Un Rendez-vous

2009/10/27

The concept of fairness was “constantly evolving”, he added

They would say that, wouldn’t they?

Any evidence of MI5 and MI6 involvement in the rendition and torture of Britons now seeking damages must be heard behind closed doors, the government told the high court today.

In a move with profound implications for how the security and intelligence agencies can be held to account, ministers want the evidence to be withheld from the victims of illegal activities and their lawyers.

It is the first time the government has asked the courts to rule that evidence should be kept secret in a civil case involving claims for damages. “I entirely accept [it] is a departure” from the normal course of such litigation, Jonathan Crow QC, for the agencies, the Home Office, the Foreign Office and the attorney general, told Mr Justice Silber.

He said that although such a “closed” procedure had never before been adopted in a civil claim for damages, there was no reason in principle why it should not be used if it was necessary for what he called “the just disposal of the case”.

The concept of fairness was “constantly evolving”, he added. An alternative would be to “strike out” the claim launched by seven former detainees.

The seven are Binyam Mohamed, Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil el-Banna, Richard Belmar, Omar Deghayes, Moazzam Begg, and Martin Mubanga. All are British citizens or residents who were held at Guantánamo Bay.

The government wants the evidence of what MI5, MI6 and other officials knew of the torture or mistreatment, and in particular what the CIA told them, to be shown in secret to special advocates appointed by the attorney general, Lady Scotland.

Move to withhold evidence in torture collusion claim

2009/09/06

Ealing Microsoft Comedy

Filed under: security — Tags: , — simonlecoeur @ 15:49

Updated An Ealing council employee infected the UK local authority’s IT systems with the Conficker-D worm after he plugged an infected USB into a work computer, causing tens of thousands of pounds in damages in the process.

The May incident took several days to clean-up and landed the west London council with a bill of £500,000 in lost revenue and repairs, The Guardian reports. Because IT systems were borked, the council was unable to process more than 1,800 parking tickets, at an estimated cost of £90,000, libraries lost out on £25,000 in fines and booking fees, council property rent went uncollected, and £14,000 was spent in overime sorting out delayed housing benefit claims….

The outbreak bears the hallmarks of the Conficker worm, which affected Manchester City Council in February to much the same effect. A detailed report on he incident, compiled by the council, blamed the infection on he use of a USB stick contaminated by Conficker-D. The worm exploited a Windows Autorun security weakness in Windows 2000 machines used by the council to upload itself and spread

Connections to remote sites were blocked during the clean-up operations. That left staff in outlying offices without telephony (because the council relies on a VoIP-based system). It also left staff in the main council office without voicemail for days for the same reason.

IT chiefs have put in a bid for a council-wide XP upgrade and extra end point and anti-virus defences at a potential cost of £600K. The upgrade would give the ability to lock down ports on PCs.

Conficker borks London council

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