March 8, 2006 11:02 AM PST

U.K. government loans laptops to prisoners

British prisoners are to be given laptop PCs while they are incarcerated to research evidence set out against them.

The Home Office, the U.K. government agency that oversees the prison system, said the move will help prisoners and people awaiting sentencing to understand the legal process and prepare their case, especially if it is deemed "complex."

A Home Office representative said: "Increasingly, judges are insisting that prisoners involved in complex cases are given sole use of a laptop. Under the Access for Justice Scheme, they can go through the paperwork, a lot of which is available only on DVD."

The laptops have been modified, the Home Office said, to prevent prisoners from accessing the Internet or using them for unrelated purposes.

But it refused to say how much money it was spending on the plan.

A report in the Daily Mirror on Wednesday said at least 28 laptops costing about $1,740 have been bought for terrorist suspects currently held in Belmarsh prison in London.

The Home Office would not specify who would receive the laptops, but said: "These laptops are available to those with complex cases, whether or not that includes terrorist suspects."

Dan Ilett of Silicon.com reported from London.

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4 comments

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misplaced resources...
Jeez, prisoners get laptops, yet there's no money to fund public schools with one? Only in f'ed up America!
Posted by glui2001 (4 comments )
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Did you even read the article?
"U.K. government loans laptops to prisoners"

"A report in the Daily Mirror on Wednesday said at least 28 laptops costing about $1,740 have been bought for terrorist suspects currently held in Belmarsh prison in LONDON."

Last time I checked the UK wasn't part of America.
Posted by Bryan Bartlett (14 comments )
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Reminds me of a trojan horse tale
Reminds me of a trojan horse tale, for computer users well know, it is extremely difficult, to erase any information on a computer harddrive short of smashing the seperate platters!

Now it is a well known fact that the UK police are routinely and illegally bugging interview rooms where criminals or alleged terrorists are interviewed by defense solicitors in confidence, in order to complete the jigsaw or obtain secondary information! It is also not unheard especially under the new Blair sedition and control Regulations that the defense solicitor will also be bugged and tagged as well in very high profile cases!

Also computers can be easily rigged by experts, and loaded with assorted malware, and rigged to totally hide partitions so a 60gig laptop harddrive could appear to be a mere 20 gig only to the operating system.

Further in any prison environment, the computer can be easily accessed and the harddrive easily cloned at anytime! The potential for abuse by the authorities with these machines, far out weighs the benefits!

Choices!, get a laptop, and it can and will be used in evidence against you!, ah such is life, zapped by a government sanctioned trojan!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
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