The formerly Canadian, now USA based Entrust Inc. used to be an admirable IT security infrastructure company, deploying advanced Public Key Infrastructure software, in some relatively large scale projects, including ID Card schemes of various kinds.
However, they must be in desperate financial straights to employ the untrustworthy twice disgraced ex-Home Secretary David Blunkett as, according to his Register of MPs Interests entry
"Chair of International Advisory Committee to Entrust Inc. (from 1 March 2007); company providing internet security systems."
The Observer reports that
Blunkett is given job at identity card firm
US company is in the running to run controversial scheme in Britain
Gaby Hinsliff, political editor
Sunday March 25, 2007
David Blunkett has taken a job advising a company interested in bidding to run Britain's controversial identity cards programme, a policy he was the architect of and championed in government.
Despite their good technology, we cannot now trust Entrust Inc. as a company, so long as they employ David Blunkett, and we will say so to all our friends and contacts in the IT security industry.
Blunkett is bound by a two-year ban on lobbying British ministers and officials from the date he resigned as Work and Pensions Secretary in November 2005. That does not expire until this November. His spokeswoman insisted yesterday that he would not be working in Britain for the company and would only advise on overseas work.
Entrust has formally registered an interest in the British ID cards project, via a scheme for potential future suppliers to notify themselves to the Home Office's Identity and Passport Service, and has attended two seminars organised for the ID cards programme.
The post as chair of Entrust's international advisory committee is declared in Blunkett's latest entry for the Commons register of members' interests. A spokeswoman for the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments said it had also been notified and that it approved, subject to the two-year moratorium on lobbying in Britain.
The spokeswoman for Blunkett said: 'He is not involved in the UK side. His contract excludes him doing work in the UK. It is about advice for overseas work. Obviously he has taken advice from the advisory committee and he's absolutely going to adhere to the advice.'
The late Chris Lightfoot spotted the obvious technological incompetence of David Blunkett, back on 11th November 2003, when Blunkett insulted our collective intelligence on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme:
"because the card is a means to an end -- but of the biometric identifiers that make the prevention of the theft of our identity and multiple identities impossible-- not, not nearly impossible but impossible;"
John Lettice of The Register also noticed this "impossible" rubbish , and posed obvious questions, about such a scheme, none of which have been answered either by Blunkett or his successors as Home Secretary
Blunkett had no clue about IT systems in any of his Ministerial jobs, either as Education Secretary, Home Secretary or at the Department for Work and Pensions, all of which had IT disasters, stemming from his policy decisions.
Just because Blunkett will not be seen to be directly lobbying Whitehall civil servants and former Ministerial colleagues, does not mean that he will not have betrayed sensitive, commercially valuable information and opinions to his employers, exactly as he was paid to do in the DNA testing company scandal, which, it should be remembered, led directly to the financial ruin of DNA Bioscience
David Blunkett's employment should similarly cause UK civil servants not to award any contracts to Entrust, for fear of being involved in the next Blunkett scandal.
Entrust Inc. should declare that they do not intend to bid, directly or as part of a consortium, for any of the UK National Identity Register and Identity Card contracts (which, incredibly, have still not yet been put out to tender) whilst they employ David Blunkett.
UPDATE: IanP at PJC Journalhas reminded us that Entrust also now employs Andrew Pinder, who was the UK e-envoy, before the post was abolished when the "ex-Android" Ian Watmore took over as the person supposedly in charge of the UK Governmet's IT strategy, for a while, before getting promoted into the Number 10 Downing Street cabal.
Interestingly IanP has found the Entrust Inc. filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, giving details of Andrew Pinder's contract and offer letter, giving details of his salary (£168,000) , bonus, share options and home address
We look forward to seeing David Blunkett's details in a couple of months time as well.