Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Government, torn between big business chums and Internet security, drags its heels

I do like to keep up to date with The Register when I can, an on-line glimpse into the world of IT. It's amazing how often political stories crop up: sorry to sound nerdy, but I just can't resist a story about technology and politics both at once.

The latest such yarn has its origins earlier this month, when a bug in Microsoft's Internet Explorer software emerged, after hackers from China managed to breach on-line security systems - so far, only big organisations, rather than indiviuals, have been hit.

But, according to the BBC, the German government acted quickly, warning all Germans to ditch Microsoft in favour of one of the free, more secure alternatives that are out there (personally I usually use Mozilla Firefox - another option is Google's Chrome, which is being heavily touted right now) - at least until the bug is fixed.

The French government speedily issued similar advice: but, it seems, the British Government is reluctant to follow suit.

Apparently Peter Mandelson, whose department would have to issue any such formal warning, is more concerned about hitting Microsft's profits than maintaining privacy - or security - on the Internet.

How very New Labour of him. Could it have anything to do with his infamous friendship with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen?

Here's some simple, free advice for Lord Voldemort Mandelson: if you want to avoid the stench of being accused or corruption 'just say no' whenever you're invited to enjoy parties - or free holidays - by the mega-rich bankers and businessmen who stand to gain and lose most from your actions, or, as in this case, lack of them.

Come to think of, I'm sure I'm pitching this advice wrong: Mandy's never been a fan of the free and simple.

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