As some of us know, obtaining a firearm, especially one that isn’t a shotgun, is a very tricky exercise in the United Kingdom. Post Dunblane and Hungerford, securing a licence to have a weapon and store it in your home requires a pile of forms bigger than the UK residency application to be filled in – your nearest and dearest are most likely to be interviewed by our lovely boys in blue.
Imagine then, that the complete list of weapon holders of the metropolis that is London town, was deliberately, wilfully, intentionally and incompetently given to a third party by The Metropolitan Police for the purposes of an advertising campaign. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, that is exactly what happened this week when The Met gave the details of 30,000 weapons holders here in Gotham City to the outfit that makes SmartWater, not the beverage but the stuff you can apply to your possessions which can only be seen under an ultraviolet light. As it happens, SmartWater is a company formed by a former detective and his chemical engineer brother (you really could not make this up).
The details shared included the names and addresses of everyone in the capital that is packing hardware of all descriptions from the humble 6 bore through to phased plasma rifles in the forty-watt range. So, if you are struggling to obtain that hand cannon you so desire, look no further than one of your neighbours.
What this illustrates is that you can have Data Leakage Prevention supporting the associated legislation including GDPR, but all it takes is one f***wit to print it out and post it to a marketing company and the game is up.
El Reg shared the details of the details here.
In sadder news, this week Robert Taylor the superstar engineer that more or less invented the connectivity that became the Internet when working at the Advanced Research Projects Agency, sublimed into the ‘Cloud of Clouds’ aged 85.
Not happy with being involved in the invention of the mouse, which as we all know enables computers to be driven one handed, and the Internet, Mr Taylor ‘inspired’ Steve Jobs and worked for pretty much everyone from The Pentagon, NASA and even the once might Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) before Ken Olsen killed it.
You should read the New York Times obituary here.
Our thoughts go out to Mr Taylor’s family and friends.
If you want suggestions about where to hide your munitions, fancy a chat about the joy of DECs or would like some advice on information security, please contact us at: [email protected] or call 020 7517 3900.