Complete buggery nonsense

A major drugs trial is danger of collapse after police refused to hand over key evidence – saying they could not afford a £14 memory stick on which to put it.

No, I don’t believe them. And even if I did then fire the idiot manager.

1) There’s £14 in any budget.

2) Since when did memory sticks cost £14 in bulk?

16 comments on “Complete buggery nonsense

  1. Who in his right mind would transfer confidential and sensitive material on memory sticks?!?!

    It’s the first thing any IT manager tells you not to do for fucks sake

    Virtual dataroom would quite clearly be the right way to do it

  2. Julia–As with so much of what goes on under the banner of officialdom the old song covers it:

    “You’ll never know if you don’t know now”

  3. You can get secure data sticks, quite cheap as well.

    Anyway, they’re not giving the stick away only using it as a means to transfer data. Surely the defence lawyers will have a couple kicking about? One law firm I engaged with even had them lying about as freebies for clients, along will ball point pens.

    This stinks.

  4. Even the £14’s nonsense. Last time I bought them in the UK they were about a £1 a GB from the stationers. You can get an incredible amount of data on 4GB if it’s not video/audo files.

  5. BiND – absolutely! Call up the defence and ask them to come around with a memory stick.

    When you buy eg a chair on eBay you don’t get to borrow the seller’s car to get the chair home.

  6. But I suppose we have to take it as a given that there’s no-one in the entire UK police service with the nouse to write a 20 pence data CD.

  7. Someone should be fired for this.

    There’s no point even starting a case with thousands of hours of work being put in if £14 details it.

    Also, how many trials have collapsed so the police can respray cars for pride marches?

  8. The police is a bureaucracy. It can take several weeks to order anything, even something as simple as a USB stick. So when a junior officer says there’s no budget, what he means is that he can’t be arsed clicking through the 27-page online procurement form, figuring out the correct cost code to use, and getting it signed off by three senior officers.

  9. Isn’t this contempt of court?

    Wikipedia says “Contempt of court, often referred to simply as “contempt”, is the offence of being disobedient to or discourteous towards a court of law and its officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies the authority, justice and dignity of the court. It manifests itself in willful disregard of or disrespect for the authority of a court of law, which is often behavior that is illegal because it does not obey or respect the rules of a law court.

    There are broadly two categories of contempt: being rude or disrespectful to legal authorities in the courtroom, or wilfully failing to obey a court order.

    That seems pretty clear-cut…

  10. What Emil said plus isn’t it best practice for pc’s to be locked down to prevent the use of memory keys?

  11. “What Emil said plus isn’t it best practice for pc’s to be locked down to prevent the use of memory keys?”

    It’s a bad approach to security to make it impossible for people to do their jobs. That just leads to honest people breaking the security rules, and then lying about it to hide what they’re doing from you.

    The correct approach is to provide a *controlled* means to transfer large amounts of data, such as locking down *most* of the PCs, and have a couple of gateway machines on the network that have lots of logging, oversight/monitoring, virus checks, paranoid firewalls, mandatory encryption, etc. that staff can use under supervision.

    An even more sensible alternative would be to have police, forensics, courts, and prosecutors all linked by a single network with shared storage.

    If I had to guess at a plausible backstory, I’d suspect that there was a security regulation about only using fancy memory sticks with CESG approved hardware encryption, which are a lot more expensive (like about £100 for a 2GB Eclypt Nano), and some ignorant bean-counter ‘saving’ money by telling them to go buy the cheapo £15 ones from the supermarket. The guys on the front line don’t have the authority to override bean-counters, but they also don’t want to get on the wrong side of the ‘peaked caps’ in Security. So the best option for coppers faced with a no-win situation dealing with the bureaucracy is ‘theatrical stupidity’: doing something obviously ridiculous in strict adherence to procedure in order to deliberately kick up a PR stink, which generally results in somebody very senior kicking the bean-counter’s butt. Pure speculation, of course.

    I suppose it’s *possible* that it was intended to fit someone up by hiding the evidence, but I don’t see how anyone could have imagined for one moment that such a ridiculous excuse would work on any non-bent judge.

  12. It’s a sad state of affairs that now I know the police use memory keys to share evidence I’d be completely unsurprised if their security is nothing like that which NiV describes. Or maybe I’m just a cynic.

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