Monday, April 30, 2007

Sponsored security

They are not going to be buying the best available security systems for the London Olympics, nor even the best value. There is a qualification hurdle for all potential suppliers to meet:

Giving an otherwise rather dull and predictable keynote speech at Infosecurity Europe about the IT security demands of running the London Olympics, Derek Wyatt MP has let it slip that UK Government hands are tied when it comes to security technology.
Wyatt sound quite upbeat about the possibility of using the London ‘Oyster’ card, used for public transport travel, which could be upgraded fairly easily to incorporate biometric data and turned into a mini-ID card. He also sounded quite impressed with the idea of using the Nokia based authentication system for mobile phones. Upbeat and impressed, and then he dropped the bombshell, which I hope will not be a bad choice of words for the future, when he casually revealed that because neither of these companies was a ‘major sponsor’ of the Olympics their technology could not be used.

Yes, you read that right, as far as the technology behind the security of the London Olympic Games is concerned best of breed and suitability for purpose do not come into, paying a large amount of money to the International Olympic Committee does.
... he was speaking in his official capacity as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Olympic Group...
(emphasis added)

Quite apart from the obvious problems this could cause, with the best available technology unconsidered, there's a word for the sort of business deal where the supplier first has to make a payment, for one reason or another, to the customer.

It's "corruption".

Via Schneier.

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