November 20, 2007


Just the other day, I examined some of the roots and implications of the glorification of the Anglo-American tradition. In the past, I've referred most often to the American part of this super-combo as constituting an "Empire of Clowns."

But wait! Make the Anglo side a full and equal partner:
Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The head of the U.K. tax service resigned today after officials in his department lost the records of more than 25 million Britons, almost half the population.

Two password-protected discs containing data on 7.2 million families claiming child benefit payments went missing in the internal mail when they were sent from the Revenue and Customs department to the National Audit Office, Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said in an emergency statement to Parliament. Households will be protected under the banking code in the event of fraud, he said.

"I regard this as an extremely serious failure," Darling told lawmakers. "I deeply regret this and apologize for the anxiety that will undoubtedly be caused."


The discs, containing the names, addresses and bank and national insurance details of almost every household with children under 16 in the U.K., went missing after they were sent from Revenue and Customs at the request of the National Audit Office, Darling said.

The incident amounts to a breach of strict security procedures, although police say there is no evidence the information has fallen into criminal hands, Darling said.


Junior revenue department officials twice sent data to the government auditor without following guidelines on how the information should be sent, Darling said. On the second occasion, in October, the data failed to reach its destination. The discs were sent via the in-house post system operated by TNT NV.


"It is staggering that an organization responsible for the data of millions of child benefit claimants is still copying data onto CDs and not ensuring its full protection through encryption techniques," Brian Spector, general manager for content protection at Workshare, a document security company, said in an e-mail.


Today's disclosure by the government follows other security breaches at the department. In September, records for about 15,000 people were lost by the department's courier service and, in the same month, a laptop with records was also lost.
So both England and America are under the power of increasingly authoritarian-dictatorial governments and of hugely intrusive surveillance states -- all run by tenth-rate versions of the Marx Brothers.

Without, you know, being remotely funny. Yet they still manage to murder a whole hell of a lot of people.

This is your future. Supply your own laugh track.

AND: A further discussion of a central aspect of Anglo-American culture -- ignorant and viciously homicidal racism -- from Chris Floyd.