MP criticised for sharing passwords with staff

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries is being told to ‘get your house in order’ after admitting she shares login passwords with staff, including temporary interns.

The Mid Bedfordshire MP was defending her colleague Damian Green when she tweeted this about a news interview she had seen on the topic: “My staff log onto my computer on my desk with my login every day. Including interns on exchange programmes.

“For the officer on @BBCNews just now to claim that the computer on Greens desk was accessed and therefore it was Green is utterly preposterous!!”

Mr Green is facing an accusation by a retired detective that he spent hours looking at pornography on his Commons computer.

Ms Dorries’ comments on social media were picked up swiftly by the IT security community, one of which tweeted that it was a “cavalier attitude to data security”.

Data protection officer Carl Gottlieb told Sky News: “Sharing access to confidential systems should always be minimised, especially in Government where security and audit trails are paramount. MPs and the civil service have a track record of lax practices around sharing passwords and this needs to change.

“MPs, like many senior managers, have team around them that act as a bubble of trust. Interns are trusted to handle their email and social media accounts on a daily basis.

“This usually works well, until eventually the bubble bursts, and previously-trusted personnel make mistakes or go rogue.

“Edward Snowden was the greatest example of this, with his NSA colleagues trusting him with their passwords, leading to the biggest breach in security the world has ever seen.”

Damian Green leaves his home earlier this week

Image: The MP made the admission as she moved to defend Damian Green

Ms Dorries responded to criticism on Twitter by saying that this is common practise for MPs who receive hundreds of emails from constituents every day, adding: “All staff send emails in our name.”

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But House of Commons handbook rules state: “Staff must not share passwords.”

Sky News has approached Nadine Dorries for comment.