Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Channel 4 shocker

An astounding revelation on the Channel 4 news revealed that there was 'new evidence of incompetence that will shock medics across the country'.

MTAS (medical training application service) was demonstrated to be insecure from at least 9am 25/4/2007. This meant that extremely personal data including criminal records, sexual preferences, phone numbers, addresses and more were all accessible on line to anyone who had the URL address. The URL was insecure and no one is quite sure how long the data was available, while MTAS claim they do not even know how many people have downloaded the deeply personal information.

The DoH was then informed of this problem and managed to shut the security breach. As usual no one from the government or DoH could be bothered to appear on the channel 4 news. The serious nature of this breach could lead to criminal charges and the Information Commissioners office is on the case. Junior Doctors organisations had already warned the DoH of potential security problems with MTAS, it seems these warnings were not heeded. The potential identity theft and data theft is yet another thing for junior doctors to have to worry themselves over during this stressful period.

John Snow, the legend that he is, offered the cowardly Patricia Hewitt an open invitation to appear on the Channel 4 news. It seems standard practice these days for Labour politicians to resemble hermits when it comes to appearing in the media.

Instead Andrew Lansley appeared and pointed out several glaring examples of failings as regards the DoH, Hewitt and MTAS. He also said 'Hewitt will go'.

The next item before I switched off the box was yet another example of Blair's overtly unaccountable and corrupt regime. Blair is refusing to investigate intelligence leaks about anti-terrorism operations that 'could have cost lives'. It's yet another example of corruption in this nontransparent government. Could it be that the leaks are deliberate in an attempt to whip up a certain level of fear in the public? Blair's attempts to prevent this being investigated make this appear to be the case.

Blair and his cronies have well and truly lost the plot. They are demonstrating a genuine contempt for the democratic process on a daily basis, as well as incompetence of unprecedented levels. I have had enough.


FlossieT said...

Hewitt will go, but I thought Lansley's implication was that she would be quietly moved in a reshuffle, rather than forced to resign - which I'm sure is what we all want. A nice high-profile headline for this catastrophe would be handy; the Beeb can't ignore a resignation, really.

I work in IT, and I find it completely appalling that such sensitive data could be made available at a URL without even basic password protection. It's bad enought hat it was clearly sitting on a web server - by all means, colelct it via a web interface buit for God's sake don't leave it sitting there inviting the hackers in. It's frankly obscene.

Anonymous said...

Thats absolutely disgusting and a representation of how the whole system is beyond reair. if this can happen to a small MTAS site think of the screw ups we will have if the NHS spine EVER goes up and running.

In the light of this, I think BMA, PRODIGY and all other oragnisations involved should ask for its members to boycott the website.

Dr. G