Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The BBC, the NHS and British IT

Tom Reynolds posted on how he is not allowed to use an ¨internationally-recognised¨ credit card to download e-Books for his brand new Sony e-Book Reader and thus has to resort to pirating.

A commentator remarked on the BBC´s iPlayer policy whereby only UK residents are allowed to access over the Internet their programmes for free.

Back in January I posted on how to get around this. Suddenly, my hit-rate went up. In response to Tom´s commentator I commented the link to my post ... and as a result I have seen visits go sky high. (Sorry Tom, I do feel a little guilty riding¨on your own success).

My solution was to use the Tor server network which allows me to hide my IP address and adopt the IP address of a Tor ¨server¨ overseas. It is, in fact, tacitly, encouraged by the likes of the UK and the USA governments for Internet users in countries where web censorship exists.

If it is so easy though to hack the BBC iPlayer using legal means, I begin to wonder ...

a) were the contract IT security specs so vague that the contractor (Kontiki) could get away with ... uh ... nothing?

b) did the contractor (Kontiki) convince the BBC that simple IP address blocking was an adequate security measure?

c) were any BBC IT engineers consulted? Do they exist? Were their opinions taken into account? Are they idiots? Are they in the pay of Kontiki?

d) how much did the BBC pay Kontiki?

The NHS IT Spine ...

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