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UK ID Card Scheme Data Deleted For £400K

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the mere-pocket-change dept.

Government 149

DaveNJ1987 writes "It will cost the British government only £400,000 to destroy the data for its failed ID card initiative. The data compiled by the National Identity Register, which was scrapped last year by the coalition government, will be disposed of for the relatively small sum — in government figures — Home Office minister Damian Green confirmed."

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Flist plost (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950184)

OOH yeah Im on firee!

Let me do it (3, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950194)

I'll show them how to destroy it for half the price.

Re:Let me do it (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950212)

What sort of guarentee can you offer that it will be adequately destroyed?

This is the problem. They want to be absolutely sure that nobody can get hold of the disk drives and extract the data. At least that's what I'm guessing.

Really they could just shoove the computers in some dark area of Whitehall and nobody will touch them.

Re:Let me do it (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950244)

I'm glad you asked. I was going to send all their kit to Nigeria [bbc.co.uk] . I'm sure that data will be safe there.

Re:Let me do it (1)

Dan1701 (1563427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950734)

You'd better send along a few minders for them then, since the British Government civil servants and MPs have a silly habit of leaving unencrypted data on trains, or exposed at the top of folders where paparazzi can photograph it, or even sending it through the post encrypted as per regulations, with the passphrase written on the CD-ROM (which was not forbidden in regulations, since the author of these regs didn't grasp the knuckle-dragging depths of stupidity that civil servants can descend to)...

Re:Let me do it (4, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950260)

They could lock them in the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door that says "Beware of the Leopard", and eventually, someone will find them.

My guarantee of data destruction - thermite. It's the only way to be sure.

Well, ok, there are a lot of ways. You could extract the platters and scrub all the ferrite off with soapy water. You could just do a 1-pass wipe and it puts it beyond the capability of all known data recovery labs. There's those specialist industrial shredders designed just for disk drives that reduce them to a small heap of granules.

But thermite is more fun.

Re:Let me do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950306)

You can throw them into a giant shredder. Which is actually what they're going to do. If I remember correctly they're even planning on doing that to the servers that the discs were in!

Re:Let me do it (0)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950562)

The biggest problem is the destroying the data stored in wetware of employees who collected and accessed it.

I heard they contacted the Church of Scientology on techniques of secure brainwashing, but there are concerns both about quality, security and moral side of the process.

There are opinions that disposing of the employees using the big shredder is both safer and more humane.

Re:Let me do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950782)

But I thought termites eat only wood...

Oh, thermite, right...

Re:Let me do it (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950902)

Never. Ever. Ever. fuck with an angry thermite colony...

Even fire ants won't burn their way through an engine block just to get at you.

Re:Let me do it (3, Informative)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950790)

More likely they'll just delegate it to a junior civil servant who'll get drunk after work and leave it in a taxi.

Of course if you really want to destroy it just send it through the post, with a prominent label saying "FRAGILE".

Re:Let me do it (3, Funny)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950954)

That's how I got rid of the first wife! No need to murder anyone, just put her in a box, stamp Fragile and Alaska on it and you're good.

Re:Let me do it (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951006)

If they don't break her, they'll forget her in some godforsaken postal storage place for "misplaced" crates that are too heavy for a single postman to carry and since they cooperate usually as well as the average Popes...

Re:Let me do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34951060)

Industrial shredder first (we have one at work; makes sub-1" slivers of metal) and then thermite. But you have to wear a beret and have a walrus mustache.

Re:Let me do it (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951210)

Just drop the drives into a bitorrent seedbox for a pr0n site - the data will be overwritten many times in the first few hours.

Re:Let me do it (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951426)

...This is government collected and stored data, it is not on one hard drive, or one system, it is scattered on multiple systems, backed up of many others, and parts are now in other databases, this is why it costs this much, most of this is search fees to find output where the data is from audit trails ....

Melt it (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951442)

There's those specialist industrial shredders designed just for disk drives that reduce them to a small heap of granules.

A cheaper alternative would be a flowerpot and some charcoal [ntlworld.com] . Or they could send them to a commercial aluminium recycler to make it look more profesional.

Re:Let me do it (1)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950302)

I wonder how much it would cost them to get it placed at ground zero of a bomb test by their own military... Bonus points if it is nuclear.

