's (it doesn't say if he had sole use or if other accounts where also on it even if those pics where only in Green's profile)

          the example of the little old lady is valid. My dad barely knows how to use his laptop but it has all kinds of crap in his cache from links in emails people send him that he then clicks on. he doesn't know what the sites are or that the sites download a load of garbage.

          Remember those stupid search bars from a couple of years ago that teenagers used to install that would alter the default search engine and dns & then load other crap despite you wanting to just go to bbc news?

          If a teenager of a few years back went on a pc for 10 mins there would be all kinds of rubbish on it that neither the teenager or pc owner would have a clue about.

          I'm sure an inspection of David Blauketts PC at the time would have thousands of porn thumbnails on it despite him not being able to even see them.

          take Green's name out of the equation and pretend that this is a story about an elderly female relative who would have absolutely no want to peruse such sites, does the evidence as presented prove that porn was intentionally surfed by that relative?

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

            > For most employees, it is a sackable offence though

            He's a representative of his constituents, not an employee. If 75% of his constituents approved of hardcore unicorn BDSM (for example, obviously), why the hell should their elected representative be sacked? And sacked by whom? Where would the power of the sacker come from? Shieeet, and here was me thinking that IT folk could examine systems usefully...

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

            but what if he is telling the truth.

            He isn't, this is classic misdirection: look at the naughty copper.

        2. NXM

          Nothing to hide

          If memory serves, Green knew the police didn't have a search warrant but allowed them to search the office anyway in the interests of transparency. It opened him to the criticism that he'd given the police access to confidential constituents' data.

          Why would he have done that if he was aware of anything compromising on his computers?

    4. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

      politicians were trying to give the police the job of enforcing access to obscene publications.

      Making pron use mandatory?

      Please don't feed my psychosis about crossing into parallel dimensions, the daily culture shock is bad enough.

  5. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    Somewhat stupid - and unnecessary - Microsoft exchange and Google (to name but two) allow access for a proxy to handle correspondence and appointments. The need for her to frequently(WTF?) get her staff to remind her about her password(s) is particularly damning to the individual and the coaching MPs get on security (see success in guessing parliamentary email passwords in recent scandal bar two (or three or four.....)

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "particularly damning to ...the coaching MPs get on security"

      The coaching might be OK but the ability of MPs to understand complicated technical explanations such as "don't share your password" might be a bit restricted. Ask Amber about hashing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ms Rudd is perfectly capable of finding people who claim to understand the necessary hashtags, thankyou very much.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did he do it or not?

    Don't really care...but the bullshit leak from the ex-copper should be ripped apart.

    1000's of thumbnail images.

    1. What so pop up hell then? 10 years ago visiting a semi legit site could get you thousands in a few seconds.

    2.Leaking details of an investigation. Sorry sunshine, evidence is for the Police and Jury, not for the papers gossip columns. If there was now a case for sexual harassment (unlike current trial by media) , if I was his lawyer, I'd have the case dismissed on grounds of not receiving a fair trial.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Did he do it or not?

      Thumbnails does suggest they were adverts on other pages and the leaky cop did also say the thumbnails timestamps were closely timed with email activity on his account so he may have even had some javascript opening links for him. I personally dislike the man and his politics enormously but the cop in this is being a wanker of the first order.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Did he do it or not?

        I obviously don't have access to the raw evidence but anyone who has had to do even a semi-forensic investigation on a PC can get a view of whether a PC is being used for porn surfing and whether it is likely to be a certain user.

        As someone who was involved in forensic computer analysis, I would guess it is likely that *if* he s being truthful then there is a beyond reasonable doubt that this was carried out by the person in question.

        Although it is possible to plant something like this on a PC there seems to be no real motivation for that - a hacker would have tried to hide their steps and the computer investigation was unannounced (and seemed way too heavy handed).

        Divulging the information when it is not a police matter also seems wrong. But I would still very much doubt it was some kind of automated javascript popper that were randomly throwing porn thumbnails into the browser's cache and web history, for no reason.

        1. Blotto
          WTF?

          Re: Did he do it or not?

          @AC

          As someone who was involved in forensic computer analysis, I would guess it is likely that *if* he s being truthful then there is a beyond reasonable doubt that this was carried out by the person in question.

          Divulging the information when it is not a police matter also seems wrong. But I would still very much doubt it was some kind of automated javascript popper that were randomly throwing porn thumbnails into the browser's cache and web history, for no reason.

          ^^^^^^^THAT IS FUCKING SCARY^^^^^^^

          what hope is there for any truly innocent person embroiled in something reliant on computer forensics if that is the level of expertise called upon by the state and the courts believe the so called forensic experts to convict the person on trial.

          it is utter garbage and dishonest

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Did he do it or not?

          But I would still very much doubt it was some kind of automated javascript popper that were randomly throwing porn thumbnails into the browser's cache and web history, for no reason.

          You get that the raid happened in 2008 right?

          Let me give you an idea of public sector IT back then - having worked in it:

          Internet Explorer 6 was king, pop-up blockers were still relatively new and badly written intranet sites/apps often required you to switch the blocker off to be able to do minor tasks like logging in and printing reports.

