The UK’s intelligence and safety organisation powers to entry info from NHS IT techniques has been prolonged.
Authorities Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) was granted extra powers by former well being secretary, Matt Hancock, in April 2020 with the intention to enable the organisation to request something “referring to the safety of any community and data system”.
The powers have been on account of stay in place till December 2020 however have been prolonged, and have since been prolonged once more to final till December 31 2021.
A route, signed by the well being secretary, states throughout the Covid-19 disaster “the community and data techniques held by or on behalf of the NHS in England, or these our bodies which provision public well being providers in England, should be protected to make sure these techniques proceed to perform to assist the availability of providers meant to handle coronavirus”.
The try and bolster cyber safety throughout the pandemic permits GCHQ to request info held by or on behalf of the NHS and helps the availability of NHS providers associated to coronavirus for the aim of “supporting and sustaining the safety of any community and data system”.
The powers additionally cowl networks and data techniques which, if their safety is impaired, impacts the power of the NHS to supply Covid-19 providers.
A Nationwide Cyber Safety Centre spokesperson confirmed there had been no modifications to the instructions given to GCHQ because the powers have been granted in April 2020.
“That is a part of our ongoing dedication to guard well being providers throughout the coronavirus pandemic,” they stated.
“We now have no need to obtain any affected person information, and the instructions don’t search to authorise this.”