Res ipsa Loquitor

Dear Cheshire Constabulary,

I am interested to know

- how many computers (desktops, laptops, tablets) are in the Force estate for use by officers and staff?
- which is the prevalent computer operating system across the constabulary (for example Microsoft Windows XP, WIndows7, Windows 10, iOS (Apple), Chrome or other);
- which version of that system is the default;
- regardless which system is the current default, whether there is an intention to move to Windows 10 and if so when and at what estimated cost.

If the force has commenced this move to Windows 10, what approximate proportion of devices are using Windows 10.

I am not seeking any personal information of any kind.

Yours faithfully,

Res ipsa Loquitor (Brian Speedwell)

Freedom of Information, Cheshire Constabulary

Dear Sir/Madam

I acknowledge receipt of your correspondence received 22/05/2019 which is
being dealt with as a request for information in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.
I am in the process of dealing with your request and will respond in due
course and in any case by 20/06/2019.

Please note that you will not receive a response if you have previously
been issued with a notice under section 14 of the act relating to the
subject of this request.

Please contact us by email at [1][email address] if you
have any further enquiries.

Regards

The Requests Team
Information Compliance
Cheshire Constabulary HQ
Clemonds Hey
Oakmere Road
Winsford
Cheshire
CW7 2UA

Tel :: 01606 362384

This communication is intended for the addressee(s) only. Please notify
the sender if received in error. Internet email is not to be treated as a
secure means of communication. The Constabulary monitors all Internet and
email activity and requires it is used for official communications only.
Thank you for your co-operation.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Requests, Cheshire Constabulary

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Speedwell,

 

REQUEST

1.     how many computers (desktops, laptops, tablets) are in the Force
estate for use by officers and staff?

2.     which is the prevalent computer operating system across the
constabulary (for example Microsoft Windows XP, WIndows7, Windows 10, iOS
(Apple), Chrome or other);

3.     which version of that system is the default;

4.     regardless which system is the current default, whether there is an
intention to move to Windows 10 and if so when and at what estimated cost.

5.     If the force has commenced this move to Windows 10, what
approximate proportion of devices are using Windows 10.

RESPONSE

1.     3900

In response for Q2 – 5

 

Cheshire Constabulary can neither confirm nor deny that information is
held relevant to your request as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following
exemptions: 

 

Section 24(2) National Security

 

Section 31(3) Law Enforcement

 

Sections 24 and 31 being prejudice based qualified exemptions, both
evidence of harm and public interest considerations need to be articulated
to the applicant.

 

Harm in Confirming or Denying that Information is held

 

Policing is an information-led activity, and information assurance (which
includes information security) is fundamental to how the Police Service
manages the challenges faced.  In order to comply with statutory
requirements, the College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice for
Information Assurance has been put in place to ensure the delivery of core
operational policing by providing appropriate and consistent protection
for the information assets of member organisations, see below link:

 

[1]https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co...

 

To confirm or deny whether Cheshire Constabulary uses a certain operating
system would identify vulnerable computer systems and provide actual
knowledge, or not, that this software is used within individual force
areas.   In addition, this would have a huge impact on the effective
delivery of operational law enforcement as it would leave forces open to
cyberattack which could render computer devices obsolete.

 

This type of information would be extremely beneficial to offenders,
including terrorists and terrorist organisations.  It is vitally important
that information sharing takes place with other police forces and security
bodies within the UK to support counter-terrorism measures in the fight to
deprive terrorist networks of their ability to commit crime.

 

To confirm or deny whether or not Cheshire Constabulary relies on a
certain operating system would be extremely useful to those involved in
terrorist activity as it would enable them to map vulnerable information
security databases.

 

Public Interest Considerations

 

Section 24(2) National Security

 

Factors favour complying with Section 1(1)(a) confirming that information
is held

 

The public are entitled to know how public funds are spent and how
resources are distributed within an area of policing.  To confirm whether
Cheshire Constabulary utilises Windows XP/7 would enable the general
public to hold Cheshire Constabulary to by highlighting forces who use out
of date software.   In the current financial climate of cuts and with the
call for transparency of public spending this would enable improved public
debate into this subject.

