Where’s me laptop?

Ruairí Quinn aka Quinn Kong* to those in the Labour inner circle has been asking all the Govt Departments what IT equipment they lost so far in 2008. Interesting reading.

Here’s the list:

Dept of Taoiseach:

No computer, desktops, laptops or other data devices, such as blackberries and memory keys, have been reported missing or stolen from my Department to date in 2008.

Dept of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

My Department’s records indicate that to date in 2008 one laptop has been reported stolen, one laptop reported missing and one BlackBerry device reported stolen. None has been recovered or found. There have been no other computers or data devices reported lost, missing or stolen during this period.

It is my Department’s policy to invoke the facility to remotely erase all data from a BlackBerry device as soon as it is reported missing, and immediately cancel the subscription with the service provider. In the case of the stolen BlackBerry it was not possible to do this locally and the device was disabled by the service provider at my Department’s request.

So if a Blackberry is stolen you wipe the data from it LOCALLY, as in if it is nicked but the robber is there with you, you wipe the data? No remote wiping then?

Dept of Finance

To date in 2008, one memory stick has been reported stolen and has not been recovered. I understand that no sensitive or private data was compromised with the loss of this device.

Dept of Health and Children

To date in 2008 there has been one item of ICT equipment reported lost, missing or stolen. This relates to a Blackberry which was stolen from a member of staff. It has not been recovered. I understand the device was password protected and that no sensitive or private data were compromised with the loss of this equipment.

Dept of Transport

There have been eight instances of laptop computers, data storage devices and memory sticks that have been reported lost, missing or stolen from my Department to date in 2008. These instances included five laptops and three Blackberries. Of these, four laptops and one Blackberry were subsequently recovered.

Dept of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Dept of Foreign Affairs

In the period in question two Department owned laptops have been stolen and one Department issued USB memory stick was lost. None of these items have been recovered to date.

These devices did not contain any sensitive data and both laptops were encrypted.

Dept of Arts, Sport and Tourism

Dept of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

I am informed that no such devices were reported lost, missing or stolen to date in 2008.

Dept of Social and Family Affairs

The following data devices, owned by the Department, were reported stolen or lost to date in 2008:-

Two Laptops – (1 house break-in, 1 office break-in)

Two Desktops – Buncrana SWLO

None of these devices have been recovered.

As all client data is held on central databases, no client data is held on the stolen computer desktops.

Laptops can be used to access centrally stored client information through a secure remote log-in. No client data is retained on the laptops after the remote session ceases. Similarly, the Department’s e-mail system retains its data in a central location although it can be accessed through a secure remote log-in.

Dept of Defence

Dept of Environment, Heritage and Local Government:

To date in 2008, three laptops and one external hard drive have been reported stolen and have not been recovered.

No sensitive or personal data was stored on any of these devices.

Dept of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

There have been no reported losses of desktop PCs or memory keys in my Department to date in 2008. There have been two Blackberry devices lost, neither of which was recovered or found.

There have been no reports that any sensitive data has been compromised by these losses. The level of personal information relating to members of the public processed within my Department is very small.

Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

5 Laptops reported stolen

Dept of Education and Science

In 2008 to date no desktop computers, laptops or blackberry devices were reported lost, stolen or missing. One USB memory key was reported lost but was subsequently found. No sensitive or private data was compromised.

*May in fact be a total lie.

11 Responses to “Where’s me laptop?”

  1. Twenty Major says:

    That’s classic.

    “I lost a laptop”.


    “Well if I knew where it wouldn’t be lost, would it?”

    “Was there anything … you know … dodgy on it?”

    “Like porn?”

    “No. People’s names and addresses or social security numbers or medical records or private government documents”

    “Erm … well, I do work with all those things so-”

    “That’s a no then, good man”.

    “What I said was-”


  2. Tim says:

    Noticed that Revenue isn’t on that list…as Twenty said though there would be nothing important on them anyway except maybe saved games of Doom.

  3. […] has a list of the actual responses. October 1st, 2008 in Politics (Ireland), Security | tags: batt o’keefe, data protection, eamon […]

  4. Keith says:

    > “Quinn Kong”
    Eh…not quite. Normally just “RQ”, occasionally “Ho Chi Quinn” (a leftover from his student days).

  5. Damien says:

    Follow that star to the bottom Keith 🙂

  6. Keith says:

    I followed it – just wanted to give you the insider info! 😉

  7. Damien says:

    RQ reminds me of FU but I couldn’t possibly comment. Ho Chi, I like.

  8. maybe they should sew name tags on them like on his pyjamas….

    maybe if they dont ‘lose’ them after one year they could get a bonus…

    maybe they will set up a team to report on how not to with regards to this matter,….

    maybe there should be government retraining in how not to lose a laptop

    @twentymajor – fair point!
    @mulley – well done!

  9. Rob says:

    I lost a motorola phone, in November 1997. It was the size of my car, and I still lost it.

    I replaced it with a Nokia, which was slightly smaller than Bonnie Langford, and only marginally less annoying.

    I think when you have to pay to replace stuff, you are more careful.

    Wither my virginity, etc

  10. […] yesterday’s revelation by Ruairi Quinn TD that the Government has lost even more laptops this year, The Irish Times […]

  11. […] have gone missing this year.  So far over 45 devices have been lost.  Damien Mulley has a breakdown as to what was lost.  Then on Friday the HSE reports that it lost another laptop which reports […]