Re:Let me do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950370)

Why bother? The idiots who volunteered to sign up for it obviously don't give a crap about privacy or the security of their personal information.

Re:Let me do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950642)

Some of the people on the register were idiots who volunteered, but a lot of them were just people who were unfortunate enough to need a new passport at the time when they were harvesting data.

You had to join to get a passport. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950648)

You had to join to get a passport. Try telling your boss that you can't go to the customer because you will have to put your data in the NIR.

Re:You had to join to get a passport. (1)

nosferatu1001 (264446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950950)

No you didnt. The NIR had nothing to do with the passport service.

Re:Let me do it (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950408)

What sort of guarentee[sic] can you offer that it will be adequately destroyed?

The same guarantee that everybody else offers - cast iron, 100% and fully contractually enforceable. At least enforceable against the tiny limited liability shell company with no assets that you've spun off to do the actual work.

See, it's not how you do the work, it's how you do the business that matters.

Re:Let me do it (1)

nosferatu1001 (264446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950958)

KYC woud mean I would not do business with the shell, as it would be unable to meet the contract conditions.

Proper KYC exposes those shell games very quickly, and you're simply removed from the list of approved providers.

Re:Let me do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34951114)

Are all Kingston Yacht Club members so dodgy then?

Re:Let me do it (1)

Apatharch (796324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950638)

I know it's not the done thing to actually read the article, so:

The destruction will be carried out by a a CESG accredited and approved supplier, securely and in accordance with established secure destruction policy, procedures and guidelines, Green said. These include compliance with the HMS IA Standard No. 5-Secure Sanitisation of Protectively Marked Sensitive Information. Physical equipment holding the data will be degaussed and physically shredded.

Re:Let me do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950662)

For £200k, I'm pretty sure you could find a big heatproof container, throw the drives in, and apply a large quantity of thermite.

Oh, and you might have about £195k to spare.

Re:Let me do it (1)

Saint Gerbil (1155665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951422)

At least they are doing it properly rather than the "leave on train" strategy of recent years.

Re:Let me do it (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950402)

I'll show them how to destroy it for half the price.

I'll do it for a quarter! Seriously, just give me all the paper files and the hard disks of any computers and I'll stick them in a skip and set the whole mess on fire. Could turn it into a street party celebrating the end of a sinister Orwellian initiative!

Re:Let me do it (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950438)

might want to throw some termite into the mix to be sure.
I like the street party idea though.

Re:Let me do it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950606)

termites?

Re:Let me do it (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950770)

yes!
hungry metal eating termites!
of course they might eat the skip too so RUN!

Re:Let me do it (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951380)

Probably good enough, benefits if you're already there:
Drop at the Marianas trench.

Random volcano would probably do just fine as well. Iceland don't have to pay this much ;)

Bomb it as someone else has said.

I don't see why one need to over do it. Throw it into some metal recycling thingy and it's probably taken care of well enough anyway. Atleast if you supervise the process.

Re:Let me do it (1)

TheoGB (786170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950918)

'Orwellian'? Those poor French bastards! Oh the humanity!

(FWIW my main disagreement was on the basis of costs and the security of your information so it's fine by me that it's gone.)

Re:Let me do it (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951014)

An Orwellian bonfire... I was expecting this to be held at the Parliament, somehow...

Third party (3, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950214)

I see they've hired some 3rd party firm to do it. That stuff, both kit and data will turn up in a year or so's time. Guaranteed. Laptops on eBay and the data sold to ID thieves.

Re:Third party (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950428)

Actually, no. I'm just going to run DBAN on the servers, single pass zeroes.

My original quote was a 20 stack of writeable CDs and 2 days time... £500 max. They told me that wasn't the way bidding for government contracts work, so I said £400k.

No surprise (0, Flamebait)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950290)

This is the normal way the Tory Party does things. Services that the government could provide are actually business opportunities for private companies. Instead of just having IT wipe the disks why not make an easy £400k for one of your friends in the city?

Of far more concern is the NHS. Why let the NHS perform an operation that could be making some private company some profit?

Re:No surprise (0)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950314)

This is the normal way the Tory Party does things. Services that the government could provide are actually business opportunities for private companies. Instead of just having IT wipe the disks why not make an easy £400k for one of your friends in the city?

