back to article Japanese cyber security minister 'doesn't know what a USB stick is'

In Blighty, we have former home secretary Amber "Necessary Hashtags" Rudd, but shockingly politicians' failure to grasp basic aspects of their brief is not limited to the UK. Which takes us to Japan, where the country's newly appointed deputy minister responsible for cyber security admitted in parliament yesterday that he hasn …

  1. Boohoo4u

    Speechless

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Especially if the speech was on a USB stick.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        I've tried putting a speech on a USB stick. The trick is to use a very fine nibbed permanent marker, and to note down only the key points.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Joke

      Yep, I'm speechless too. Finally a politician who gets security and knows what airgapping is.

      (I appear to be in the mod queue. Have I been naughty?)

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        the mod queue seems a trifle arbitrary

        1. WolfFan Silver badge
          Gimp

          I noticed that recently.

        2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          "the mod queue seems a trifle arbitrary"

          Some articles have been marked for hand-moderated comments, most not, eg this one, which is why your comment went through immediately.

          Articles and users on manual-moderation mode have to wait for someone to be free to clear the queue; certainly I've seen the queue averaging 10-40 posts.

          If you find yourself in the queue, it may be because you posted a correction as a comment, or had a comment recently rejected/removed. That'll put you in the queue for a while.

          C.

          1. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: "the mod queue seems a trifle arbitrary"

            If you find yourself in the queue, it may be because you posted a correction as a comment,

            So if you don't follow the formal whistleblower process and privately inform of errors, you get sent to the sin bin?

            1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: Re: "the mod queue seems a trifle arbitrary"

              Well, let's put it this way: A friend tells you when there's spinach in your teeth rather than posting a pic on Twitter that you only find out about a day later.

              1. Dave559 Bronze badge

                Re: "the mod queue seems a trifle arbitrary"

                Re: spinach in your teeth

                What, and spoil all our fun? Laughing at particularly egregious errors is a noble British national sport!

                (Of course, honest and completely unamusing typos should always be reported via the Proper Channels, he added, trying to avoid being cast into the wilderness...)

            2. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: "the mod queue seems a trifle arbitrary"

              Well, it's not really private. I don't have my own private email set up on my work computer and given the rather stringent social media contract at my place of work I'm not going to use my work e-mail to link myself to a media outlet. Which leaves my phone, but I ain't going to be writing an e-mail at my desk with that either. And I don't think I'm alone in this, so a 'contact us' web form Would Be A Good Thing.

              But I don't think it was the case that I posted a correction so I guess I need to tone down the sarcasm towards our Register overlords.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    is this any different for any other politicians? Do people honestly believe they're appointed to their respective positions because they have knowledge in that field?

    In the UK they appointed a scouser to the department of work and pensions for god sake.

    Disclaimer: Some of us mancs are just as bad before the offence brigade arrive.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      A prime example: Michael Gove.

      He's been, successively, Sec State for Education, Sec State for Justice, Sec State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and now they want to make him Sec State for Brexit.

      I doubt that he has any expertise in any of those diverse subjects.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. jake Silver badge

          Frankly ...

          ... I don't really expect that Tim Cook is capable of much of anything. He's certainly never demonstrated that he knows how to do anything. ::shrugs::

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: Frankly ...

            @jake Supply chains shurely?

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Frankly ...

              The important supply chains were mostly in place before he got there. Copying the work of others has a long history in business, but it doesn't make one a mover & shaker.

        2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          At least Cook appears competent at supply chains. Gove has no redeeming qualities.

        3. Terry 6 Silver badge

          I think the tradition of the Civil Service was to wait until someone got good and proficient at their job and then move them to another department, so that they didn't "go native". Which could be good with regulators (where of course they don't have such a mechanism) but useless with a civil service.

          And these days they bring in external "special advisors" who know nothing but believe strongly in something that has impressed the minister.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        I doubt that he has any expertise in any subject[1]

        There - FTFY.

        [1] Other than 'Backstabbing 101'. And even that he wasn't any good at..

    2. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
      Trollface

      Sorry, I just manipulate people

      Leaders of large numbers don't need to know all the details, that's for middle management. High ranking folk focus on the big picture.

      A picture so BIG apparently usb sticks, computers, IoT devices are quantum particles, which can't be observed without meddling with the desired result.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      It's not just the UK, AC. It might be easier to list those countries where people are appointed for their knowledge. Or elected even. I think the number is somewhere around zero.

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        No, it's not just the UK.

