back to article Police ICT Company head: Eat your cloud, cops, it's good for you

A national strategy on using public cloud services is needed so British police forces can cope with the increasing weight of unstructured data storage, the head of the Police ICT Company has said. Martin Wyke, head of the body, outlined storage as a key challenge for police because of the explosion of unstructured data, through …

  1. Whitter
    Devil

    Cynical moi

    But the sales pitch sounds like "Don't want to be responsible for the data? Get on board!"

    With the likely intent that nobody can be identified as the DataController.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cynical moi

      * Agree! Plus what happens when there's CloudFog (its down again / cable is cut)... Where's the contingency / backup...???

      * Morphing Cloud Data - Can't wait for the day that cloud data isn't just lost / stolen / leaked, but is manipulated subtly by players with access.... Think hackers, state-agencies, security-services, corrupt-police, corrupt-media, interfering or corrupt-politicians etc etc... You don't need to be a big Sci-Fi fan to know this is coming....

      * A DVD its burdensome, risks being mislaid / damaged etc... But at least evidence doesn't just simply morph!

  2. JimmyPage
    Boffin

    Back in the 60s ..

    all big companies that ran "data centers" flogged time on their systems to smaller companies who couldn't afford a whole [IBM] computer.

    What's that thing just about to hit the back of your head ? Oh yes. It's a full circle turning.

    Of course all the skills and expertise that developed in those crazy days (not just technical, but administrative and contractual) has disappeared. Either carried off by death, or kicked out the door as redundant.

    Anyone who wants to study that era may find they have a jump on the next breed of sharks selling snake oil.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it....

    Currently where I work as a cop, we patrol with our cameras (if we remember to take them!), switch them on when we need to catch footage / feel it's about to go tonto, then head back to the office.

    We dock them, the data downloads to the 2TB hd that's attached, and we use the laptop to analyse the footage and burn to disc. It's not connected to any network, 100% standalone.

    The disc is then submitted as evidence, with two copies made. One goes as a court production, held at a central production office and the other is a working copy which is held at the same office and archived.

    Why complicate a process that works perfectly as it stands? Why incur extravagant costs over something that cost a few hundred quid and works fine?

    Also, the cameras aren't great, so I don't want to have stuff going whizzing up to the cloud if it's catching me on the crapper (which has happened)!

    Sometimes change isn't always necessary.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get it....

      Some good points there, but DVDs are pretty expensive if you have thousands of users (blank media, but you also need the burners/readers) and is a bit of an unnecessary step, if you ask me...you need a network link to your local storage array and another secure link to the central office (where they would have a somewhat bigger storage array, with a duplicate backup array in a different location) and you can skip the DVD stage entirely. The local reference storage needn't be too expensive...just mirror it and swap disks out when they fill up...and you'd need a lot less storage space for HDDs than DVDs. There'll already be a backup at central (and their backup as well) so you wouldn't have to go full-out paranoid.

      You'd need some sort of definitive timestamp to preserve the chain of evidence (plus maybe a hash of the original video stored in maybe a 3rd place to rule out videos being interfered with), but that'd be a lot cheaper than messing about with DVDs. And faster.

      Also DVDs are becoming obsolete which is going to become a factor soon, if it isn't already, so it's going to have to change at some point in the not-too-distant future.

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it....

      "The disc is then submitted as evidence, with two copies made"

      In England we'll need one for the Police, one for the CPS (sent by fax), one for the defense, one for the Court, one for the Judge, one for the Judge's wife and one for GCHQ. All in the lowest common denominator format (video cd, probably). Each accompanied by an exhibit number and a signed statement confirming its validity.

      And if any gets corrupted (how reliable is you DVD burner by the time it comes to trial) or lost then Reg commentators will be crying "cover up".

      Actually, what you describe is the current process but it is time consuming and budget cuts mean two laptop/burners per large station, so if you've got a full custody then there's a bottleneck for the laptops. A busy shift could really use those few hours.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't get it....

        Actually you describe the process that the security bods in places such as Asda use currently (I know having been revising it). What you leave out is the unfortunate ability of that process to allow people (the police maybe?) to abuse the process, select and/or lose information.

        It is not like it has never happened before has it (likewise with the on/off video - although I accept that some automatic process of turning the fekker off when you are in the dunny is challenging, but turning it off while you beat the crap out of someone seems not to be).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get it....

      "Currently where I work as a cop, we patrol with our cameras (if we remember to take them!), switch them on when we need to catch footage / feel it's about to go tonto, then head back to the office."

      "Accidentally" turn them off just before the suspect stats to "resist arrest"...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    Evening all.

    Save money, just change the dates on the Information Systems Improvement Strategy (ISIS) for the bizzies, esp.Part Three - Infrastructure convergence

    http://library.college.police.uk/docs/npia/ISIS-Report-2009-10.pdf

  5. Trigonoceps occipitalis

    ... in many ways the cloud can be safer ...

    Until it evaporates. We all know that, one day, the part of the cloud you want will not be there when you need it.

  6. Oengus

    Uploading data from 59000 cameras is going to require huge bandwidth and even more storage. Sounds like a sweet deal for a Cloud provider and an ISP...

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