Of far more concern is the NHS. Why let the NHS perform an operation that could be making some private company some profit?


"Having IT wipe the disks" is not the way to do this.

Re:No surprise (1)

X.25 (255792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950616)

"Having IT wipe the disks" is not the way to do this.

And since you seem to know all about data destruction, please tell us what is the right way to do it.

Thanks.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950720)

What he means is they're underpaid and trusted to just about work with the machines/repair faults but not wipe them as many leaks have shown before.

pay them properly, make their jobs actually worth what they are worth to the company (seriously how would you get anything done without your machines? what is it worth to you to not have your data exposed?) and less disgruntled IT staff will end up pulling crap on the side.

Re:No surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950742)

You have to physically unrack every server, remove all of the drives in every server and then securely transport them to a disposal site where they are thrown into a giant shredder. Every batch of drives is tracked during the entire process and a certificate of secure disposal is produced for every batch which is destroyed.

The physical removal will be a team of between five and ten guys working for a couple of days (there's a lot of kit), at multiple sites around the UK. Add transport from those sites to the disposal site, which is multiple trips even if you're only destroying just the drives (& they're planing to destroy the servers, too), plus the cost of actually destroying all of the physical kit in a controlled manner.

This sort of stuff is done by specialised companies, because your mate Dave doesn't know how to handle a secure disposal to UK Government standards and isn't certified to do it anyway. For once the UK Government is actually doing things right and doing it at a reasonable price, believe it or not.

Re:No surprise (2)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950766)

And since you seem to know all about data destruction, please tell us what is the right way to do it.

It isn't simply about destroying the data, it's about making sure it is documented and verified. Same way that a small screw on an aeroplane will cost far more than the one you get in the shop even though they are same thing.

Re:No surprise (2)

TheoGB (786170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950940)

I like the circular notion of documenting the disposal of someone's personal information.

"No Mr. Smith, your data was fully deteled. I have the document right here to prove it: 'Mr. A. R. Smith, born 17th Feb 1963, married to Mrs. C. J. Smith, degree from Cambridge, DNA sample number 0900303093029298992,' etc., etc. and here at the bottom, 'Deleted' and it's stamped by three separate officers. Yes sir, your data has definitely been destroyed."

Re:No surprise (2)

squizzar (1031726) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950900)

In line with some of the posters below: Presumably this mythical IT department has other stuff to do. I know governments are inefficient, but still I reckon you'd be taking a bunch of people away from other necessary work. Secondly, which IT department? I'd guess there are many IT departments that operate for the different parts of the government, you think anyone is going to give their people over to a project outside their remit for free? Do you take on staff to do the job, leaving yourself the difficulty of getting rid of them afterwards?

I think the government wastes money as much as the next guy, but in this case it looks like a reasonable figure (contrasted with the projected - and undoubtedly massively underestimated - costs of the ID card scheme) for the work required, and the most efficient way to do it is to hire some people who have the equipment, experience and expertise to do the job. So long as the contracts are written properly (e.g. fixed time and money, some reasonable method of ensuring that the company doesn't walk off with the cash having done no work etc. etc) then what's the problem. That's the only area that should be under scrutiny, but the only people that ever seem to look at that side of things are Private Eye...

Re:No surprise (2)

nosferatu1001 (264446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950966)

They dont have the right equipment, nor hold the appropriate certification, to perform secure data destruction.

The right way to go about a *specialist* task is to hire the appropriate *specialists* in their field. Not general IT staff who have neither the time, qualification or equipment to do the job properly

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950358)

I'm pretty certain there are those in the Conservative party that would love to outsource most of the NHS. The thing stopping them is that the NHS is a sacred cow.

Re:No surprise (2)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950538)

I'm pretty certain there are those in the Conservative party that would love to outsource most of the NHS. The thing stopping them is that the NHS is a sacred cow.

They're effectively working on that right now. GPs are being given the "choice" to do their own admin, so they'll outsource their admin to private companies. Rawnsley said on the radio only this week that there's "no reason why NHS GPs should be civil servants".

Re:No surprise (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950622)

I can see why. Many European countries have independent GPs. None have the crazy health costs that the US has. Overall health isn't that much worse than they're in the UK, and when you focus on the neighborhood (France, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands) they do better than the UK in fact.

