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Departmental Data Protection

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) computers and (b) hard drives in his Department contain non-encrypted data. (227438)

[holding answer 16 October 2008]: The MOD does not currently hold this information centrally and it could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Under the terms of the Burton and Hannigan reviews the MOD is conducting a census of all removable media, which will include removable hard drives and this work is due to complete in March 2009.

We have encrypted 20,000 laptops that are used outside MOD secure sites. Some laptops are not encrypted for technical reasons, such as those running automated test equipment, but are protected by other physical means. The MOD is reviewing its policy on the protection, including encryption, of equipment that is designed to be retained within our secure buildings.