          Getting a load of unwanted (or unknown) porn back then would have been commonplace if there wasn't anything in place blocking blacklisted / allowing whitelisted traffic (which, as has been established in other posts on this thread, there wasn't)

          As another poster has already said, that you claim to have a background in forensics without any understanding of how easy it is for files do be dumped in your cache without your knowledge/permission is alarming.

        3. David Shaw

          Re: Did he do it or not? was it planted or not?

          there's a very nice free ebook pdf on the reliability of even real forensic digital evidence here, written by a UK Barrister & a univ. prof.

          http://ials.sas.ac.uk/digital/humanities-digital-library/observing-law-ials-open-book-service-law/electronic-evidence

          leaks/hacker/secret-squirrels/pr0n who knows what was going on !, but read and worry. . .

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Did he do it or not?

      If there was now a case for sexual harassment

      As there isn't: why all the noise? Almost as the lawyers are worrried about what does come to light and getting the smokescreen up early.

      Whether or not the copper has broken the law by firstly, retaining the notes and subsequently disclosing them is another matter. Seems unlikely to me but I suspect he won't be welcome down the Lodge any time soon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Did he do it or not?

        "Whether or not the copper has broken the law by firstly, retaining the notes and subsequently disclosing them is another matter."

        We've been told he was given access to the computer in order to investigate a complaint about leaking within westminster. He then took private copies of data from that computer which had nothing to do with what he was authorised to investigate. He then (albeit ten years later) shared information about that data with the press - again without any authorisation to do so.

        This seems a pretty clear cut breach of the CMA to me.

    3. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Did he do it or not?

      Aha, someone else noticed the mention of thumbnails.

      How many pornographic thumbnails appear in your cache when you click a single link that happens to take you to a Daily Mail story? Maybe thirty-ish in that column down the right hand side. An MP would have legitimate reason to read a lot of newspaper stories and other such contents.

  7. A Bee

    So Many Questions

    According to the reports I heard, the police passed on reports of material inappropriate for a work computer found on Mr Green's PC to the parliamentary authorities; they believed that an enquiry was underway, but they were never asked to give evidence.

    Now you quote Green: “No allegations about the presence of improper material on my parliamentary computers have ever been put to me or to the parliamentary authorities by the police.”

    So was there an enquiry by the parliamentary authorities or not?

    What kind of enquiry doesn't look at the two primary sources of evidence?

    Now, whilst I care about how Green (or anyone) treats staff and colleagues, I don't care whether or not he uses porn.

    On the other hand, there should be rules about appropriate uses for work computers, not least for reasons of security.

    Why are there members of the House of Commons falling over one another to tell us how lax they are about computer security?

    1. deive

      Re: So Many Questions

      I also don't care if he uses porn... On his own machine. It's not like MPs can't afford it.

      They all need to be fired on all sides by the sounds of it! Green for porn on his machine, whats-her-face for disregard of security, and the police guy should have been fired for having a murder by police under his command!

      Don't these people get paid a metric fuckton for all the "responsibility" they have to take on?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: So Many Questions

        > They all need to be fired on all sides by the sounds of it! Green for porn on his machine,

        The copper himself said he can't prove that Green watched porn in his computer. How do you square your statement with 'innocent until proven guilty'? Do you really want a situation where democratically-elected representatives can be got rid of based on a single individual's say-so without evidence?

        Hell, it's like you don't remember the CCTV footage that didn't agree with the policemen's account of the words exchanged during Plebgate'.

        Habeas Corpus. Show me the body [of evidence] (or please remain quiet. There's too much noise around already). Ta muchly.

    2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: So Many Questions

      Why should it be any business of the Police what material was on that computer unless it was illegal or material pertaining to the search warrant? There would be no case to report personal or professionally confidential material on that computer unless specifically instructed to by and to the owner of the computer (Leader of the House in this case?)

      It's always possible that the images as cached thumbnails were innocent drive-by pickups (used to be a real pig when you got 57 pop-unders, overs and throughs spawning and had to kill the session to stop them) but that would need forensic analysis to determine a deliberate clicking strategy to get to the site rather than an "innocent" click on a 'fraudulent' redirector.

      I have no doubt that Green is a smarmy git and guilty of all sorts of stuff (dodgy or otherwise) but in this case it's no longer really any of any public interest, a flagrant breach of data privacy and a flagrant breach of Police etiquette so the copper needs taking down big time - what he's done is verging on political blackmail. (I assume he's not being paid for his story?)

  8. Stuart 22

    Protecting their own

    How heartwarming to see Damien's friends rushing to their favourite newspaper proprietors over the weekend to defend him and rubbishing the rozzers.

    I haven't a clue whether Damien is guilty or not. But how can THEY tell it wasn't him but an office worker or a Putin inspired hacker? They don't have the objectivity and distance as you or I. I doubt they have more evidence.

    And while Quick's initial statements appear to be over the top (illegal v legal porn) the statements made by those closer to the evidence is rather more forensic - not proof as was made clear but certainly a case to answer.

    It would seem the response is not Damien answering but his friends trying to deflect the questions raised. And I have a hunch they will be successful.

  9. Test Man

    This whole episode stinks to high heaven, emanating from everyone involved. Green sounds like he's as dodgy as fuck - his "proof" is nothing of the sort, just circumstantial evidence. Actual proof would be a video of him being nowhere near his laptop at the time of the downloading of porn, or actual video of whoever did it.