One of the reasons for this is that GPs treat a large number of patients, with common afflictions. Statistics ensures that this has predictable volumes, and also predictable costs. In a sense, they're like band-aids. You can manage on numbers alone. Specialized rare health care is harder to manage on an economic base, which is why closer government oversight could be desired.

Re:No surprise (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950712)

Yes. After 13 years of Labour, the nation forgot how destructive and corrupt the Tories are. I can't see them lasting more than one term. As it is they need propping up by the Lib-dems.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950824)

While they're not exactly anyone's first choice, every single Tory government since the war has had to clean up the mess Labour left behind. And the barefaced corruption of the last Labour government that you so quickly excuse is easily the worst in living memory. They'll probably get a 2nd term purely based on how awful the alternative is.

Re:No surprise (1, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950374)

Personally as a UK citizen I'd much rather they paid someone who knew what they were doing to do it properly than just "wiped the disks".

For a start, you do realise that for data like this destruction of the physical storage medium is a requirement, right? (It's right there in the article)

Re:No surprise (2)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950540)

For a start, you do realise that for data like this destruction of the physical storage medium is a requirement, right? (It's right there in the article)

1. Pick up servers
2. Drop in industrial shredder
3. ???
4. Profit 400.000 pounds

Re:No surprise (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951318)

??? isn't quite good enough, since you missed more than one required step. And a "we did something" isn't good enough. Sure you could likely destroy it for less money if you removed all the red tape.

But do you want the government to have requirements and standards and documentation for such things? Or do you want them to just say "yeah, we deleted it. Trust us"?

Re:No surprise (2, Interesting)

X.25 (255792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950570)

Personally as a UK citizen I'd much rather they paid someone who knew what they were doing to do it properly than just "wiped the disks".

For a start, you do realise that for data like this destruction of the physical storage medium is a requirement, right? (It's right there in the article)

Obviously, reliable destruction of data costs 400,000 GBP, right?. Please, don't be silly. It's really amusing how people are trying to justify silly things politicians are obviously doing to setup cash for their cronies.

Do you know how seized drugs are often destroyed?

Blast furnace.

Please tell me which data storage medium will survive blast furnace?

And then tell me what can possibly cost 400,000 GBP.

For 400,000 GBP I can build a whole damn system which will reliably destroy data.

Re:No surprise (1)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950590)

Obviously, reliable destruction of data costs 400,000 GBP, right?. Please, don't be silly. It's really amusing how people are trying to justify silly things politicians are obviously doing to setup cash for their cronies.

Do you know how seized drugs are often destroyed?

Blast furnace.


And old tampons are flushed down the toilet. Chalk and cheese.

Re:No surprise (1)

X.25 (255792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950602)

And old tampons are flushed down the toilet. Chalk and cheese.

So, you are implying that data storage medium should not be destroyed reliably in blast furnace because... they're not the same as drugs?

Thus, it's wiser to spend 400,000 GBP to destroy them by doing exactly what?

Re:No surprise (1)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950738)

So, you are implying that data storage medium should not be destroyed reliably in blast furnace because... they're not the same as drugs?

Thus, it's wiser to spend 400,000 GBP to destroy them by doing exactly what?


No, I am implying that drugs and this data are vastly different things with completely and utterly different consequences attatched to them. Therefore saying that because destroying drugs has X cost destroying this data properly should cost X.

Re:No surprise (1)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951010)

Shredding them - as is supposed to be done with all old public computer storage devices in the UK - and that is just part of the process.

Re:No surprise (0, Flamebait)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950686)

And old tampons are flushed down the toilet. Chalk and cheese.

A blast furnace will turn steel into molten steel. Drugs, old tampons, cheese, computer hard disks, CDs, printed papers, flash drives, paper tape, Hollerith cards; they will all be completely destroyed.

Not sure about the chalk though.

The GPs right, there's no way this can possibly justify £400,000. You on the other hand are full of shit.

Re:No surprise (2)

nosferatu1001 (264446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950994)

So the secure transport is free?

The time to derack the servers is free? Oh, and the accredited,SC level people just appear on a whim?

You appear to be dense enough to assume it is all about the final step. It isnt.

Re:No surprise (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951326)

If you think that adds up to nearly half a million pounds, you're a cretin.

