Why won’t the Tories say whether Liam Fox’s stolen laptop was encrypted or not?
The shadow defence minister’s personal computer was taken when his car was stolen last night following a burglary at his London home.
Tory central office refused to comment, and Liam Fox’s press officer told ComptuerworldUK that there would be no comment beyond a statement made to the Press Assocation.
The Tory statement makes no mention of the laptop.
Fox can have been in no doubt about the importance of encryption. In January, he lambasted the government after the Ministry of Defence started a major hunt for a laptop and its encryption key were stolen from inside MoD offices.
As shadow defence secretary, Fox told BBC News that the theft was "extremely worrying," adding: "This goes way beyond the careless loss of a laptop or lapses in personal security that we have seen in recent times."
The theft of Fox’s laptop occurred as he was due to outline the Tories' armed forces manifesto.
Chris McIntosh, CEO of hardware encryption expert Stonewood, which provides encryption for the UK armed forces, said: "For Liam Fox's sake, I hope that this laptop was encrypted.
"Laptops will always be stolen, the important thing is making sure that the data on them can't be accessed and abused. If this laptop was encrypted, then Liam Fox has nothing to worry about. However if not, we could soon see the contents being leaked to the media and even worse repercussons."
He added: "The public will not be impressed if they see that the Conservatives aren't taking adequate care of their own data and this could damage their confidence in the party's ability to protect government data should they get into office."