Friday, March 6, 2009

Spy agencies' multimillion pound computer project is scrapped

A multimillion-pound computer project designed to improve Britain's security by giving key government officials speedy access to secret intelligence on terrorism and other threats has been scrapped in a move described as "appalling" yesterday by a watchdog of senior MPs and peers.

The damning criticism is contained in the annual report of the Intelligence and Security Committee, which is studded with asterisks hiding facts and figures needed for the public and parliament to know what MI5, MI6, and GCHQ are up to. The committee says it is appalled that a significant phase of the project, called Scope, on which "tens of millions of pounds have been spent" has been abandoned because of technical problems. Serious failures with the computer system were revealed by the Guardian last year, but the committee says it had not yet investigated the reasons.


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