Monday, January 29, 2007

In The Words of Number Ten...

Very interesting transcript of this morning's Downing Street Briefing.
Asked by the BBC's Political Editor about the Sunday Telegraph story and
the ITV denial from No10 and what was it Downing Street was denying, the PMOS
said that the journalist had to put to him what it was that he wanted the PMOS
to deny. The journalist said that Downing Street had appeared to deny
handwritten notes by the Prime Minister in relation to honours. The PMOS asked
who had said that there were and what were they about. The journalist said he
had. The PMOS said that what we had responded to were specific allegations put
to us by ITN and the Sunday Telegraph. The PMOS went on to say that if people
had a further specific allegation, then they had to tell him what it was and who
had made it. The journalist continued that the Sunday Telegraph had made an
allegation that there were written notes by the Prime Minister in relation to
honours. The PMOS said that it was for him to respond to the Sunday Telegraph,
and if people had a specific allegation, they had to make it, and tell him who
the source was.

Channel Four's Political Editor said that he had picked up from the PMOS an
"angry" tone, and did we feel that the police were putting things into the
public domain without reporting directly to Downing Street, the PMOS asked the
journalist if he was really telling him that police involved in an ongoing
investigation were leaking details to the press, because if he was, it was a
very serious allegation. Asked if that could be the only way in which some of
the information could have got into the public domain, the PMOS said "you tell
me". We believed that any conversations between the parties involved should be
private.

Put that we had "rubbished" any idea of alternative computer networks, but
the Mail on Saturday and "Guido Fawkes" website had both claimed that they had
evidence of alternative email networks in No10 that linked up to the Labour
Party, the PMOS said that we stood by what we said to ITN. There was only one
email system at No10. Asked if it would be possible for someone to "hop on"
using a No10 computer onto the Labour Party network, the PMOS said again that
there was only one email system at No10.

Asked further questions about the possibility of an external server, or
the possibilities of sending Labour Party emails, and did only one system allow
for more than one email address, the PMOS repeated that there was only one email
system in No10. As the PMOS said on Friday, people in No10 could not access
hotmail, gmail etc because of security reasons, and he was not aware of anyone
who had more than one email address.

Asked if people could send political emails from the No10 account, the
PMOS replied that he was not going to get into the details of the system. The
claim that was put to us was that there was more than one system, and there is
not. There is only one, and the police have had access to everything that went
through the system.

We'll see.

10 comments:

bt said...

Sounds like they're mounting a Clinton defence:
"It depends what you mean by 'is'."

Anonymous said...

"That woman never emailed me, Your Honour. We never had electronic relations".

Anonymous said...

damn - am I allowed to have a second go: "I never had electronic relations with that woman, Your Honour"

Anonymous said...

As someone said, the emails will be for cash-for-honours what the tapes were for Watergate...

The plot thickens..

Anonymous said...

As to whether there is more than one system at no 10, this is a silly question. there may well be one official system for no 10, the cabinet office, whatever, but personnel located at no 10 may be working for the government or NuLab or both (even concurrently) and may be accessing no 10 or (NuLab) systems or both (concurrently), or loads of other systems using the same terminal.
I'm not certain what the point is. If people are busy breaking the law, ie downloading kiddie porn, they are not going to mix it in with snaps of granny's last visit.

Anonymous said...

"There is only one email system in No.10" is one of those wordgames that doesn not preclude the existence of some other system based somewhere else (like lpnet.org.uk)...

javelin said...

A Clue for Clueless Journalists ...

The emails were NOT sent from Number 10 because Tony Blair does not LIVE at Number 10 Downing Street he moved into the flat about Number 11 Downing Street.

Tony's children and Cherie have computers linked o the internet.

This is the question you must ask - and don't change a word.

Have you or any of your associates used a computer not owned by the Government (for example by a member of the Blair or Brown family or the Labour Party) in or above Number 10 OR Number 11 Downing Street to send or receive emails in relation to Labour Party or Government activities?

Anonymous said...

I have only one thing to say to this gonads.

Theres the Civil service system, the back up system under MOd control and also the auxillory civil system under the control of BT, which runs the BBC system.

Plus theres the numerous satellites over the UK that foreign powers could use to target a persons address.

Thus be warned that the net effect is quite clear, the UK has a network of systems within it and thereofre emails can quite easily be lost, or stricken from the record on Crown orders, after all when I grew up I learnt that the Duke of Kent (the previous one) was a Nazi sympathiser, now according to the UKTV history programme he was merely a plant that sought to spread disinformation. With due effect a record can be deleted.

Euan your PC is now to be seized, and even Leos as well...

Anonymous said...

A day or so after the last election Andrew Marr in a report on the BBC sugested that there was now alot of shreading going on at labour HQ. Did he no something then through his family conections.

16words said...

One can conveniently email via a Blackberry or similar, or less conveniently via any mobile phone with a GPRS connection. I smell weasel.