Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Encryption in parliament comes at a cost - quelle surprise!

It's been a while since the topic of encryption tools in parliament appeared in Hansard. Some may remember last year whent he Parliamnetary tech bods informed parliamnetarians that they couldn't use PGP or free encryption and had to use the software they provided saying others were incompatiable.

At the time the CTO of PGP posted on this site effectuively saying it was nonsense, and were also reported saying the same thing to The Register. Well, the topic is, as I say, back, and it's about cost now.

It seems that if "Honourable Members" require encryption then they must still use the software the nerds in parliament tell them too, and it's going to cost them - in others words us from expenses - £63 per user of the software.

Now, let's say for argument sake that each MP has two staff, and they want everyone to use encryption. That means a license cost of £189. Assuming every MP wanted it, all things being equal, that a cost of around £120,000 for the privilege of encryption which is money that we, as the taxpayer provide.

Aletrantively, they could just use some free encryption products which provide the same 128bit and above style of ecryption at 100% less of a price. I guess that would just be too difficult though.

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