Wikileaks cables prompt UK government security review

The UK government is reviewing its security arrangements in the light of the publication of hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables.While the UK government has only been affected by the leaks by proxy, the prime minister's national security adviser Sir Peter Ricketts has asked departmental permanent secretaries to review information technology security in government.

The UK government is reviewing its security arrangements in the light of the publication of hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables.

While the UK government has only been affected by the leaks by proxy, the prime minister's national security adviser Sir Peter Ricketts has asked departmental permanent secretaries to review information technology security in government.

Home secretary Theresa May told conservative MP John Howell of the request in parliament on Monday, Hansard reported.

"On WikiLeaks, the prime minister's national security adviser has written to all departments to ask them to look again at their information security and to provide him with assurance about the level of that information security," said May.

The departments will check security against a cross-government information assurance policy, a Cabinet Office spokesman told ZDNet UK on Wednesday.

"It's a precautionary move," said the spokesman. "We haven't been hit by Wikileaks, but this is a huge issue for the US."

"We take a defence in depth approach in the UK with a range of security measures including personnel, procedural and technical which, when properly applied, reduces the risks of similar actions taking place."

The spokesman said that the government would not guarantee that an insider with access to secret documents wouldn't leak them.

"Protecting ourselves against the insider threat requires a strong combination of security measures," said the spokesman. "However, we can never guarantee 100 percent protection against an insider misusing their legitimate access to information without seriously constraining government business. Therefore our response needs to be proportionate, through consistent application of baseline security measures across government in order to help reduce the risk and aid early detection."