back to article UK Ministry of Justice secure email system browns out

The United Kingdom's Criminal Justice Secure Email (CJSM) system has been browning out for months, and in the 18 months an upgrade is expected to take users have been asked to stop using the service's webmail and revert to conventional email clients. The CJSM is designed to help workers in the English and Welsh criminal …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Government IT in shit performance shocker

    News just in

  2. Phil Kingston

    Capacity planning? Nah, never heard of it. Just add a few thousand more email accounts. She'll be right.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Indeed, one wonders how the system is monitored. Is the admin just getting to his desk in the morning and waiting for calls to tell him there's a problem ?

      Or is it more like the admin has been screaming for additional capacity for the past year, and now that the whole things is falling under its own weight, somebody is grudgingly accepting to sign the check ?

      Because replacing the whole system sounds like they seriously underestimated the workload initially and, now that they have the usage figures, they realize that the existing infrastructure was hopelessly lacking in scaling ability, thus the wholesale replacement.

      Whatever the reason, this is just another example of non-existent foresight and total lack of planning.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Outsourced to the cheapest provide, won't even have proper local support.

        More drinks all round at the large outsourcers.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge


    Shirley some mistake?

    IMAP is too new a protocol?

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: POP3

      And the default for most pop3 installs is to delete email from the server once it's been retrieved.

      Next week, they'll be explaining to everyone why their email has disappeared.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: POP3

      IMAP is too new a protocol?

      IMAP is better for the end user but on a badly spec'd or badly a configured system it can be resource hog. And since this is government IT it probably is badly configured and running on a questionable platform.

      First important rule with IMAP: Do not configure every folder as 'push' ;)

      Where's the 'careful now' icon?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I hope they are using TLS with that POP3 connection!

    Otherwise what's the point of calling it secure.

    1. Vince

      Re: POP3

      POP-3 encrypted or not, what's the security it provides...

      ...the message is downloaded to the users computer.

      Where (trust me) they insist on weak passwords, have no encryption on laptops, connect to any and every wifi setup going, no VPN, no attempt at security.

      I totally fail to understand what security facility this setup is actually providing

  5. Spiff66


    Just use gmail, to be honest it's probably more "secure" than what they have already. I mean you can trust google right?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Criminal element has been found in the Justice System

  7. Anonymous Coward

    There's this little Swiss outfit called Protonmail

    I hear they know how to make a properly secure, scalable solution. I'm sure they'd love the billions the current mob of consultants probably got paid to come up with this bag of crap.

  8. Chris G

    MoJ Office before CJSM

    Grimley-Smartas: Minister! I thought I should inform you that I have my own desk top computer at home and I do this emailing thing quite often.

    Minister: Ah, great stuff Grimley-Smartas. You are the very person we need to oversee the implementation of this new service, everyone thinks we Civil Servants are stuffy and don't move with the times; We'll show them!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As one of the poor users of this system...

    I've had the joy of having to use CJSM since getting a promotion to a new role last year, but my colleagues who've been on the team several years tell me it's always been slow.

    This week, however, has seen performance drop off a cliff. Whereas before it was slow but would at least do what you ask it to eventually, this week, especially during peak office hours, it's essentially been unusable, with frequent connection reset errors, unexplained logouts etc.

    The only reason we use this mess (max of 10MB attachments on an email, have to upload attachment files one at a time, file downloading bug that sometimes results in an error in Chrome, stupidly small mailbox size limit meaning we can't leave emails with attachment sin the box too long or else we can't receive any more incoming emails) is because we have a number of colleagues who work essentially part time/zero hours who aren't classed as permanent employees and so IT won't set them up with corporate email accounts so they could use something like Outlook Web Access.

  10. macjules

    No surprise there ..

    I knew it was a mistake to employ Hillary Clinton's email server guy.

  11. Aaiieeee

    Ha, I am trying to set this up right now. I have been sent a registry hack by Vodaphone to get it working :)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very old

    Bloody hell. I remember that being touted as the secure email system for Everyone In Local Government (well, those who needed confidential stuff) in 2005.

    It was entirely predicated on achieving that by being webmail, no POP or IMAP so the data never left the system. Clearly Voda understood the design decisions made, then....

  13. David Pollard


    Maybe that nice Mr Duncan Smith who's in charge of computing at the DWP could come over for a few hours and provide helpful hints to get this sorted.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    What the CJSM is designed for?

    One such service being a conduit for your Landlord, Doctor or Local Council to snitch on you to the Babylon. That's the real function of your 'Neighbour Liasion Officer'.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Google's opponents according to Bloomberg

    What are the names of these opponents and does one of them live at One Microsoft Way? Have these people no shame. They a) extort revenue out of Android handset makers b) Clone Android and exclusively load their own apps on top and then c) promote an 'antitrust investigation' before the Europe Commission. What ever happened to Microsoft playing nice?

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