    On the other hand, the cop that ratted to the media is clearly a loony with an agenda - I mean the bloke's alleged porn collection wasn't criminal so had nothing to do with the police, simply a matter for his employers, so him claiming it's in the public interest is nonsense.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Er, the burden of proof is on those making the accusation, not the accused - for criminal cases. So why should Green present a defence?

      For civil cases it's a balance - but who is the wronged party in this case? Exactly.

      Sheeiit, the French are far more civilised here - they just assume that every politician is having an affair and so continue discussing the actual policies (or else rioting or protesting as their mood suits... but nothing as dreary as discussing unattractive people's sex lives).

  10. 0laf Silver badge

    No filter on the gov network? Never mind the pr0n what about accessing sites with malware (and pr0n)?

    And what he's saying is that someone sneaked into a computer on a secure government network either physically or electronically and planted pr0n on a minister's computer.

    I would hope that NCSC would be involved very seriously at this complete compromise of an IT system at the heart of government.

    Alternatively he's being using hidemyass to watch shemale dwarf pr0n. I'll let you guess what is more likely.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      No filter on the gov network?

      There was. The parliament tried to install WebSense a few year prior to this incident. The MPs demanded that is removed. I do not remember the full details, but you can probably find the transcript of the discussion in the Parliament archive.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "No filter on the gov network?"

      This is a Parliamentary network and what applies here doesn't necessarily apply to other gov.uk sites. I'm not sure about then but nowadays they even have their own domain, parliament.uk. And introducing a filter onto that raises all sorts of issues: would you be monitoring MPs' confidential communications with their constituents? or Party officials? Would you be censoring what they see? What authority could impose such sanctions on MPs given that collectively they are sovereign?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        > No filter on the gov network?

        Have you actually thought about what you've just said? These are the people who decide our laws - so placing power in the hands of the white/black list curators (who are....?) is not a good idea. Read some Jonathan Swift (Flappers), and read some more, possibly some treatise on logic, politics, human nature, keep reading, and maybe get back to us.

        Okay, so you haven't bothered? Well, the flappers were people who held flaps over the ears of the powerful. Nobody seeking an audience with the powerful would get far unless they got the favour of the flappers.

  11. DailyLlama
    Facepalm

    It's new worthy because in any other job, if caught with porn on his computer he'd have been fired. Or in any decent job, if he was caught sharing his credentials, he'd have been fired.

    As it is, he only works for the public, so it's ok to be giving other people his login details and viewing porn at work, because all porn sites are clean and secure, and have no malware associated with them at all.

    Oh, wait a minute...

    1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

      pron on the cp

      It's new worthy because in any other job, if caught with porn on his computer he'd have been fired.

      having porn on your pc (or if it's pron presumably it's on your cp) is not reasonable proof that you've been looking at porn.

      As others have pointed out, a dodgy link could have done it, crap settings on an email client (this was years back remember). Or a malicious web-admin could easily to give them to you as a present. If I have a website which the bods from Westminster access for what ever reasons it is trivial to feed them lots of links to thumbnails (coz they download quickly so probably won't be noticed) and you just display them as 1x1 pixels dots on the screen... or similarly hide them. I could easily target these at specific IP addresses or users etc.

      If you want proof you should need to more than someone saying I saw it in the guy's browser history.

      Otherwise any web admin can take you down any time they like.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: pron on the cp

        A dodgy link couldn't have done it. The police detective, who's a computer forensics expert, mentioned thousands of files, over a time period of months, with timestamps indicating porn browsing sessions lasting several hours, interspersed with him sending and receiving emails and reviewing documents.

        Either the copper is lying, or Damien Green is. Seeing a load of porn sites being accessed in his browser history, mixed with accesses to his email account, is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Short of him coming forward with a good explanation, hand waving about 'hackers' or 'shared passwords' doesn't cut it.

        1. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

          Re: pron on the cp

          "Either the copper is lying, or Damien Green is." reasonable doubt right there.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: pron on the cp

            The copper himself has said he has no proof.

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: pron on the cp

              > Seeing a load of porn sites being accessed in his browser history, mixed with accesses to his email account, is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

              The copper himself has said he had no proof. Relying upon the word of a single witness is NOT beyond reasonable doubt. In any case, 'beyond reasonable doubt' is for criminal courts, and nobody is saying a crime has been committed, not even Knacker of the Yard 'imself.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: pron on the cp

                "Relying upon the word of a single witness is NOT beyond reasonable doubt."

                Yes it is, if said witness is a police computer forensics expert that's forensically examined a computer. Please god don't ever be asked to serve on a jury.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: pron on the cp

              Except contemporaneous notes, reports of his findings to his superior, and a forensic drive image. Yeah. No proof.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: pron on the cp

            "reasonable doubt right there."

            No, it's a tautology. You don't get to throw your hands up and claim 'well gee either one of them might be lying so I guess there's no way to be sure!'.

            You pick the one that is most credible, and that has provided evidence for their assertions. My money is on the copper telling the truth in this instance.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: pron on the cp

              We're talking about the copper who took an unauthorised copy of the "evidence", waited ten years and then presented it to the court of... errrr... Fleet Street? Anyone heard of the term "chain of custody"? Or "due process"?

