CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


How to solve the British Government's pants-dropping, technology-mislaying problems

A British Government officlal picked up a girl in Shanghai , took her back to his hotel room and then his official Blackberry went missing.

As I highlighted recently, the British Government is becoming increasingly concerned that its younger officials are leaving the tools of their trade in vulnerable places.

Government laptops have been stolen from cars.

Now news emerges of a Senior Adviser to Prime Minister Gordon Brown losing his Blackberry.

Shortly after dropping his trousers.

Perhaps this sounds like one of those London stage farces so beloved of aging couples whose relationship is fueled by little love and much gin and tonic.

Perhaps it is.

London's Sunday Times reported that an exalted British Government functionary has already admitted that the incident, which involved a British official being chatted up by a Chinese lady in Shanghai, suggested that the lady in question may well have in the employ of the Chinese Ministry of Honeytraps.


In a splendid misunderstatement which may or may not reflect the fact that the gentleman in question is already betrothed, the functionary, having said that the gentleman had left the party with the lady, added:

"Nobody knows what happened after they left."

Indeed. Perhaps the official, in a state of slight inebriation, exchanged his Blackberry for a fake Rolex.

Perhaps he walked the girl home, kissed her goodnight on the cheek and then skipped all the way back to his hotel, the skipping causing his Blackberry to leap out of the top pocket of his too-tight suit.

However, now everyone appears to be getting their trousers in a very tight reef knot over the coming Beijing Olympics. A US official fears much "electronic undressing."

Which leaves me to wonder whether there really are any secrets left at all.

If we're all going to be revealing everything about ourselves on social networks anyway, shouldn't governments do the same?

Shouldn't there be a sort of diplomatic version of Facebook (hey, let's call it the United Nation of Friendsters) on which every government can post its most secret secrets?

On the United Nation of Friendsters everyone would know what everyone else is up to and they'd be able to talk about it- hey, maybe organize parties too- until all the world's problems have been solved and everyone can go to those parties together without worrying about some sneaky sensualist making a grab for their technologies.

I'm an idealist, you know.

Isn't everyone?