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Technology / Cybersecurity

Information Commissioner’s Office Website Goes Dark

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) official website has been down for two days – leaving potential whistleblowers dangling.

The independent watchdog has been at the centre of a host of recent high-profile investigations, including of Facebook and Carphone Warehouse.

See also: ICO Shows Teeth, Slaps Facebook with Record Fine, Demands Audits Galore

An ICO spokesperson told Computer Business Review that: “Due to a technical issue experienced by our website host, the ICO website is currently unavailable. Our website hosts are continuing their work to restore the website. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.”

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We were told emphatically that the host can “confirm that this is not a cyberattack.”

Speaking to Computer Business Review, Eduserv instead blamed “an unprecedented electrical surge that caused damage to some of our circuits.”

“Engineers are on site and continue to restore the affected systems and services. An investigation into the cause is underway. Throughout the outage, we have remained in close contact with our customers, who remain generally understanding and supportive.”

The Deputy Chief Executive of ICO Paul Arnold said in a released statement that: “Our website is currently unavailable. We know how important our website is to those who use it.”

The Information Commissioners Office runs a phone helpline that gives whistle-blowers the capability to call in breaches they have witnessed and corporate malpractice. For an extended period yesterday this helpline was unavailable. We stayed on the line waiting to be connected to anyone for over half an hour and were unsuccessful.

This downtime has not gone unnoticed by those wishing to report issues relating to cyber breaches and GDPR as is evident by a number of comments on Twitter.

The ICO is a non-departmental public body which reports directly with the English government on breaches of the law with regards to digital information issues.
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