              I suspect the copper may well have found porn on the computer, but the way they've conducted themselves has undermined their credibility to the point of non-existence.

        2. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

          Re: pron on the cp

          mentioned thousands of files, over a time period of months, with timestamps indicating porn browsing sessions lasting several hours, interspersed with him sending and receiving emails and reviewing documents.

          Once the dodgy link has been followed or the maliciously crafted page has been viewed it can keep updating so can result in many accesses spread over the time the page is open which can easily show the accesses interspersed with genuine work activities.

          You're probably right, he may well not be telling the whole truth, but this isn't evidence.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      in any other job...

      Not everyone is a wage slave - you're hardly likely to fire yourself for moral misdemeanours if you're self-employed, for example. MPs are not employed by anyone and haven't agreed to any rules about their conduct (with the implicit exception of the arcane twaddle in Erskine May).

      More to the point, why should anyone be fired for having porn on their office computer? It's not necessarily more time-wasting than shopping on Amazon or posting pictures of the staff Xmas lunch on Facebook.

      And, indeed, why is the web cache not encrypted by a one-time session-specific key so that jobsworth "forensic experts" have something more constructive to do with their time than poking their holier-than-thou fingers into the dark recesses of their fellow men. It's not as if we were all still using 1200 baud modems.

  12. elgarak1

    "[..]fellow Conservative MP Nadine Dorries made the startling admission that she shares her personal login credentials with her staff,[..]"

    I have seen the Twitter-exchange following that. It's stunning that Ms. Dorries doesn't see any problem with that, despite every person responding was palm-facing. Not to mention that it violates the Parliament's IT guidelines.

    It's probably understandable if people do that, but they shouldn't. On Windows, it may not even improve security noticeably, but it keeps things trackable. On a Mac and other *nix'es, one can easily set up different users, with their own user space, and a shared space for all things that need to be shared.

    If she's typical of politicians and lawmakers in her knowledge and application of all things IT, it's no wonder about the sad state of things. Good riddance.

    As to Mr. Green and his pr0n stache... Who cares? As long as it is legal... If it's hypocritical of him to have that (I don't know his political stance), or you do not agree with it, don't elect him. As I am not British, I can only speak hypothetically: I would prefer if politicians keep their house clean. Follow proper security. Don't do pr0n on the workplace, use a private machine, on your private time (the latter is problematic, as politicians do not properly separate work and private time, and shift between them fluidly). Don't preach what you don't practice. Other than that to influence my decision to vote, I don't care.

    1. DaLo

      Well the ICO has waded in now so expect a severe word in her ear behind closed doors.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42225214

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Well the ICO has waded in"

        Given that an MP could be dealing with personal affairs of constituents it's not surprising. What is surprising is that the Sergeant at Arms would allow the seizure on an MP's computer even with a warrant let alone without one.

        1. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

          there was a bit of a fuss about it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            And it's widely believed to have been politically motivated, as Green was at the time a rather vocal critic of the then Government.

            Using police searches to find out who's leaking is a rather disturbing tactic.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Bernard Woolley: That's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I give confidential security briefings. You leak. He has been charged under section 2a of the Official Secrets Act.

            3. JimboSmith Silver badge

              Using police searches to find out who's leaking is a rather disturbing tactic.

              Yep remember Zircon? Although admittedly that was a very very slightly different kettle of fish.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A severe word? Good lord, all I expected was a strongly worded letter. Cracking down hard these days.

    2. Keith Langmead

      "In defending Green over the weekend, fellow Conservative MP Nadine Dorries made the startling admission that she shares her personal login credentials with her staff, prompting howls of dismay from the information security community."

      There may be howls of dismay, but I think for anyone who actually has to deal with real people there were howls of "well Duh!". It shouldn't happen but it does, all the time, in all types of industry and government. My colleagues and I have all had the same conversation with various clients more times than I can count, trying to make them understand why they shouldn't all know each others passwords, yet it continues.

      In a way the outcome from this I'd most like is for it to be shown he really is innocent and someone else used his login. At least then it may provide the rest of us with a cautionary tale to use in future.

  13. Arthur the cat Silver badge
    Devil

    It was the Russians, honestly

    "Kaspersky AV downloaded all the pr0n, not any MP" says parliamentary enquiry.

  14. Lee D Silver badge

    Problems I have:

    - Tax-payer-funded machines used for non-work purposes.

    - Tax-payer-funded people not working on work-purposes while in tax-payer-funded place of work (beyond what I'd consider reasonable, e.g. emailing their child's nursery, googling a flight number, etc.).

    - Stupendous levels of idiocy regarding login sharing.

    - Accusation that "anyone" could have got onto a machine to load it up with dirty pictures... which suggests poor system security, auditing and control as well as poor physical security.

    Problems I don't have:

    - That the allegation involves legal dirty pictures, in general.

    I'd be just as mad that they were playing video games on it, or browsing dating sites, or spending an hour doing their online Christmas shopping.

    However, this is the FIRST instance I've seen where people are starting to say "WHAT he was doing doesn't matter - so long as it's legal - as much as WHY he was doing it at that point, on that computer, and if he should have been doing something else". Maybe people are finally beginning to ignore the "political sex scandal" nonsense. But just a year or so ago, an MP popping out on their lunch hour to meet another consenting adult to have sex in a car in a secluded area with no money changing hands and no crime committed? Somehow THAT turned into a front-page scandal, which I don't understand at all.

