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Government criticised after Brexit registration site failure

The website where people could register to vote whether the UK will remain within the European Union or not has crashed recently, due to an unexpected volume of demand.

The people trying to register basically DDoSed the Gov.uk website, which is why the deadline for the registration had to be pushed 48 hours.

Conservative MP Liam Fox took the opportunity to heavily criticise the government, saying this is ‘yet another chapter in the sad tale of government, the public sector and IT,’ according to Tech Week Europe (opens in new tab).

“I am very surprised that it crashed, so I would like to know one or two things,” said Fox. “Why did the Electoral Commission not make sufficient arrangements to determine whether its system could cope with the demand? How do we know that it will not happen again?”

Another conservative MP, Matt Warman, urged the government to learn from this experience and make sure the site survives the actual voting process.

“Given the experience of the past 24 to 48 hours, let us bear in mind that if we get things wrong, we risk not only further undermining people’s faith in democracy, but putting ourselves in a position where even fewer people than now would vote, and that would be bad for all of us,” Warman said.

Oliver Letwin, minister for government policy at the Cabinet Office, said the demand was well over what was expected. More than 200,000 requests were made, an hour before the crash.

“The system is designed to be scoped to deal with a certain number of simultaneous events, and that number was exceeded during that period, so in retrospect, it was not surprising that it fell over,” he said.

Image Credit: JMiks / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.