The UK government appears to be hell-bent on making sure its various ministries continue to use and support Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 browser despite the French and German governments having voiced their concerns over the popularity of the legacy, 9-year old, browser.
Lord Avebury tabled a written question in the House of Lords on the 25th of January over the public sector's use of IE6, referring to the cyber attacks that targeted Google and cited the fact that Parliamentary IT authorities have "actively" discouraged the use of other browsers.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office, Lord West of Spithead succinctly replied that, "Complex software will always have vulnerabilities and motivated adversaries will always work to discover and take advantage of them."
He added that "We take Internet security very seriously and we have worked with Microsoft and other suppliers over many years to understand the security of the products used by HMG, including Internet Explorer."
Lord West Of Spithead also made it clear that there are no evidence that moving to other browsers from a fully patched version of Internet Explorer 6 will guarantee more security and that "regular software patching and updating will help defend against the latest threats."
Google has already confirmed that it won't be supporting the browser from the beginning of March this year and campaigns like "bring down IE6", which was started by dotnet magazine, are likely to pick up steam by the end of the year.
We can't help but think how wrong, Lord West of Spithead, is. There's more to IE6 than just security. Ask any web designer and webmasters worldwide what single bug bear prevents them to sleep well at night and IE6 will often top the list. Maybe the reluctance of the UK government to take sides against IE6 has to do with something else?