        My local MP left school for 7 years in a seminary but never took his vows, then did a law degree so he could work in his parties' policy unit until a safe seat came up.

        As far as I'm concerned the bloke has never actually worked a day in his life.

    4. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Facepalm

      re:Anonymous Coward is this any different for any other politicians?

      The Australian example of this would be former PM Tony Abbot, with his earlier role -

      as Minister for Women

    5. Korev Silver badge
      Pint

      >In the UK they appointed a scouser to the department of work and pensions for god sake.

      A beer for you fr making me laugh, good Sir -->

    6. CustardGannet
      Joke

      Simile

      It's like putting someone who doesn't have a heart in charge of the health service.

      Oh, wait...

    7. Black Betty

      < subject > for Dummies.

      It's not entirely reasonable to expect any politician to be knowledgeable in the subject for their portfolio prior to appointment, but it should be an absolute requirement that they read up on the basics of the subject once appointed. Enough that they can both understand and instruct their subordinates.

    8. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Do people honestly believe they're appointed to their respective positions because they have knowledge in that field?

      I know for a fact they arnt, they have a special procedure to make sure a minister knows nothing of the job he is in, cant be blamed for anything and can be diverted out of the public glare if neccassary.

      Its called "Cabinet Reshuffle"

  3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    It's the usual story. No matter who you vote for, they end up giving the job to a politician.

    Politicians: a group of people whose only skill is disagreeing with other politicians.

  4. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    That's nothing

    You should meet our old CIO or better the older head of dept.

    There's desktop engineers still walking about that couldn't tell you what USB stands for.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's nothing

      "There's desktop engineers still walking about that couldn't tell you what USB stands for."

      A rose by any other name....

      As long as they understand what "USB" does and appreciate its electrical and physical variations - then not knowing how the TLA is derived is irrelevant. There are many such acronyms that stand by themselves without knowing how someone contrived it from a vaguely relevant set of words.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Acronyms

        Got another acronym for you:

        SNAFU - Some Nipponese A***ole F***ed U*

    2. Alister Silver badge

      Re: That's nothing

      "There's desktop engineers still walking about that couldn't tell you what USB stands for."

      Useful Sticky-in Bit

      1. sambaynham

        Re: That's nothing

        Ha! I'm pinching that, Alister!

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: That's nothing

        Unix Sticky Bit

        Look it up.

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: That's nothing

          Unix Sticky Bit

          Look it up.

          Watch out, you might get chmoded for that

    3. Overcharged Aussie

      Re: That's nothing

      I've had to explain what a memory leak is to more than one government CIO.

      I'm sure one of them did not fully understand, especially when he asked if I had OH&S concerns about the storage of the requisite cleaning equipment around all that electricity in the data centre.

      Sadly this was a true story.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: That's nothing

        "OS&H concerns about the storage of the requisite cleaning equipment around all that electricity in the data centre."

        Well, now, hang on a sec. Maybe not OS&H related, but ... In the mid-80s, I was working for a company that built gear to dynamically allocate bandwidth between voice and data.

        Incredibly Big Monster of a company started getting weird bit errors on their global T1 (E1, T3 etc ... ) network. I was assigned to track down the problem after lower level techs couldn't figure it out.

        Going thru' the data, I discovered that once the problem started occurring at any one site, it gradually became worse ... It was never bad enough to actually take down a connection, but network errors ramped up over time.

        Further review showed that the same team of installers had installed the gear at all the sites with the problem.

        I flew out to Boca and discovered that they had installed punch-down blocks in a janitor's closet ... directly over a mop bucket full of ammonia water. Seems it was the only wall space that was unused almost universally in such spaces.

        Blocks relocated and corroded wire replaced, no more bit-errors ...

      2. Random Q Hacker

        Re: That's nothing

        While working for a certain large appliance manufacturer, I noticed huge rolls of plastic in the data center. Apparently the datacenter was built at great expense immediately below the dishwasher testing facility. Should a spill occur, the entire unix admin staff were to rush across campus to cover the systems, starting with those most important to the business.

        Someone was paid a lot of money to put that datacenter there, and a lot more for that fancy remediation plan...

    4. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

      Re: That's nothing

      Find out here at 0:40 Probably SFW unless your boss is German

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziVpqh9UXmI

  5. csecguy44

    Imagine a world...

    Imagine a world where leaders of a "field" are actually required to have a solid understanding of the stuff they are in charge of...

    1. 33rpm

      Re: Imagine a world...