    Are you honestly telling me that the user agreement for parliamentary computers doesn't include a line that says "the systems should be used for parliamentary and directly-related usage only"? Because if they don't, my policy-writing service is available for what would be a PITTANCE compared to what the parllament IT director must be getting per hour. And breach of the usage agreement would result in suspension of the account and reporting to superiors until resolved.

    Even in that case, though, sharing passwords would result in immediate account suspension and be dealt with much more harshly... that's literally breaking the law if there's a single piece of personal information contained on said systems/computers (e.g. a single constituent's email address).

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Well great Lee. Are you suggesting that MPs hoik around their own personal laptops for skyping their children in their lunch hour? Seriously, I want my elected representatives to be able concept Tate in their job, not to cart 2Kg of secondary laptop around for no good reason. I'd rather they make their decisions without worrying about the crick in their neck from carrying around unnecessary shit - and the chiropractor's bill is unlikely to be cheaper than a laptop.

      Hell's teeth, MPs waste far more time jumping through hoops for the press and doing tricks for their constituents than they ever do watching porn.

      To paraphrase Bill Hicks: would you rather an MP be locked in their bathroom watching porn, or hanging over a war vote with an erection they can't get rid of?

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Okay, you wish to have an example?

        I work in a school. I determine the IT policy in co-operation with the school. I do this using sources such as other school's policies, previous school's policies, current legislation, employer's desires, employee's legal rights and surrounding legal frameworks. Hence, I'm not just "making it up to be obstructive" but writing a real-world policy that isn't going to get me sacked by my own words for checking my GMail briefly in my lunch hour.

        Are staff allowed to carry around home laptops and plug them into the network or chat home on Skype? No. Not even during their lunch hour. If they want to do that, they take a phone and go and do that on the phone. Anything else is an unauthorised device. In school that has the connotation of people plugging in unsafe devices, or accidentally capturing images of children in a playground (let's be honest... not the most serious of things you can do in and of itself, and anything "worse" should raise child protection concerns almost immediately in such an environment, e.g. taking a phone into the changing rooms, but still an issue you need to counter) but in Parliament I imagine there are lots and lots of other things you don't want visible on a webcam, leaking out of the organisation, plugged into the wireless, etc. etc..

        But... Oh... wait... the phone policy in school is such that they can't use them during working hours within sight of the children or parents. So they'll have to leave work and GO OUTSIDE to have that call anyway. On their lunch hour. And they can't just answer the phone for random personal calls or talk to their mates while wandering the grounds even as a member of non-teaching staff (e.g. the IT guy...). Gosh.. it's almost like a policy that every workplace in existence has in some form or another that DOESN'T allow you to wander off and not-work for hours and hours and hours and hours on end, watching porn, while being paid by your employers to be doing a job.

        My next questions would be "Why are they doing that?", "Why would they need a laptop to do that?" and "Why would that not come under "reasonable" non-work-related use of facilities?" Seriously, you have to video-call your kids every lunch hour and can't just use a phone or go a few hours during the working day? Sure, if they're ill at home and you have a babysitter. I think that gets classed under my exceptions as stated. Why does that need Skype, or a laptop, especially a personal one?

        Does that mean they can have permission to just install Skype (which includes remote-desktop functionality and may require admin rights)? No.

        Does that mean they can spend hours on it? No. (They should just go home, if it's affecting their work that much... hey, I'm more than happy to allow that for all my staff and have said to my boss "Oh, I sent X home, they were upset and in no fit state to work" and the response was "Okay". End of. Hell, I didn't even have to sign a form or anything, no wages were docked, etc.)

        Does that mean that it's a sensible thing to do while they should be working unless it's NECESSARY? No.

        Does that mean you can abuse such a privilege if it's been granted once in extenuating circumstances? No.

        Does that mean I'm calling for a sacking offence for something taking their hands briefly from the keyboard home keys while they should be working? No.

        (and I'm very reasonable in terms of family-work-life balance here, so I have no problems with such things in principle, I have a problem with you thinking that the same exceptions mean you can also surf porn for hours on end or that you HAVE to video-conference on an unauthorised device in a secure location including transmitting audio and video around the globe via third-party companies rather than just walk outside and make a phone call on what is quite clearly your own time).

        To be honest, I'd much rather we had politicians who worked for a living like everyone else, didn't try to use the excuse that they have to personally entertain themselves at work just to "concentrate" (hey, I wonder if teachers should get that same exception... or the guy who makes your lunchtime sandwich... or that guy who works in the lingerie department.... does that just seem weird and creepy now, rather than something a human should be overcoming... 'scuse pun?).

        A politician who can't concentrate on an important vote because he's insufficiently sexually stimulated should excuse themselves from the vote entirely because they're an adult, and if they're unable to cope with that they should do another job and let someone with an ounce of self-control do theirs.

