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Forensic Telecommunications Services

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if she will make a statement on the theft of the telephone evidence database from Forensic Telecommunications Services Ltd.; (155644)

(2) what assessment she has made of the potential value to terrorist groups of the stolen telephone evidence database from Forensic Telecommunication Services Ltd.;

(3) what discussions officials from her Department have had with Forensic Telecommunication Services Ltd. regarding the security of data processed;

(4) when her Department last made an assessment of the security procedures of Forensic Telecommunication Services Ltd.;

(5) how much the Government spent on the services of Forensic Telecommunication Services Ltd. in each year for which records are available;

(6) which Government Departments and agencies had data compromised during the database robbery from Forensic Telecommunication Services Ltd.; and when were those agencies informed of the theft;

(7) whether her Department has communicated with any foreign governments regarding the theft of the telephone evidence database from Forensic Telecommunication Services Ltd.

On 7 August, offices belonging to the Forensic Telecommunication Services Ltd. in Kent were burgled and computer equipment was removed. That equipment has since been recovered in a police operation. When recovered, an examination of the server referred to by my right hon. Friend was carried out. That examination indicates that the server was not accessed and that no data was compromised. One individual has been arrested in connection with the burglary and I understand this offence has been considered as part of his sentencing. I have asked the chief constable of Kent to write to my right hon. Friend directly regarding this matter.

Home Office officials have been kept informed, as a matter of routine, but have had no direct involvement in this incident. Individual Departments and the police make their own arrangements for handling their protectively marked assets according to relevant security manuals and procedures.