Sunday, 30 March 2014

Whitehall's lost and stolen devices
(Level: Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate / B1 to B2 / ** to ***)

Photo credit:

UK government officials lose phones, laptops or tablets worth of some £700,000.
This fact has raised real concerns.
To know which ones, watch the Sky News report focusing on this issue and answer the questions below.

Before watching


The following words and notes could be useful:

Whitehall: a street in central London (note: in the City of Westminster), between Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament. Most of the buildings in it are government offices, so that 'Whitehall' is often used to refer to the government. (Oxford Guide to British and American Culture)
The TaxPayers' Alliance: an independent body campaigning for lower taxes.
If you want to know more about it: click HERE

a civil servant:  a person working in the public sector employed for a government department or agency; someone working in the civil (or public) service.    fonctionnaire
to foot the bill: to pay for the bill           mettre de sa poche; payer la note
to be on a drive: to attend to; to get on (with the job...)      s'atteler à...
encrypted: altered thanks to a secret code so that it (the file; ...)  should be made unintelligible to unauthorized people.      crypté; codé
of late: lately; recently        récemment; ces derniers temps
While watching 
Answer the following questions in French:
  1. Some 1,400 devices such as mobile phones, laptops or tablets owned by MPs and various government officials were lost or stolen over the past three years in Whitehall with an estimated cost of almost £700,000. Could those figures even be higher? Explain.
   2. Which concerns have been raised and why? 
You can also watch the video on the Sky News site by clicking HERE

When you are finished, you can check your answers.


Seuls 17 départements gouvernementaux ont fourni les chiffres mentionnés dans le reportage (à savoir plus ou moins 950 téléphones mobiles et 400 ordinateurs portables et tablettes perdus ou volés); ce qui laisse supposer qu'ils pourraient être revus à la hausse...
(Note: impossible de savoir combien de départements ont été contactés dans le cadre de ce reportage, mais voici un site reprenant toutes les instances ou agences gouvernementales en G.B.)
a) le coût à faire supporter par les contribuables.
Quelques centaines de milliers de livres sterling que les contribuables doivent débourser pour remplacer les appareils mobiles volés ou perdus. Il faudrait déjà, selon le représentant de la Taypayers' Alliance, que leurs propriétaires en prennent grand soin comme s'ils les avaient achetés eux-mêmes avec leur propre argent!
b) les informations confidentielles et sensibles que ces appareils volés ou perdus contiennent et qui risquent de tomber entre les mains de n'importe qui!
Et on n'a pas la garantie non plus que ces données confidentielles aient été codées au préalable!

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