      This is very common in US GOV and DOD IT management positions.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Imagine a world...

        @33rpm

        GOV and DOD management positions have people like this - they should teach other government how to do what they do (or possibly not)

    2. Anne-Lise Pasch

      Re: Imagine a world...

      But then we wouldn't have a Brexit...

    3. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Imagine a world...

      Imagine a world where leaders of a "field" are actually required to have a solid understanding of the stuff they are in charge of...

      I think even vague knowledge would be a step up from what we seem to have.

  6. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Some exploration of the cultural differences? I've heard that the fax machine was popularised over email in the eighties by Japan, because of the difficulties of creating a Japanese keyboard. I've also heard of the Japanese learning English in order to use a computer. There are also stories of large companies being dependant on one experienced secretary for filing, because files couldn't be ordered alphabetically.

    How much of this is myth?

    1. Z80

      Unicode not showing up until the 90's can't have helped.

      There are established sorting orders in Japanese though - how could they have dictionaries otherwise?. There's gojūon which orders words based on the pronunciation of the word. It literally means 50 sounds but modern Japanese only uses 46 of them. It starts with the 5 vowel sounds a, i, u, e, o then has rows of corresponding sounds (where they exist) in a set order with ka, ki, ku, ke, ko coming next so for example you'd find ao (meaning blue, but also green, but let's not get into that...) shortly before aka (red) in a dictionary sorted this way.

      Kanji can have different readings so they can be sorted into I think as many as 214 groups based on their radical - a common element a group contains, and then they're sorted by increasing number of strokes within their groups.

    2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      1 dunno

      2 dunno

      3 unlikely as there is a standard dictionary ordering based on phonetic spelling (A Kat Sat Thinking oN How Many Yakult (are) Rancid for one possible mnemonic)

      I'm still a bit concerned about how many textbooks are still out there telling you that you have to learn the word 電報("telegram")

  7. steviebuk Silver badge

    He actually sounds...

    ...like he's ill memory wise. Not because of the computer stuff but having to be prompted by an aide that "You do know this stuff, we told you earlier". But as the Japanese have always appeared a strike culture and proud, their government probably doesn't want to admit his not fit for the role.

    On the "Today any company president uses a PC", isn't exactly true. Apparently, so he said on a documentary, Warren Buffet doesn't have a PC in his office. He's made his billions just reading the financials of companies in papers and other media before deciding to invest or not.

    1. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: He actually sounds...

      "We sent you the memo" is not the same as "we told you"

      He may not have read the memo.

      1. Baldrickk Silver badge

        Re: He actually sounds...

        "We sent you the memo" is not the same as "we told you" He may not have read the memo.

        Of course he got it, they emailed it to him to read.

        1. Mooseman Bronze badge

          Re: He actually sounds...

          Sounds like an IT director I had once - he was very enthusiastic about using "these new emails" (this was about 1998...) and how they sped up communication. One morning he appeared at my desk asking for help with a technical issue. It turns out that his PA was absent and he couldn't log in to his PC and get his emails printed off - the poor woman used to go through his emails, print them off for him, then he would dictate a response and she would then reply to the emails on his behalf.

    2. brotherelf

      Re: He actually sounds...

      Famously, Donald Knuth has his email pre-screened and printed out for him. So here we have a highly-decorated comp sci researcher buried in the highest of accolades (last I counted, he has several dozen honorary doctorates) and yup, "this is not worth my time, I have underlings for that".

      1. Tomato42 Silver badge

        Re: He actually sounds...

        Yet still, he does use a computer, likely on a daily basis.

        It's more to do with the problem of spam and just absolute horrendousness of MUAs than his incapability to do so.

      2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: He actually sounds...

        Well Knuth was a somewhat theoretical (and very fine) scientist

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: He actually sounds...

          In this situation, Knuth knows how to use email and chooses to have someone else do it. This is not the same as choosing to have someone else do it because you don't know how to and see it as beneath you to find out because you can have someone else do it. That is fine, too, but not if you expect people to trust you with technical responsibilities. Or at least so I would have thought before seeing this. Evidently, they will still trust you. Forget what I just said.

        2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          Re: He actually sounds...

          Not just "theoretical". He did take a few years out of writing to bring us TEX

  8. Keith Langmead

    The assumption that everyone uses a PC

    I'm completely onboard with the general shock regarding a minister not knowing something so basic, in a way less as a criticism of him and more against whoever chose to put him into that position. Surely after all this time it must be common knowledge that he doesn't do IT! It would be like appointing someone who didn't know the difference between a cow and a sheep.

