back to article Tory tackles Whitehall on Wiki-updating spooks

A Conservative MP’s campaign to find out what civil servants are updating on Wikipedia suggests that Whitehall has no clue what its workers are getting up to on their taxpayer-funded PCs. Stephen O’Brien, MP for Eddisbury in Cheshire, has spent the last few months peppering Whitehall departments with requests along the lines …


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  1. Sceptical Bastard

    Whitehall Wikipedians

    A nice bit of PR for Jimbo from Stephen O’Brien, MP

    Spooks and sundry government droids get as bored as the rest of us, I'm sure and it doesn't matter to me whether it's Wikipedia or YouPorn they waste my money on.

    If only Mr O’Brien would expend as much effort on investigating Phorm...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Adonis - Too Far Gone

    "The minister corrected a page about himself on Wikipedia" - that would be reverted under the NO ORIGINAL RESEARCH rule, unless he provided sources and so forth.

  3. Slaine
    Paris Hilton

    Whitehall has no clue what its workers are getting up to on their taxpayer-funded PCs

    harrumph, we know a song about that don't we boys and girls...

    It's got lines like... "freecell", "donkey pr0n" and "leaving them in taxis"

    I'm running out of excuses to use the Paris Icon...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Not from the rank and file in MOD

    The gateway system that sits between the MOD internal networks and the InterToobs blocks access to Wikipedia editing. To be sure, I just tried it, hence the anonymous post. Hold on, there's someone at the door...

  5. Steve


    What's wrong with civil servants surfing in their lunch hour if they like, and does it matter to us what they do so long as it's legal and within their departments guidelines?

    Hasn't this minister got any work to do himself that he's so busy trying to cause trouble for others?

  6. David Cornes

    Is there a point to this MP's questioning?

    "Shouldn't be doing this on civil-service time".

    Well, no of course they shouldn't, just like they shouldn't be reading their personal email, looking at eBay, the BBC News website, calling friends, arranging a mortgage, reading the latest issue fo Cosmo, etc, etc.

    All things EVERYONE does at work at some point (go on, admit it you have too!), it's human nature.

    Posted from a work PC on a quiet afternoon.

  7. Whitter
    Thumb Down


    Surely running up the on your list of IP addresses wikiscanner can't be seen as "disproportionate"? Not unless you are (a) unware of anything in the IT world or (b) you've got something to hide. Or both, though I'm prone to think its just the former.

  8. Turbojerry
    Black Helicopters

    Top contributions to Wikipedia

    ... Iraq possessed WMD up to the second Gulf war...

    ... Dr. David Kelly wasnt murdered...

    ... Tony Blair is not a sociopath who lied Britain into a criminal war...

    ... MI6 being run by oil companies is just a conspiracy theory...

    ... The ID Register and ID cards are to protect your rights as subhuman slaves to the master race of MPs and civil servants...

    ... The disks werent lost or stolen, they are merely temporarily misplaced...

  9. David Mery
    Black Helicopters

    > O’Brien has information

    Easy to figure out:

    Shock horror, HMGCC also reads ElReg. Three visits from HMGCC I had to my website have ElReg articles as referers.

    Now are these visits from staff during their lunch breaks? (HMGCC is not the only gov/intelligence/army domain browsing the web - this is just for my site:

    br -d

  10. Simon

    How much more bullshit is this government going to dish out?

    As stated in the article;

    <quote>The Ministry of Justice says: "The Ministry of Justice's IT Systems are unable to provide a record of Wikipedia entries which have been created and amended by special advisers, Ministers and communications officials since August 2005."</quote>

    To my knowledge, without configuration (and I don't mean my knowledge), the systems that allow access to the Internet, by default, register IP addresses and where they're going; it's part and parcel of IP connectivity; there is always a way.

    So if we can assume (in all probability) that outward bound IP addresses can be linked to their destinations, then it is only a very small step thereafter that can link the connection from a government IP address to the Wikipedia address.

    However the statement that <paraphrase>we are unable to provide access records since 2005</paraphrase> is correct, because the default "logs" would have been overwritten over that time.

    But intimating it is not possible is a down right lie and just shows how far this government is willing to go to misrepresent itself in order to push through its dictatorial regime.

    To all sane people this is just another red flag as to the contempt Labour holds us in.

    The bottom line is; either they have a policy to bullshit the public at large when it comes to statements on their IT capabilities (and other things notwithstanding) or they are totally pig ignorant. (Sorry pigs of the porcine nature but it is a recognised turn of phrase and probably needs to be updated to something like "totally labour ignorant.")

    In this digital age, which we are now in, all of us punters should now be vying for a change to those who currently rule us and are apparently deaf to 21st century common sense.

  11. Joe

    It's in the drop-down box...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Wiki - Whacky - Who....


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