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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

GCHQ says Universal Credit poses serious security risks

A Kwuggie (Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group activist) has sent in the following by e-mail:

I wish I had the facility to scan news paper items.  Yesterday the 6th, The Times had a lovely piece on Universal Credit poses serious security risk, spies tell No 10.(1)  Experts working for GCHQ the government listening agency contacted  Downing Street in alarm after being "fobbed off" by the DWP over security  flaws in the benefits program. millions of people could be hacked  The system will not be operational until 2022 at the earliest. GCHQ  involvement on delaying UC  is revealed in a report by the Institute for Government into how the welfare reform program went disastrously wrong. The report says that it still remains to be seen if UC will eventually work.

Blazing rows between George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith in front of civil servants.  "I have not seen two grown adults  have such a row for a long time ," one official said.

IDS  allegedly told one civil servant  that he would  not back down even when the plan was failing. There is a reference to a small number of jobcentres where UC is in operation major problems have emerged . A quarter of claimants face "significant issues" with the system. Councils  had to take on extra staff as CAB couldn't cope.

The report reveals the GCHQ officials went to No.10 after being repeatedly "fobbed off '. as they tried to establish what security measures were in place. After which the Cabinet Office ordered  an independent review. The review team  interviewed staff , assuring them that what they said would not be traced back to them.  The report said that under every stone was chaos. People burst into tears.  One of the suppliers said " just don't put this thing online.".  It is a complete security disaster. There was no way this could be launched as digital service.

IDS was ordered to put back the launch. Nick Thimmins , who wrote the report, said that. "There are elements of the policy that are still not entirely  clear.  Huge challenges remain."

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