    "Today any company president uses a PC,"

    On that I call BS. I can think of a couple of big President/CEO/MD's who don't use computers at all. They have a secretary/pa, the secretary/pa is quick at dictation and very quick at typing. The secretary/pa has done this for the boss for perhaps 30+ years allowing the boss to focus on his/her job... why would they suddenly now start doing their own typing etc just because computers are more common? Computers are supposed to be make things faster and easier, and if they don't achieve that in a particular situation what's the point of using them. They wouldn't reply to most of the letters written to them personally, so why would it be any different with email?

    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: The assumption that everyone uses a PC

      In a pre-computer age a friend worked as secretary to a fashion company. After some time her bosses turned out to be not very nice and they sacked her. Unfortunately for them she had kept all their records of clients and suppliers in shorthand; her own version of shorthand which was unreadable by anyone else!

  9. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    It's quite an extreme example, but you don't need to be an expert in something to manage it.

    You don't expect your Minister in charge of the Department of Allotments to know how to drive a tractor. Nor does your minister for transport need to be well versed in the different types of tarmac and how to lay them.

    What does a cyber security minister actually do?

    1. Flywheel Silver badge

      What does a cyber security minister actually do?

      In his case, he delegates. He's been doing it for decades, so he must be good at it.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      "you don't need to be an expert in something to manage it"

      Yes, that what school of managements are trying to make people believe since the 1980s, to ensure "managers" preeminence inside companies at the expenses of all other roles.

      Many companies have been driven into the ground by people who just look at the numbers on a balance sheet, and never understood anything about the real business.

      It explains a lot of the "short-termism" by many actual companies. And explains why politicians don't even come close to fix most of the issue on the table - and often just worsen them.

      You need to have a good knowledge of a field to manage it proficiently. How you made that knowledge may not matter, you don't need to have a formal education on the subject, nor to know every nuisance - but you need to have enough knowledge of what you need to manage, And you need to know where to find the relevant information to take an informed decision.

      Or you become just an hostage of aides, lobbies and the like, unable to manage effectively.

      Of course having experience doesn't mean per se you will be able to manage effectively, it's a necessary conditions, not a sufficient one. But real managing is not only delegating - is being able to understand data and take the right decision.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "you don't need to be an expert in something to manage it"

        "It explains a lot of the "short-termism" by many actual companies."

        Especially when management bonuses are only dependent on those short-term criteria.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "when management bonuses are only dependent"

          And who pushed for it? The same very people - when you don't know anything really about a business, you know you can only hoard money in the short term using the usual tricks, you won't bet your future on long term plans you have no real clue how to define or understand. So they shifted the whole system in a kind of bet when you publish quarterly "targets" and then try to hit them somehow to cash the money. That was also OK for a financial systems who refuses to look at fundamentals (again, it requires experts) but want a quick way to increase profits just looking at a few numbers.

          One good recent example was Telecom Italia CEO Cattaneo (an architect - who managed a TV, trains and the electric grid) - he was able to get a contract stating that if he left after the first year, he should have been paid as if he hit the targets for the following years as well (you wonder who could accept such conditions, if not other people expecting a personal return from it).

          So he pumped the earning with any trick in his first year regardless of what would have been sustainable in the following ones, then he left.... now the company (five CEOs in six years, and tens of millions spent in golden parachutes) is in bad shape, with a huge debt, and shareholders battling for control. The company is still afloat only because it's the ex monopolist and owns the comm network, even if it's the underdog on fiber deployment.

      2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: "you don't need to be an expert in something to manage it"

        About 15 years ago there was a four man team that used to walk & inspect for damage in the Dawlish - Teignmouth sea wall & monitor threatening cliff movements that might block the track in the even of a land slip, repairing any damage on the spot on a daily basis, scheduling what couldn't be fixed to occur when the materials\equipment were on hand.

        Then a bean counter decided this was a waste of resources & junked the practice, the damage got worse in the periods between inspections, repairs more costly each time with more delays & cancellations for passengers .

        I wonder how much of the 2014 damage, from the big storm could have been averted had the bean counter, just left a working system in place..

        https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-26521168

        1. Korev Silver badge

          Re: "you don't need to be an expert in something to manage it"

          I think the selfsame bit of line got taken out last week too...

