e-low, e-low, e-low
For most people, contacting the police is a simple thing. If you have an emergency it’s 999, if not you ring your local police station and leave a message which then gets deleted. Simples.
Not so if you work for local government. Today I got an e-mail from our ICT team telling me that my special e-mail account will be set up soon. Upon further investigation I discovered that this was a special e-mail account specifically to talk to the Met police.
Apparently colleagues have been having all of their e-mails to their police based counterparts blocked because – wait for it – they get sent via the internet. This means they are not secure, and that only those sent through a special type of e-mail account will get through to them.
So; if I want to e-mail anyone else in the world I simply fire up Outlook, write an e-mail and send it. If, however, I want to e-mail the Met police I have to close down Outlook, log off that entire profile (closing down everything else I’m working on at the time), log on under a new, ‘special’ profile, fire up Outlook again, write it and send it. Unless I get an instant response I’ll then have to close it all down again, load up my normal profile, get back to work for a bit and repeat the procedure later on to see if I’ve got a reply.
Am I alone in thinking this is ridiculous?
I know that they police handle sensitive data and need to be secure, but surely there is a simpler, more elegant solution than this? And what if I want to e-mail them but don’t work for a Council – how on earth would I get one of these special accounts so my message will be received.
In this modern age I refuse to believe that this isn’t a problem which is being over-thought by over-zealous officers and over-selling software developers with an over-engineered solution which does more harm than good.
Although if it stops the spread of LOL cat e-mails perhaps it’s not all bad.