        Browsing porn on a work computer is a sackable offence in basically every job imaginable (maybe not being website developer for certain sites... but I bet even there you could get the sack for doing it too much unnecessarily!) precisely because it's unnecessary, unrelated, unauthorised, and you're being paid to be doing something else. No different to a postman who decides to spend an hour in the pub because he was a bit thirsty. Fine if that's YOUR hour, fine if you're not doing anything illegal (e.g. driving while drunk), fine if there's an extenuating circumstance (your van hit the van of the guy in the pub), etc.

        Otherwise, no, you'd be sacked in almost ANY job known to man for doing so. Unless you're a politician, apparently.

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          I assume you aren't in work today then?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Viewing smut

    Just a case of looking at photographs of people doing to each other what the Tories have been doing to the country for the last few years.

  16. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    Not so easy

    Surprised at all the comments implying that it's somehow the norm that a private sector employee would automatically get sacked for pr0nz on a work computer. Far from the truth although if someone was found (after a proper investigation) to have been routinely contravening corporate IT policies then that might well contribute to a dismissal.

    In fact I do know people working in the video-streaming industry who have been asked to sign disclaimers confirming that they are mentally and emotionally OK with encountering adult content during the course of their employment.

  17. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    If you were of an - errm - nefarious turn of mind wouldn't it be a good idea to send each MP an email claiming to be from a constituent with a dodgy payload that would download a few dodgy thumbnails? It would have the added bonus that the timestamps of the files would coincide with times that the computer was in use. Just so that should the case arise you want to blacken or blackmail an MP you could make such allegations against them.

    Who might want to do that? Probably lots of people, not all from unfriendly countries. MPs are high value targets.

  18. Kurgan

    The dog ate my homework.

    Yea, sure. The dog ate my homework, and bad hackers porned (pornized?) my PC.

  19. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    MPs are special - so is parliament

    At least some commenters here say we should expect higher standards from MPs than from ordinary employees. But few seem to admit that the domain parliament.uk might be subject to special attack. Perhaps initially not against a specific person, just an exercise to gain a few future hostages. That is the way companies are hacked, after all.

  20. Bloodbeastterror

    "I'll just pop into my boss' office...

    ...and get my daily fix of porn."

    Oh please, do me a favour...

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: "I'll just pop into my boss' office...

      What else do you expect that your PHB does all day? Actual work? /s /s /s

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "how one of Laing’s staff had found porn on her boss’s computer without having accessed or watched it"

    Does she employ electronic psychics? is that even a field? Do they just listen to the hard drive and whisper "porn" or "no porn"?

    Enquiring minds.

  22. steelpillow Silver badge
    Mushroom

    "You're nicked" specrte rises - but not for our Damian

    So pox boxes cache shit you didn't ask for, yawn. But some dumb pig doesn't realise that so he breaches the confidentiality of his profession under pretext of "national interest" over a crime that was never committed. Go ye lawyers, make fried bacon of him, go!

  23. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    standard image?

    "mystery pr0n all over Parliamentary PCs"

    ...it could be if there are Parliamentary PCs out there built from an image created from a template machine that was used by the PFY on a late shift

  24. martinusher Silver badge

    Its quite possible he is innocent

    Contrary to what seems like received wisdom a surprisingly large number of people have no interest in porn, Internet or whatever. This material is useful for discrediting people, though, so I'd be very wary of situations where someone who's the target of an investigation just happens to have a large amount of porn on their computer. Its just too convenient.

    I, like many, don't wish Damian Green and his colleagues well and would do anything to hasten their downfall. But I do know where to draw the line.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Its quite possible he is innocent

      It's absolutely certain that he is.

      Even the bent copper didn't go as far as to accuse anyone of actual illegality.

      Except of course for said copper, who has very likely broken the law.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Its quite possible he is innocent

        Just like that Brazilian Plumber ?

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Its quite possible he is innocent

        Except of course for said copper, who has very likely broken the law.

        First prize for a classic bit of whataboutery!

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: Its quite possible he is innocent

          Not really whataboutery in this case. Whether he's right or not, Green isn't accused of anything illegal. At most he might have lied about something inappropriate and embarrassing done years ago. It wouldn't have come up either way, except that a former policeman has released information he only had through a police investigation about something that wasn't illegal and isn't really in the public interest, which they should not be doing.

          What really makes this about the investigator is that if we had all the private details of all politician's lives I'm sure a lot more people would be embarrassed. But no, this information was only there through that investigation and released by someone who had a responsibility not to. I'm not a fan of Green's party and haven't really paid enough attention to him to have an opinion on whether I like him or not, but this is not how you do politics or policing in a functioning democracy.

  25. Blotto

    Do you know what a password is for?

    A lot of commentators here don't really understand what the password on the computer is for.

    its to ensure the machine is used by authorised personnel only.

    if the MP shares their password they are authorising those the password is shared with to work on and look at all the material on that PC, just as they would provide authorisation by handing over a document, the combination to a safe or brief case or whatever. The password is shared with trusted staff members.

    its little different conceptually to support changing your password to wHatEver when you've locked yourself out, at that point someone not trusted & not known by the user also knows their password & could do whatever they want, resetting the password again before the user logs in.

    when someone leaves always change their password before deleting the account, that way any connected AD/LDAP system should change the cached hash too, that way if something subsequently is removed from the net, the old password known to the now gone user is useless to login to it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do you know what a password is for?

      Three words.

      Authentication

      Authorization

      Accounting

      That's why there are logon process on computer systems. Your argument only covers the second of the three.

