back to article CPS fined £200k over theft of laptops holding 'sensitive interviews'

The Crown Prosecution Service has been slapped with a £200,000 fine by the Information Commissioner's Office for negligence that led to the theft of laptops containing police interviews regarding violent and sexual cases. The interviews were with 43 victims and witnesses and involved 31 investigations. Some of those related to …

  1. M7S

    Now if the ICO was able, as they would like, to impose a jail term for serious data losses

    that would be really interesting for the CPS person(s) involved.

    "Hello, I'm your new cellmate. This is my first time, through this entrance at least. No, I'm not a disgraced police officer, I'm an ex-prosecutor. Why?"

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Now if the ICO was able, as they would like, to impose a jail term for serious data losses

      Wouldn't the CPS be the ones deciding if they should press criminal charges against the CPS ?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    quelle surprise

    The CPS who seem quite happy to arrive at court with no paperwork and more or less stand up and tell the judge that the dog ate their homework. They don't seem able to find their own arses even when their heads are inserted in there.

    1. cd

      Re: quelle surprise

      Can't see the forest for the polyps.

  3. Marcus Fil

    A government organisation

    being trusted with important, sensitive data - what was the Home Secretary thinking of? FFS how many more examples do we need of why the civil service, including the intelligence agencies, cannot be trusted to keep private data private?

  4. djstardust

    Government fines government

    Completely pointless.

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      Re: Government fines government

      Exactly.

      There's no difference here between them writing a £200k cheque and a £0 one.

    2. circusmole

      Re: Government fines government

      Agreed, completely pointless. So the director of the CPS just shrugs shoulders and carries on exactly as before.

      What should have happened is that the person(s) directly responsible and the person accountable (the director?) for the loss of data should have been personally fined £200K. That would make the the useless b'stards sit up and take notice.

  5. elDog

    Same as any action against a US entity

    The perps don't have to pay for their perpitrude. They may get an enhanced vacation called "administrative leave with pay."

    The perps bosses never get hauled into court and asked to donate a few $thousands to undo the injustice. On up the chain.

    Sometimes, the perps local hiring authority (city, town, state) may be required to adjust accounts but this is just coming out of the taxpayers' hides.

    I don't know how this would work, but I'd propose a totally different system.

    1. You get a minmal salary (US $9/hour) for the first year.

    2. You get a bonus at the end of the year if you did a pretty good job.

    3. You got a BIG bonus after five years if your whole department did well.

    This would apply to congress-things, presidents, school-board presidents, governors, police, teachers, etc.

    As it is, any Jack or Jill can totally fuck the populace and have no personal repercussions.

  6. Mr Dogshit
    FAIL

    Who prosecutes the CPS?

    Cost of BitLocker: £0.00

    What a herd of muppets

  7. Scott Broukell
    Facepalm

    Audit

    Did anyone even bother about, or even fleetingly consider, conducting a brief audit of the premises/facility/company into whose hands this sensitive data/equipment was being passed? No, thought so, dumb all over. Next time why not post it all on t'webs and ask some passer-by (browser, if you will,) if they would kindly do the edit in Moviemaker and post the results back to same said web site, thanks awfully.

  8. unwarranted triumphalism

    What in the actual s--- was going on here?

    During my work with a private company associated with the criminal justice system I have been assured that if I allow so much as 1 bit of data to escape I will be executed on the spot.

    But the CPS allow this to happen and get a slap?

    Goodbye public sector clients, I've had it with you. The next offer for private-sector only work will be accepted without hesitation.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm...

    "The videos were being edited ... so that they could be used in criminal proceedings"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm...

      Yup, struck me too. Ignoring the ineptitude of cps/contractor, does the defence get sight of the complete video plus instructions provided about editing? And can they provide another edited version?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Hmm...

        Certain edited highlights may need to be shown to a jury but speculations and baseless accusations need to be removed. The entire untouched, unedited video IS submitted as evidence since it must be tamper free. Both sides lawyers can see the original, but not show the whole thing in court. Apart from anything else, the video might easily be hours long and contain much conversation and reassurance etc that are not relevant.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All the way to the last coment and .......

    not one commentard pulled out the aluminum membrane hat to say Hmmm, high profile suspect involved, inside information passed on to the black bag crew (always on retainer for the House of Lords or House of Commons) about very specific PRIVATE location of laptops (where editing was occurring), and voila you have missing evidence that prevents the eventual prosecution of said "high profile individual".

    Try here:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/06/britain-s-horrific-vip-pedophile-cover-up.html

    or here:

    https://www.corbettreport.com/pedophiles-in-politics-an-open-source-investigation/

    or even here:

    http://investmentwatchblog.com/the-breaking-uk-vip-paedophile-scandal-what-we-know-so-far-mainstream-sources-i-just-wanted-to-put-it-all-in-one-place/

    Does your government have a child abuser problem?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: All the way to the last coment and .......

      not one commentard pulled out the aluminum membrane hat to say Hmmm, high profile suspect involved, inside information passed on to the black bag crew (always on retainer for the House of Lords or House of Commons) about very specific PRIVATE location of laptops (where editing was occurring), and voila you have missing evidence that prevents the eventual prosecution of said "high profile individual".

      You think they send the one and only original DVD out for editing? Really? I know it's the CPS, but even they can't be that stupid.

    2. Vic

      Re: All the way to the last coment and .......

      Does your government have a child abuser problem?

      Not any more, it would seem...

      Vic.

  11. Cincinnataroo

    Is it just me?

    I sometimes get the feeling that the way societies and states are run just isn't fit for purpose. We have layer after layer of muppets controlling things they don't understand.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No mention of any sackings...

    http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/cps_response_to_information_commissioner_s_office_fine/

    ... and if they pay by 1st December, they get a £40,000 discount on the fine.

  13. Why Not?
    Facepalm

    and again

    does no one say to government entities "if it aint encrypted you are doing it wrong"?

    and lessons learned , no one sacked trebles all round.

    arrrrrgh!

    1. swampdog
      WTF?

      Re: and again

      Oh yes.

      Consider the scenario where one public authority needs to transfer employee records to another public authority. The target authority does not have the expertise to figure out how to use FTP so the problem fell into my lap. This was a good thing because the database dump was unencrypted. To cut a long story short.. what should have been an 'scp' for less than a CD's worth of data turned into many days of fiasco whereby a dvd had to be created with the data encrypted upon it.. also the software used had to be on there and the target had to be trained in how to use it. It all had to work under windows7 (src) and windows xp (dst) and be documented to fuck. All this for a one off transfer between a pair of (unix) oracle systems.

      The target drone then drove to the source authority, picked up the dvd & became royally miffed when I refused to hand over the decrypt password: more so when they saw I'd scribbled some nonsense on the dvd. How were they to know what was on it?

      Hmm. Email me once you're back alive drone!

      This is what happens when the clueless position themselves the "firewall" between two IT dept's. :-(

  14. Ole Juul

    Cultures

    If the case was urgent, the sole proprietor would collect the unencrypted DVD from the CPS personally and take it to the studio using public transport.

    Good show. This just struck me as interesting because it shows a big difference in cultures. In US nobody would take public transport if they had a job, let alone if it was urgent.

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