          You could also argue that the alternative inland route's closure was down to beancounters and short termism too.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      They should know some things

      A manager should have a working knowledge of the big components, not every detail. I wouldn't expect a minister of transport to know the different kinds of tarmac, but I would expect them to know that airplanes are machines that go into the air and land in another place, conveying their passengers and/or cargo to that destination, that pilots are the people who fly them, and that they are supposed to land only at airports. In fact, I expect anyone to know that. Ministers for transport should also know where they fly (I.E. where the airports are and how high the planes are when flying at cruising altitude), how they fly (in the sense of what is needed in terms of fuel, people, coordination, and equipment), and what restrictions there are on who, when, where, how, and why they fly. I wouldn't expect a minister for transport to be able to fly a plane, but if they asked "What is air traffic control", I would say that they are unqualified.

      A cybersecurity manager should know what security is, and what poses risks to it. They should know what the internet is, and at least something about how it works and why this creates security risks. Otherwise, how could the manager decide whether to trust me when I say "I have a product that your office should purchase which will provide a completely hardened layer preventing people from breaking into connections over the gopher protocol." That's a thing a manager decides, and they need to know to throw the person making that statement out immediately as a scam. If you don't know that, or at the very least how to find that out quickly, you are unqualified.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: They should know some things

        On the other hand, I've noticed that anybody with "cyber" in their job title is absolutely clueless about computers and networking ... to the point where it's become a handy filter.

        On the gripping hand, The Minister for Transportation had fucking better know what a steering wheel is even if s/he has had a driver for their entire working life.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Yes Minister"

    1. jake Silver badge

      Contrary to popular belief ...

      ... Yes Minister was a documentary, not a sitcom.

      1. Overcharged Aussie

        Re: Contrary to popular belief ...

        Yes Minister should have been classed as a warning.

  11. James Radley

    Japanese culture is quite different from the west, especially in respect to their attitude to computers. In business, and I guess politics too, attitudes to computers were cemented in the days of the room scale mainframes. A mainframe computer was viewed like any other industrial machine - something that was run by operators, and the suits didn't get their hands dirty with actually using the things.

    Roll forward to the PC revolution, and you get to a point in western economies where facility with Excel becomes a nearly essential skill in white collar jobs, but in the land of the rising sun, the 'computers are managed by operators' attitude has pervaded. Bosses still dictate replies ( to printed emails ) to their secretaries for response.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Bosses still dictate replies ( to printed emails ) to their secretaries for response."

      Our company in the 1980s was an IT networking developer - of both infrastructure and email applications. Our departmental boss had started life as a compiler programmer. Yet he had his secretary print out his emails. He then did hand written replies - and she typed them into emails.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, OK, I see how that makes sense if you're simply rather word blind and have a tendency of making spelling mistakes. At least in that way the spelling mistakes don't leave the office of the dept. boss. It's rather efficient, but I would not necessarily hold that against somebody IF they are otherwise good at their job and important enough to warrant the secretary in the first place, of course.

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        I have technical skills.

        I still send messages as punched cards through inter-office mail. :-)

        No, of course I don't! Obviously I use paper tape! This is 1970 isn't it!

      3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Hand written replies

        "Yet he had his secretary print out his emails. He then did hand written replies - and she typed them into emails.Yet he had his secretary print out his emails. He then did hand written replies - and she typed them into emails."

        I've known a few suits like this, although the hand written replies tended to be short and mainly comprised of four letter words.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Yet he had his secretary print out his emails"

        I'm afraid for some is an assertion of power - that they no longer need to perform such a task.

        I understand when you're busy you may want to use a secretary to filter your mails and put in a good form replies, adding the usual embellishment which adds nothing, just takes time, but are required for politeness.

        Or maybe paper is easier to destroy than a mail....

  12. juul

    Batter than

    Well Japan is better of than the Danish citizens.

    We do not even have a minister that is responsible for it-Security across the nation.

    Each minister is responsible for it-Security whitin his/her arena.

  13. heyrick Silver badge

    You missed a great soundbite at the end...

    The Guardian article ends with a very good demonstration of this guy's competence:

    When Renho asked him how much funding the central government would contribute to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, he responded: “1,500 yen”, which works out at just over $13, some way below the actual sum of 150 billion yen.

  14. 0laf Silver badge
    FAIL

    At least he admitted it

    If it had been one of our politicians they'd have ducked the question made out they knew lots about cyber security then went on to make dozens do insanely stupid decisions based on what they'd read on their mate's Facebook page or what the vendor offering them a directorship told them to say.

