UK government to reappraise data security after WikiLeaks controversy

The government is looking to secure its digital borders and make sure that all departments practice the same rigours when it comes to data protection, as a result of the leaked diplomatic messages which were published by the controversial WikiLeaks website last week.

Every department is going to have to liaise with Peter Ricketts, the national security advisor, in order to show that they are acting in a manner which is in keeping with the current data protection regulations, according to statements made by the Home Secretary, Theresa May.

May spoke in the Commons about the impact that WikiLeaks’ revelations had caused and explained that each department had been contacted in a letter, which instructs them to review the way in which they handle private data, the idea being that the government will then have a clearer picture of the state of information security in the UK.

The finer detail of how this review will take place was not divulged by May, but she reiterated the earlier pledge made by the government, to invest 650 million into fortifying the data protection capabilities of the UK over a four year period.

Security expert Alan Bentley, said that while the US was facing the biggest diplomatic issues following on from the WikiLeaks publications, the fact that several high profile sites in the UK were identified within the leaked documents, is likely to be the main cause for the implementation of this review by the government.

Mr Bentley said that it was typical to see data security being re-examined only after a serious threat has been identified, although he welcomes the fact that the review is taking place, no matter what the motivations behind the movement.

Mr Bentley believes that any evaluation of governmental security capabilities will only be useful if it is provided with the right type of advice and instruction.

Some experts believe that the actions of WikiLeaks shows how unsecure certain systems are and highlights a need for a wider alteration in the way that top secret data is handled around the world.

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