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Laptop Theft Triggers Embarassing Statement From UK Police Force

A laptop, which belonged to deputy chieft constable fo Avon and Somerset Rob Beckley, was stolen from a car in London; that would be a fairly minor incident had it not been the fact DCC Beckley has access to sensitive counter-terrorist data.

It is thought that the Beckley's driver was "distracted" by one thief while another snapped the laptop, which is believed to be Mr Beckley's own personal computer.

It remains to be seen whether the laptop's data was encrypted or protected by a similar security solution or not; On Saturday, the BBC reported (opens in new tab) that the computer "had encryption software on it and that police computer systems used multiple passwords".

A contrario, Friday's Daily Mail (opens in new tab) said that "none of the information accessible from the machine is encrypted"; although the Avon and Somerset Police issued a statement to reassure the public that no harm had been done.

The news emerged the day after documents describing Al-Qaeda operations were found on a commuter train in London.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.