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Intelligence.gov.uk website errors - is the Home Office showing its usual level of web expertise ?

Regular readers of Spy Blog may have noticed the link we have on the left hand side of the main page which leads to the Cabinet Office's portal web page, which links to the various UK's Intelligence Services and explains about the Government committees etc. who receive their input or are supposed to keep an eye on their activities and budgets.

Some of the people in the Cabinet Office and the Foreign Office "national intelligence machinery" are now meant to report to the Home Secretary John Reid, as of last month.

See Where exactly is the "step change" in the UK's anti-terrorism defences in the new "Ministry of Injustice" Home Office ?

It appears that the ham fist of the Home Office with regard to official websites is already showing itself:

The www.intelligence.gov.uk web site no longer carries the "We Are All Doomed" graphic about the severity of the alleged terrorist threat to the UK - has the threat magically disappeared ?


This web page is branded as Intelligence.gov.uk, as our web button on the Spy Blog web page shows.


However, currently, this link (without the preceding "www.") takes you to another virtual site on the Cabinet Office run web server which belongs to the House of Lords Appointment's Commission !



Is this due to the customary lack of proper management and quality assurance controls regarding anything vaguely technological, on the part of the Home Office, or is it down to a demoralised Cabinet Office ?

Which senior civil servant or political advisor is responsible for checking any changes to this official UK Government branded website, before publishing them to the world ?

Aren't all UK central Government websites now supposed to be under the aegis of a centralised "joined up e-government" team ?

Will it take an enquiry from the mainstream media to get this mistake corrected, or will the UK Government's "national intelligence machinery" notice it on their own ?




There's also some really bad news to go with this - one of the links on the "Treat Levels" (sic) page (http://www.intelligence.gov.uk/threat_levels.aspx) takes us to the Home Office site where we are given the number "404" which is the Secret Code that means that the terrorists have stolen the threat level page! Are there no depths to which they will not sink?

Argh! There's any number of ways of making sure that a site re-org doesn't 'vanish' a supposedly important information page...

The http://Intelligence.gov.uk web server (probably Microsoft IIS/6.0) is now displaying:

Directory Listing Denied

This Virtual Directory does not allow contents to be listed.

so perhaps the the IT staff are now in the process of fixing the mistake.

A lot of people managing and operating information systems don't seem to know about regression testing: checking that something that you do doesn't mess up something else. Of course that takes time and effort, but isn't constructive time and effort what we expect govt to expend on our behalf?

Intelligence services using MS IIS.. says it all. *sigh*

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