      1. Blotto

        Re: Do you know what a password is for?

        @ac

        Three words.

        Authentication

        Authorization

        Accounting

        That's why there are logon process on computer systems. Your argument only covers the second of the three.

        Thats actually AAA protocol, the password is actually the authentication part, not authorisation. Authorisation would check your authenticated detail against a list to check you can access the resource you are trying to connect to.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Do you know what a password is for?

          <clap clap> That's my point. Your argument only considered authorisation, when the password itself is actually more directly linked with the authentication step. Given we're commenting on a story which boils down to "so who downloaded the porn anyway?" it should be obvious to everyone why accounting is also important. You need all three.

          Strictly speaking, anyone using another person's identity to gain access is still unauthorised. Proper authorisation has to come from the security authority responsible for the computer resources, not from some random user who can't be arsed to get their staff registered properly with their own logins.

          1. Blotto

            Re: Do you know what a password is for?

            <clap clap> That's my point. Your argument only considered authorisation, when the password itself is actually more directly linked with the authentication step. Given we're commenting on a story which boils down to "so who downloaded the porn anyway?" it should be obvious to everyone why accounting is also important. You need all three.

            you still don't get it.

            The data on those machines in the MP's office is the MP's responsibility. By providing a username and password that accesses that data, the MP is authorising the person who those details where divulged to to access that data. Authentication, Authorisation, Access is a protocol / methodology that is used to try and have some accountability as to who is accessing what, when and to ensure that the account used in the authentication piece only access predetermined systems or data (the authorisation bit). don't forget this all happened 10 years ago, even if no one shared passwords it would still not be absolutely definite that Green accessed Porn, even though it was found in his user profile. even in 2017 many people walk away from their machines without locking it,

            Neither the password, AAA or anything else stopped a copper walking in off the street and taking an unauthorised copy of the PC data, and its not stopped that copper from leaking, again unauthorised by the data owner and even former and current police chain of command, non illegal information about the contents of the data on the machine 10 years later.

            the real complaint here should be that the copper is unauthorised to be divulging information that was on the machine. Even if Green had supplied the copper with a username and password (doesn't matter who's username) it would have been purely for investigating the suspected leak of information from the Home Office and not so some retired copper 10 years later could drag this ordeal back up and try and bring down a government minister.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Do you know what a password is for?

              You still don't understand what authorisation really is.

              "The data on those machines in the MP's office is the MP's responsibility. By providing a username and password that accesses that data, the MP is authorising the person who those details where divulged to to access that data."

              It may have been Damian Green's (constituent's) data on the machine, but unless he was actually responsible for running Parliament's entire IT facilities he still had no right to grant others use of them. Of course Green would have some responsibility for keeping his own data safe, but that duty would be shared with the people responsible for providing, maintaining and securing the parliamentary IT facilities. Giving an unauthorised person access to those computer facilities would potentially compromise more than just Green's data, which is why ordinary users aren't allowed to grant other people access in any sane computing environment.

              If you held the door to your workplace open for someone, and that person then robbed the building, do you understand why you might have some explaining to do if your actions had been captured on CCTV? It's a very similar principle.

              I'm not sure it's actually been confirmed that Green did allow others to use his access credentials. Nadine Dorries and others certainly did. The security community is up in arms about this because they understand the importance of proper authorisation. MPs are joining the bandwagon of "I do it too" because they don't.

              "don't forget this all happened 10 years ago, even if no one shared passwords it would still not be absolutely definite that Green accessed Porn"

              I don't care how long ago it was, the fact that there's no chain of custody and the data concerned appears to have been unlawfully obtained (possibly illegally if you think the CMA applies) means that for me there's no case to answer.

              "even in 2017 many people walk away from their machines without locking it"

              And even ten years ago you'll find that most of the workplace conditions of use documents that people agree to when being registered on computer facilities specifically tell you to lock your workstation if you are to leave it unattended. Just because lots of people do something routinely (and you're right, they still do) doesn't make it the right thing to do.

              "Neither the password, AAA or anything else stopped a copper walking in off the street and taking an unauthorised copy of the PC data"

              No, Parliament's Sergeant at Arms should have done that. It remains a mystery why the copper was allowed to walk in and start demanding access to parliamentary systems without even having a warrant.

              In any case, computer security isn't magical. If the people involved do stupid/unauthorised/illegal things a login process alone isn't likely to stop them. It may provide an audit trail to help determine who, why and how things happened, which is the best you can do when you're dealing with human beings who are making mistakes and/or acting maliciously.

              "the real complaint here should be that the copper is unauthorised to be divulging information that was on the machine"

              At last, something we can agree on.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not like at Public School

    No Internet pr0n back then.

    We just used to cover Spotty-Jones in butter and chase him naked with lettuce leaves.....

    Sometimes Matron would bring her whip.

  27. Steve 114
    Thumb Up

    Thumbnails

    I e-mailed my MP at parliament.uk very recently (quite a productive thing to do, as all they usually get are complaints). I still use MSGTAG for read-receipts: it adds a one-pixel image and you get told when that image has been (invisibly) 'opened'. It was duly confirmed opened within 30 minutes, and I had a pleasant reply in 2 days (probably from an assistant sharing passwords). Not sure what this proves about process, but it strikes me as all perfectly normal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thumbnails with a remote image

      aren't they (HoC) sensible enough to not view remote pixels yet?

