Sunday, December 14, 2008

Campbell's Plan to Privatize Your Privacy: Infrastructure Outsourcing for BC - Part 1

The word is out that in January 2009, Campbell & his Liberal puppets are set to privatize the rest of BC citizen's personal, private and confidential information by signing a multi-million dollar, multi-year contract with EDS Advanced Solutions. Hewlett Packard (HP)-Electronic Data Systems (EDS) is a global, transnational information technology corporation based in Texas.

This privatization will see the operation and maintenance of the BC government mainframe computer servers under the management of HP-EDS. Before you're tempted to give a big yawn and a "who cares" you should know that this means that any personal and private information that is held by the BC government about you and anyone else you know, all government documents, health care numbers and information, social insurance numbers, e-mails and communications with government.

Ever been on welfare in BC? Or had a child protection report made about you and your family? Been in jail? Charged with a crime? Been to Small Claims, or the Supreme Court? Ever registered a business with the province of BC? How about your Vital Statistics? Refugee and Immigration status? Do you have any government student loans? Any complaints you've made to government? Ever made any submissions to a government panel? Or had any other dealing with the BC government where information might have been collected about you, from you, or one of your loved ones?

Well, if GC and his neoConLibs get their way, all of that information will now be heading off into the hands of HP-EDS and whoever else they're connected to. There is a tangled little web of business partnerships in the IT world.

History of HP-EDS

According to industry reports, HP has been buying up all sorts of different IT sector businesses over the last few years. In October 2007, they bought Atos Origin, who was implicated in the loss of a memory stick containing passwords for a government computer system - the Gateway website, which provides access to services including tax returns and child benefits. That happened in November 2008, a small piece of a very large pattern.

HP Acquires Atos Origin Middle East Group to Broaden Systems Integration Business

From 2000 onward, EDS has held billion dollar contracts with the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) and the US Department of the Navy to set up an Intranet. There were wide reports of problems with those contracts, related to "delays and controversies over its scope... [that have] caused financial and logistics problem for EDS. In early 2004, Michael Jordan, who had become EDS chairman and chief executive officer in March 2003, said the company had gotten the project under control but acknowledged that the contract was "a mess" (due to a lack of leadership, oversight and accountability at EDS and NMCI).”

In spite of years yo-yo-ing of quarterly losses, gains and flatlining for shareholders, they continued to get big US & UK government contracts. In the 2007 fiscal year, EDS was reportedly #2 in the Information Technology services, behind IBM. EDS reported $22.7 billion in revenue for the 2007 fiscal year.

So, question, if they're so successful, why did EDS sell the corporation to HP for $25 per share, or only approximately $13.9 billion in the second half of 2008? I ain't no economist, but that sounds like a really good deal for HP and something doesn't smell right about that.

Wonder how much liquidity EDS lost in equities, investments and bad mortgages from 2007 to 2008? That's the only sensible explanation for this acquisition and merger. Considering their corporate headquarters are in El Presidente Bush's home state of Texas it's probably not a stretch to say EDS was involved in the sub-prime crisis, like many of the other "good ole Boys" who've been caught with their pants down and empty coffers.

Since EDS held the highest of security clearance and contracts to build an Intranet for the US Department of the Navy, I think we should be asking ourselves how close are they to the US Administration, both the previous one and the current one?

HP (Hewlett Packard) only just acquired EDS in May 2008, with the re-organization, inevitable slash and burn of staff taking place and some interesting industry comments about their tactics to get rid of staff. One might also note that a number of EDS staff have been sacked in the UK over the massive privacy breaches that have occurred there. Hey, why not kill two birds with one stone, very efficient.
HP-EDS haven't even gone an entire fiscal year yet as a combined transnational corporate entity, not enough time to try to straighten out some of the international messes created by EDS on other contracts (UK). So, now, they want to take on BC’s infrastructure.

HP and EDS Try a Tieup

In its largest acquisition since it bought Compaq, Hewlett-Packard has agreed to buy Electronic Data Systems for $13.9 billion
Business Week. May 13, 2008.

More tomorrow on EDS.

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