Don't redact FOI answers with a marker pen


(Disclaimer - I currently work for GDS, although I don't work on FOI. This is an opinion piece and doesn't represent the views on any of my employers - past, present, or future.) The Irish government recently complied with a Freedom of Information Act request from journalists at RTÉ. The journalists wanted copies of messages […] Read More

How I Got The UK Government To Adopt ODF


Well, it's not often I get to completely influence the UK Government's approach to open standard. GOV.UK is adopting .ODF as their official document standard! All documentation will be also made available in HTML & PDF. Sweet! Yeah, yeah, so I only played a small part in the (no doubt) hideously complicated process - but […] Read More

The Unsecured State Part 4 - UK Government Websites Spewing Spam


This is part 4 of a series of blog posts looking at the security of the UK Government's web infrastructure. Over the last few days, I've shown that hundreds of websites run by branches of the UK state are in a perilous state of disrepair. There are multiple sites with hugely embarrassing XSS flaws, running […] Read More

Should GOV.UK Run A Bug Bounty?


Cyber Security is of vital national importance. As the United Kingdom places more of its infrastructure onto the Internet, bugs and glitches go from minor inconveniences to full scale national emergencies. Suppose, for a moment, that a hacker were to interrupt payment processing for banks, or tamper with the UK's water supply, or cut off […] Read More

"Let's ban tiny phones!" - UK Government


The BBC is reporting that the Government is so afraid of prisoners having access to concealed mobile phones, they want to introduce a ban. UK officials are considering banning the sale of small mobile phones designed to resemble car key fobs. A government spokesman told the BBC that it was discussing the issue with the […] Read More

Strawberries and Teabags


David Cameron wants to block certain "pornographic" search terms. He joins a long list of MPs who simply don't understand what they're talking about - like Claire Perry, Andy Burnham, and Helen Goodman. I've talked before about my time working as an "Adult Material Classifier" for Vodafone UK. In short, my team and I used […] Read More

OpenTech 2013


Another year - another OpenTech! See blog posts from 2010 and 2011. It feels like every year the event gets bigger and better. It's still the same crowd of politically aware techies, and it still costs a ridiculously cheap fiver to come along, and the talks were of an abnormally high quality. Here are my […] Read More

Lambeth's Brilliant QR Codes


Strolling along London's Southbank the other day, I came across one of those new-fangled information posts. Crudely stuck to it was a decidedly old-fashioned piece of paper bearing a planning notice. But! My my! What's that in the lower left corner? A QR code! Unsurprisingly, scanning the code takes you directly to the planning application […] Read More

#TeaCamp - Social Media Guidance for Civil Servants


On Thursday, I attended my first TeaCamp. It's a mini-meetup for UK Gov folk doing interesting digital things. These are some random jotterings based on the discussions both at the event and at BeerCamp afterwards. All conversations were under Chatham House Rules. Social Media is a problem for all organisations - whether public or private. […] Read More