Re:No surprise (4, Insightful)

malkavian (9512) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950772)

Ok, I spot someone that's never dealt with systems at the high end.
There's a lot of prep work to unpicking things, and removing servers from secure areas, auditing them, planning to have them securely transferred and held in areas that are inaccessible with heavy physical security.
Logged/scanned to provide proof of transit, vetting everyone who handles the data volumes. Ensuring you have all sources of the data, auditing the backups, and pulling all of those, so on, so forth.
Everyone involved in this process will have to be security audited (most likely taken from an existing group of vetted people), and their services carry a premium.
There is a huge difference between destroying the data on your home gaming machine, and the sheer detail involved in transport and destruction of sensitive governmental machines.
£400k is actually a pretty lean number for dismantling the structure of this old project, considering that the infrastructure was sufficient to handle the predicted scale out to cover the entire UK population.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34951144)

If I had mod points, i'd ejaculate them all over your beautiful face.

Re:No surprise (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950916)

And then tell me what can possibly cost 400,000 GBP.

What costs this much? A few months of a couple of "security consultants" off the approved suppliers list, for a start. Billed at the usual rate for government jobs. It will take them at least that amount of time to attend the meetings, write the proposals, agree the process, appoint the auditors, find all the copies (except for a few which will later leak out), benchmark some data destruction methodologies and finally outsource the whole mess to the lowest bidder who will take the data and fly-tip it somewhere close-by.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34951128)

finally outsource the whole mess to the lowest bidder who will take the data and fly-tip it somewhere close-by.

For the eleventh billion time in this thread: no. The companies involved in transporting and destroying the hardware must be certified. They must be certified to ensure that exact situation does not happen. That certification costs money, and hence the services of certified companies costs money.

While we're at it, a certified company can't just take the drives and dump them somewhere, because the entire process requires complete documentation and certification to prove the drives were destroyed, at an approved disposal site. In case you hadn't figured it out already, those approved disposal sites also need to spend money to become approved, and therefore their services cost more money.

Oh nooooo (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950974)

"For 400,000 GBP I can build a whole damn system which will reliably destroy data." Are you contemplating
installing Windows ?

Re:No surprise (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951242)

Not really, all you need is a certificate that the data cannot be recovered. DBAN it and resell it on e-bay. Even if they physically destroyed the disks, they're probably getting the whole set of computers, laptops, network equipment etc. from those offices - remove the hard drive, plug a new one in, sell on e-bay. There are services out there that do physical data destruction for free if you donate the computers.

Re:No surprise (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950386)

If you read TFA you'll see Labour pissed away £330m on ID cards, so 400K is peanuts by comparison. Also, the same "friends in the city" were the people labour spent that money with.

Re:No surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950418)

As opposed to Labour, who'd set up an organisation for it overseen by a committee with 3 layers of management, and then lose it on a train later? The Tories are arses, but they're nowhere near as putrid as the last lot. This thing was designed to scale up to the whole UK population of 60 million. It's likely they've got to close down an entire data centre.

Re:No surprise (4, Interesting)

Dan1701 (1563427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950796)

You clearly do not grasp the sheer idiocy, incompetence and utter lack of any skills whatsoever which characterises the British civil service. These days there IS no IT department apart from the outsourced PFI numpties who charge for each and every action performed. This is why whole database dumps get transferred all over the place; there isn't anyone who has the handy database skills to run a quick SQL query and put out only the required data into a twin-key encrypted package, because the way the PFI deal was written every such action costs the Government money.

Add to this the last Government had a number of highly embarrassing incidents of data loss, where USB sticks were let on trains, and in one case CD-ROMs of sensitive data were encrypted, but the password for the encryption was written onto the media disks themselves. The civil servants were complying with the regulations, but doing so in such a way that no hassle over passwords would occur. The same civil servants that did this are still employed, and the UK Home Office (which is dealing with this data) has the reputation of being the dumping ground for all the most incompetent, most useless and most stupid civil servants in Government.

Outsourcing data disposal like this is the safest way to ensure complete destruction without any little unofficial backups being taken and sold on, or people "forgetting" to wipe the disks before ebaying them, and so on. 400K is peanuts compared to the cost of cleanup after a data leak.

I can do it for 20. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950376)

Select All > Delete!