      (other than that, seems like a reasonably useful service - especially for contentious ebay discussions etc)

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why 10 years for it to come to light

    Why 10 years for it to be made public, what is there to gain?

  29. Flywheel Silver badge
    Mushroom

    There seems to be disproportionate amount of support for Mr Green

    Just an observation, but there seem to be an incredible amount of Green supporters - far in excess of the number anyone who's not an MP/Green would get. Not just here, but all over the media. I don't seem to see as much moral outrage for other, similar topics, but considering Green is just an MP, what gives?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: There seems to be disproportionate amount of support for Mr Green

      I agree with you that there is so much protest as to make something so inncuous sound suspicious.

      I think it might something to do with him being Deputy Prime Minister and eseentially May's last wicket.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: There seems to be disproportionate amount of support for Mr Green

        I don't know enough about the guy to have a real opinion.

        For the sake of argument, let's assume the former cop is telling the truth.

        However, the original search of his office should not have happened - there was no warrant and MPs have highly sensitive, legally-privileged information about their constituents in their files and computers.

        - it cost a Speaker his post.

        The recent behaviour of these two police officers is clearly politically motivated, and may be illegal.

        The unrelated evidence collected back then should have been destroyed - that's what the law requires - it wasn't relevant, by their own admission was completely legal and he was never charged with anything.

        Exfiltrating some of that evidence from the police records and passing it to a newspaper many years later, just as a politician is a bit wobbly? That is not the actions of a concerned citizen, that's someone attempting a coup de tat.

        And as there is no chain of custody, it's impossible to prove which side is telling the truth.

        Personally I think it's likely that both are - except that the former policeman doesn't know what a popunder advert used to be.

  30. adam payne Silver badge

    In defending Green over the weekend, fellow Conservative MP Nadine Dorries made the startling admission that she shares her personal login credentials with her staff,

    An MP that gives credentials to there staff needs to get the boot.

    What confidential things have her staff viewed?

    1. David Shaw

      An MP that gives credentials to their staff . . .

      obligatory Dilbert (actually today's)

      http://assets.amuniversal.com/5af325a0b04a0135ff38005056a9545d

      alternate link incase the above hash is temporary http://dilbert.com/strip/2017-12-05

      maybe the staff just guess, accurately! (or can read the Post-It repo)

  31. Cuddles Silver badge

    When is a denial not a denial?

    "No allegations about the presence of improper material on my parliamentary computers have ever been put to me or to the parliamentary authorities by the police."

    As has been pointed out many times, the police have no reason to put allegations to anyone because by all accounts the porn in question was perfectly legal. When you're being accused of doing something probably wrong but not actually illegal, if the best defence you can muster is to reiterate that it wasn't illegal, it's generally a fair bet that you did it.

    It's also worth bearing in mind that the all the furore about whether Damian Green looked at porn misses the rather more important point - someone was spending a lot of time looking at porn when they were supposed to be doing work at a pretty high level in government. The facts that no-one noticed at the time and that there's apparently no way of finding out who did it afterwards are far more concerning than the actual culprit themselves. If I tried looking at porn at work, I'd be out on my ear within an hour. The reported widespread sharing of accounts and passwords seems to be just one symptom of the total lack of security on basically the entire governmental IT system.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: When is a denial not a denial?

      Except that, in 2008, Green was a member of the opposition. Still, depending on what committees he was in he may well have had access to confidential information.

      Someone somewhere probably has a list of how much time MPs don't spend doing their work but it's really up to the constituency to hold to task over this.

      i.e. this whole thing has nothing to do with porn.

  32. Kaz01

    MP's behaving badly

    Why are these MP's watching porn at work??? There is a time and place for everything and for doing the Job that you were selected to do!!

  33. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge

    Still puzzled by some comments

    Load of stuff about him being wrong to have legal porn on his system.

    I thought the issue was that the police found porn on his PC, it is assumed that he was aware that this had happened (why would they not tell him?) but subsequently used a form of words to suggest that he was unaware of the porn on his PC.

    So the issue is his denial.

    Presumably the whistle blowing by retired police is because they knew that he knew about the porn. They therefore formed the opinion that he was a bare faced liar and spoke up.

    Two seperate questions, then.

    (1) Did a serving minister deliberately mislead the public? If so he should be nailed.

    (2) Did the police breach confidentiality? Up to and including the Official Secrets Act? If so, and they are not covered by a whistle blower's charter, they shoul be nailed. They should also accept this as the price of doing what they considered "the right thing".

  34. batfink
    Holmes

    Where's the snapshot?

    IIRC the original raid on Green's office was to trace the source of leaks, and therefore his machine came under investigation.

    You would expect that the first thing Inspector Plod is going to do as part of this investigation is to snapshot the machine, so that (a) there's a backup of any evidence and (b) so the porn leaking trail can be examined at leisure.

    So, given UK Plod's reluctance to destroy any gathered intelligence anywhere, ever, it should be a very simple matter to produce the snapshot made at the time and prove/disprove Green's protestations of innocence.

    None of this forgives the f'n appalling use of coppers coming into parliament without a warrant in the first place, of course.

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