Laptop puts lid on electronic red box

Laptop puts lid on electronic red box
Political correspondent The government’s Electronic Red Box has been dropped in favour of a more prosaic laptop computer linked to the Whitehall secure Intranet. Public Service Minister Peter Kilfoyle confirmed the move in the Commons. Tackled by Tory James Gray as to what had happened to the device, Kilfoyle replied: “Quite simply, things have moved on since then: we now have an extremely effective secure intranet and we are investigating other ways of providing all members of the government with secure electronic communications.” The idea of encasing a modern communications and information system in the traditional Ministerial Red Box has been dropped as the main interest from ministers was a secure laptop with a secure modem. The development of the government secure intranet has allowed that to be achieved, said a senior government source who said that several ministers, including all those in the Cabinet Office, now used them. The total cost was ?1,700 each for the hardware for two Red Box prototypes, the original design work have been done at the government’s Central Information Technology Unit. Kilfoyle said the red box had “provided a useful symbol to raise the profile of information-age government.”


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