JUST PRESS CTRL+A, then mash the delete key. Press enter to confirm. DONE.

$20 please.

Re:I can do it for 20. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950502)

Shows what you know.

You have to empty the Recycle Bin!

Coalition Government? (1)

djdevon3 (947872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950394)

What they call coalition government we call bipartisanship, right?

Re:Coalition Government? (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950472)

Sort of. There's more than two sides to be agreeing or disagreeing in the UK and other European countries.

Re:Coalition Government? (5, Informative)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950680)

What they call coalition government we call bipartisanship, right?

No, it's a coalition government - rule by more than one party in the same cabinet/government. Quite common in Europe, unheard of in the states (though you do have cohabitation between a president and a congress or senate hostile to them quite often).

A true coalition in the States would have (for example) Obama appointing Dick Cheney or Ron Paul as his vice-president, and working with him day to day and appointing advisers from other parties, but the systems are so different that it's hard to compare. Typically a coalition is made up of one large party and one or more small ones to make up the numbers, so in the strongly bipartisan system of the states, it's unlikely to happen.

Re:Coalition Government? (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950690)

sorry, for bipartisan in that last sentence, read bipartate...

Re:Coalition Government? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951072)

No. To have a coalition government, you need more than two parties. It is one of the outcomes when no single party manages to gain an overall majority. In this case, the largest party was the Conservatives, the second largest was Labour, and the third-largest the Liberal Democrats, with a smattering of smaller parties and independents. The government was formed by a coalition of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. The Prime Minister is the head of the Conservative Party, the Deputy Prime Minister is the head of the Liberal Democrat Party, and the cabinet is made up from members of both parties. Government policy is driven by both parties, although more by the Conservatives.

Another alternative in this situation would be a minority government, where the Conservatives (with the largest bloc) attempted to form a government by themselves, but had to persuade members of other parties to vote with them or abstain for every issue they wanted passed. This is a bit fragile: last time it happened in the UK, it only lasted a few months before a vote of no confidence in the government passed, triggering a general election.

Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950420)

The software won't be destroyed, it'll just get completed (no doubt in a half assed way all public sector software is) and sold to "emerging democracies"

All that tax payers money will have developed a product the tax payers will never use, and never get a return on. No not even tax, as they'll avoid taxes and be let off by the government as all big business seems to be allowed these days.

It's a fucking disgrace.

Re:Of course... (2)

malkavian (9512) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950822)

Interesting. So you're an expert on Public sector software.
Some of it is a travesty, yes. An awful lot of it is actually pretty decent. And some of the internally developed stuff is absolutely top notch.
I work in the NHS, and the amount of stuff I've had to turn down from commercial vendors because they frankly don't have a clue is astonishing. Stuff written by places like medical physics departments go into the devices that actually get used front line in medical equipment.

Interesting to see you're so sure that the software will get written anyway.. Where did you hear that? With sources? Or are you merely posting hot air?
With the current cuts in the UK, if something isn't actually proven necessary, it's in great danger of vanishing (and speaking of someone on the inside of that, it's not always a bad thing). This project is as dead as the dodo. The work to date is a writeoff, with no new investment.
If you really want to gripe about something, complain about the idiots who started the whole venture, despite being told by everyone who really knew about these things that the whole thing was unworkable, ineffective, costly and a complete waste of money. Every thing it was ever justified as fixing was debunked in a thoroughly methodical manner. Yet still they insisted on starting it up.
Idiots.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950880)

Well there's a reason why I'm posting anonymously isn't there.

Let's just leave it at that eh?

Re:Of course... (1)

rich_r (655226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951562)

Oooh, you're Andy Coulson, AICMFP.

Or possibly Walter Mitty.

If they send me the data and drives (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950446)

I will be happy to light a large bonfire for half of the £400k quoted.

They need prvate contractors (2, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950498)

They need private contractors. Government officials are not capable of wiping their own arses, let alone data.

Re:They need prvate contractors (1)

Nineteen-Delta (1892866) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950546)

That's where all the taxpayer money goes. - half to set up the comittee to decide, then 7/16ths to find contractors to tender for the job. Then the last few thousand actually gets spent on the labour of destrying the data - which would fit on a few hard drives at most, it goes in the crusher, and job is done in ten minutes. Its about time that someone responsible did the job themselves, and saved £400,000 - you could even do it by destrying the data and preserving the media, so the drives can be recycled.

