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Francis Maude installs own wireless network to bypass “rubbish” government IT

UK Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has installed his own wireless network after getting fed up with the IT systems in parliament that prevented him from using his phone and iPad in his office.

It was his frustration at how long it took to access government systems and the inability to use his iPad to surf the internet.

According to a report by the Daily Telegraph, a source was quoted as saying the Cabinet Office’s IT systems were “clucky” and “rubbish”.

Credit: Geograph/Lewis Clarke

The source told the newspaper that there was widespread frustration in the Cabinet Office that “despite all our efforts are still miles from getting the technology you are able to get at home”.

According to Rik Ferguson, cybersecurity expert at Trend Micro, while Maude’s desire to get things done should be applauded, “his willingness to endanger the security of the parliamentary network, systems and data is incredible.”

“If he really has installed his own WiFi as the story suggests, then that network segment will not be configured, managed or audited by security experts in the House of Commons, rendering them blind to the risks it represents,” he said in a blog post.

Ferguson added that this wireless network will “almost certainly connect networks not designed to be connected, effectively punching a hole through numerous firewalls.”

“Actions like those of Mr Maude demonstrate, yet again, that it’s not only the bad guys you have to worry about,” said Ferguson.

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