 

Factors against complying with Section 1(1)(a) confirming or denying that
information is held

 

Security measures are put in place to protect the community we serve.  As
evidenced within the harm to confirm information is held would highlight
to terrorists and individuals intent on carrying out criminal activity
vulnerabilities within Cheshire Constabulary. 

 

Taking into account the current security climate within the United
Kingdom, no information (such as the citing of an exemption which confirms
information pertinent to this request is held, or conversely, stating 'no
information is held') which may aid a terrorist should be disclosed.  To
what extent this information may aid a terrorist is unknown, but it is
clear that it will have an impact on a force's ability to monitor
terrorist activity. 

 

Irrespective of what information is or isn't held, the public entrust the
Police Service to make appropriate decisions with regard to their safety
and protection and the only way of reducing risk is to be cautious with
what is placed into the public domain. 

 

The cumulative effect of terrorists gathering information from various
sources would be even more impactive when linked to other information
gathered from various sources about terrorism.  The more information
disclosed over time will give a more detailed account of the tactical
infrastructure of not only a force area, but also the country as a whole.

 

Any incident that results from such a disclosure would, by default, affect
National Security.

 

Section 31(3) Law Enforcement

 

Factors favouring complying with Section 1(1)(a) confirming that
information is held

 

Confirming that information exists relevant to this request would lead to
a better informed public which may encourage individuals to provide
intelligence in order to reduce the risk of police networks being hacked. 

 

Factors against complying with Section 1(1)(a) neither confirming nor
denying that information is held

 

Confirmation or denial that information is held in this case would suggest
Cheshire Constabulary take their responsibility to protect information and
information systems from unauthorised access, destruction, etc.,
dismissively and inappropriately.

 

Balancing Test

 

The points above highlight the merits of confirming or denying the
requested information exists.  The Police Service is charged with
enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and protecting the
communities we serve.  As part of that policing purpose, information is
gathered which can be highly sensitive relating to high profile
investigative activity.

 

Weakening the mechanisms used to monitor any type of criminal activity,
and specifically terrorist activity would place the security of the
country at an increased level of danger. 

 

In order to comply with statutory requirements and to meet NPCC
expectation of the Police Service with regard to the management of
information security a national policy approved by the College of Policing
titled National Policing Community Security Policy has been put in place. 
This policy has been constructed to ensure the delivery of core
operational policing by providing appropriate and consistent protection
for the information assets of member organisations.  A copy of this can be
found at the below link:

 

[2]http://library.college.police.uk/docs/AP...

 

In addition, anything that places that confidence at risk, no matter how
generic, would undermine any trust or confidence individuals have in the
Police Service.  Therefore, at this moment in time, it is our opinion that
for these issues the balance test favours neither confirming nor denying
that information is held.

 

If you are not satisfied with the decision applied in this case I enclose
for your attention a copy of the Constabulary's appeal procedures.

 

Regards,

 

Lucy Taylor – Request Decision Maker

Cheshire Constabulary and Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service Joint Corporate
Services

Clemonds Hey | Oakmere Road | Winsford | Cheshire | CW7 2UA

Phone: 01606 362384 | Email: [3][email address]

Visit [4]www.cheshire.police.uk | [5]www.cheshirefire.gov.uk

Follow [6]@cheshirepolice and @CheshireFire on Twitter

Like [7]Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service on Facebook

 

This communication is intended for the addressee(s) only. Please notify
the sender if received in error. Internet email is not to be treated as a
secure means of communication. The Constabulary monitors all Internet and
email activity and requires it is used for official communications only.
Thank you for your co-operation.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-co...
2. http://library.college.police.uk/docs/AP...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.cheshire.police.uk/
5. http://www.cheshirefire.gov.uk/
6. http://www.twitter.com/cheshirepolice
7. http://www.facebook.com/cheshirepolice