    If it had been Trump he'd have said his knowledge of the internet was "powerful, very powerful and he was probably "the best person for the job" since he invented the internet". Something which would clearly upset Al Gore.

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: At least he admitted it

      "If it had been Trump he'd have said his knowledge of the internet was "powerful, very powerful and he was probably "the best person for the job" since he invented the internet". Something which would clearly upset Al Gore.'

      That's basically what Prime Minister Tony Abbott said about Malcolm Turnbull when handing over control of the Australian NBN / nbn to him.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hashtags?

    I always preferred Moroccan Hash - that's my tag.

  16. chivo243 Silver badge
    Trollface

    the 68-year-old Luddite appeared vexed?

    No, he was just used to the thin air way up there where he lives... He was drunk on oxygen!

    In another question, he was asked what TP was? He was clearly vexed as he's never wiped his own ass either...

  17. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Trollface

    good cybersecurity

    Too many government employees would quite happily plug a strange USB stick into their computer, this minister probably won't. That's safer.

  18. adam payne Silver badge

    "Since the age of 25, I have instructed my employees and secretaries, so I don't use computers myself."

    How can you be Deputy Cyber Security Minister if you haven't used computers in 25 years?!?

    Technology has moved on a hell of a lot in 25 years.

    Does this man have a small army of advisors so he can actually do the job?

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Actually, he hasn't used computers since the age of 25, and he is now 68. So he hasn't used computers for 43 years. Or in other words he's never used a computer at all and thinks this is logical.

  19. Dabooka Silver badge

    I think we have a winner!

    For the newly vacant post of Brexit Minister, he seems perfect for the role.

    1. TimMaher

      Re: I think we have a winner!

      Bummer! I wanted to write that.

      Have an up vote.

  20. SVV Silver badge

    I can imagine many UK ministers

    At least if there are any left by the end of the day as lots of them are resigning right now, nervously asking their private secretaries what a USB stick is when they hear about this story.

    About half of them might even be able to understand the explanation.

  21. pavel.petrman

    He is leading by example

    It would actually be quite an achievement: As soon as nobody remembers what those pesky USB sticks were, a whole big attack landscape will be done away with (I know, it will inevitably be surpassed with an even worse one, but don't spoil the hope!). It's like walking around with your laptop and receiving all those happy kitten videos on a PCI Express card - just plain insane.

    Once everyone had the Flash Player inside their Internet Explorers. Security nightmare, yes, and where it is now? As much as I hate my Apple telephone for forcing its nonsensical workflow on me, I must admit I see a pretty decent security model behind it all. I believe the days of those pesky sticks are numbered as well, and the Japanese minister just lives in the future.

  22. Christoph Silver badge

    "If Japan suddenly disappears into the ocean, we'll know why."

    Godzilla

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: "If Japan suddenly disappears into the ocean, we'll know why."

      No, no need for anything fictitious or mythical... Just an 8.1 magnitude earthquake...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But but....

    How does he watch Porn ???

    1. onefang Silver badge
      Gimp

      "How does he watch Porn ???"

      He has some lower flunky watch the porn for him, and that lower flunky also ..., well you could probably guess the rest.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm quite afraid he could ask his subordinates to perform it in front of him.... this looks a classic example of someone who as soon as he reached a position of power, just liked to make other people follow his orders to enjoy the power. In a strongly hierarchical society, it can lead to real absurdities.

    3. Semtex451 Silver badge

      What's wrong with VHS, once you get the tracking right.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How does he watch Porn ???

      He presumably buys manga or anime from a vending machine in the railway station on the way home (whether with or without accompanying schoolgirl's knickers, I do not know), the same as any other Japanese salaryman...?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Years ago I had to email something to an IT manager of a customer company. I sent him a rar file. A few days later I had an angry phonecall from him demanding that I send over the info I promised.

    "But I have sent it to you, I sent it on -whatever the date was-. All the info is in the attached rar file."

    "Oh, OK. What's a rar file?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      rar files

      rar files are weird, however (the good thing about compression standards is that there are so many to choose from).

      Why use a strange and uncommon format like that, instead of something more normal like LhA, tgz or Zip?

  25. cassidy macfarlane
    Thumb Up

    me.me

    I'll just leave this here

    https://me.me/i/oh-canada-what-a-cabinet-minister-of-health-is-a-12870802

  26. Nick Roberts

    Our very own Brexit Secretary didn't realise that Dover was close to France, and then resigned because he didn't like the deal he himself had negotiated - makes this Japanese guy look positively competent in comparison.

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