Re:They need prvate contractors (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950858)

Interesting. This is based on what personal experience of yours? And what role did you have in the plan?
I can guarantee you that for something of this scale and sensitivity, £400k is a drop in the ocean.
I'm actually pretty impressed with that figure.

Re:They need prvate contractors (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950968)

For the comment on 'fit on a few hard drives at most', do a quick capacity plan.
This was intended to scale for about 60 million people. With all the data stored (pictures, other biometrics, text etc), think about 1 meg per person (probably more with other things like audit trails, update trails, historical info etc.).
Gives you about 60,000 GB of data. Add in indexes (can be close to data sizes) for about 1.2 PB.
Add in redo log sizes, backup sizes etc and you're definitely into the several PB range.
Now there's redundancy to be taken into account. Say 4 datacentres, fully redundant and replicated. Definitely into the tens of PB and higher.
Now, for speed of databases, these disks are going to be about 70GB each in raid config (either 6 or 10, so some in the arrays will be 'wasted' for resilience).
When you do the math, you realise you're actually going to be taking thousands of disks from several sites, auditing the pick up, movement and security of each platter by security vetted personnel, and then doing the crusher loading, ensuring each of the drives going in is one of the drives that was in a server at the start (to ensure the disks don't "go missing").

For full security, no you can't reuse the disks. That's not a valid 'Sensitive' data destruction method. You don't want the "I think it's gone" quote. You want to know it's gone. Full stop. Nobody gets it back. Ever.

You're paying for the whole thing. £400k isn't a bad figure at all. Probably in the region of less than £100 per disk for dismantling, transport, audit and destruction. That's a good commercial rate for the service.

Re:They need prvate contractors (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951118)

Gives you about 60,000 GB of data. Add in indexes (can be close to data sizes) for about 1.2 PB

2 times 60,000 GB is only 0.12 PB.

Re:They need prvate contractors (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950844)

Interesting. Come from pretty hefty positions in the private sector (where I was deemed more than sufficient to do what I do), and now work in the NHS (ethical/personal reasons), I can assure you there are a goodly many people who are very capable (some who hands down beat people I've met in the private sector) in the Governmental arena.
Yes, there are some "dead weight" ones. But that happens anywhere with strong union presence.

Re:They need prvate contractors (3, Funny)

forgot_my_nick (1138413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950930)

> They need private contractors. Government officials are not capable of wiping their own arses, let alone data.
Who let you out of the Daily Mail comments section?

Re:They need prvate contractors (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951408)

They need private contractors to do this so when the data turns up later they can blame the contractor ....

The usual disposal method (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34950710)

£400k is still expensive. Why don't they do what they usually do? Just stick it all on a laptop and leave it at a train station...

The usual method (0)

shinigami sama (1980846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34950848)

Four hundred grand!? Why not do what they usually do? Put the data on a laptop and leave it at a train station...

Absurd (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951018)

Chuck the disks in the ocean to a depth of say 17,000 feet. Should cost 5 grand tops.

I'll do it for free! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951024)

I get reimbursed by the customer for the data anyway.

C'mon, you don't think that whoever does it for these peanuts isn't gonna do that too, do you?

PC LOAD LETTER (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951160)

Wasn't there another way to destroy the data?

(Taking it out to a field and sledgehammering it?)

Ask Einstein... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34951188)

Data cannot be created nor destroyed!

Really for £400K (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951288)

Did anyone think of just taking a couple of 50Gallons oil drums fill them with gas and shredded old tires put the drives in them and let these burn for a while; I realized that this does not sit well with many people due to the fact that it's bad for the environment. The other solution just melt all the data drives down along with a bunch of steels.

Now for the backups (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951518)

£100 to destroy the data, £399,900 to hunt down all the backup tapes, memory sticks, cloud storage, DVDs and laptop copies made by low-level functionaries.

I wanna do it :-) (1)

buzzsawddog (1980902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34951524)

Heh... I would do it for next to nothing. Just buy me a ticket over the pond, give me a week in a nice hotel with food paid for then get me back home. Cant be more than a few thousand. And I could guarantee distruction too :-D
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