MPs Reveal Password Sharing Habit
December 12, 2017
Some MPs have courted controversy after revealing they are in the habit of sharing their password with all their staff, including interns. It’s a bad example for MPs to set. Surely there is a better way to handle the situation?
What are these MPs like?
Conservative MP Nadine Dorries is at the centre of this controversy. She revealed the password sharing habit herself while defending the action of another MP for a different controversy.
Ms Dorries was defending MP Damian Green, who was found to have a wealth of inappropriate content on his work computer. Ms Dorries was making the point that the presence of the content on Mr Green’s computer didn’t necessarily mean he was responsible for it. She said in a tweet:
“My staff log onto my computer on my desk with my login everyday. Including interns on exchange programmes. For the officer on BBC News just now to claim that the computer on Greens desk was accessed and therefore it was Green is utterly preposterous!!”
She actually went on to say a common question she had when she sat down at her own desk was, “what is the password?”
Ms Dorries has defended her actions by saying she is merely a backbencher and does not have access to important Government documents on her computer.
Not proper practice
The guidelines for MPs clearly advise them not to share their passwords, and the Prime Minister’s special representative on internet safety, Baroness Shields has condemned the MP’s practice. She said:
“I don’t think anybody should be sharing their passwords. There is always someone trying to get in – trying to view emails or understand what’s going on, and you have to assume that you are always under threat. We can arrange for your staff to access your mailbox, calendar and documents through their own accounts.”
The Government should be setting an example to the rest of the country about the importance of cyber security. It’s not a good look when MPs are using passwords solely to securely access their emails, but also liberally sharing their password with anyone.
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