A total of 759 laptops and computers were lost and an additional 32 were stolen between the May 2015 election and October 2016, records released by the Press Association show.
A further 328 CDs, DVDs and USBs were lost by the defence ministry over the same period, according to the data requested under Britain’s Freedom of Information Act.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said information security is “a top priority” and all incidents of missing equipment are “thoroughly investigated”.
“The MoD promotes a culture where security is the responsibility of all staff and personnel are required to report all security incidents. This can result in figures appearing higher than comparable organisations,” a spokeswoman said.
Overall at least 1,000 government laptops, computers and USBs have been reported lost or stolen since May 2015.
The Department of Work and Pensions reported 42 missing encrypted laptops or computers and eight USBs up to August, saying most of the losses and thefts either
Other government departments to respond to the request include the Treasury, which recorded eight missing laptops, one of which was recovered, and one missing memory stick.
One ministry created less than six months ago by Prime Minister Theresa May — the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy — said six laptops have already been lost or stolen since July.
A further 49 laptops were recorded missing by other government departments, although the overall figure could be much higher as many ministries refused to release their figures.
They include the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Health, which all claimed releasing such information would be useful to criminals.
Maurice Frankel, director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, criticised their response: “The fact the Ministry of Defence felt able to answer makes it very implausible that these civilian departments cannot” do the same.
© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse
Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?
Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.
Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.
Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.
*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.
The sound of Krakatoa exploding travelled around the earth three times.