Yorkshire Coast BID and MI5
- an “In My View” article by NIGEL WARD, speculating on what the Yorkshire Coast BID and MI5 could conceivably have in common.
All computer users are vulnerable to online attacks but, as a matter of national security, few have a need so great as the Secret Services to fend off uninvited visitors – except, perhaps for Yorkshire Coast Business Improvement District Ltd (YCBID).
It has been pointed out to the Enquirer that the Yorkshire Coast BID is using Levy-payers’ money to fortify their online website security to government-strength standards.
Are they perhaps expecting ‘dark forces’ to attempt to infiltrate YCBID’s top secret plans to amplify footfall along the Yorkshire Coast? Perhaps so . . .
On 26th November 2020, YCBID despatched an email to everyone who is registered to receive News Letters, a copy of which can be found here:
In the opening paragraph, a February 3rd 2021 update offers a link to another page on their website displaying details of YCBID’s lead Projects, set out not in the form of a text document, but in the style of a glossy online brochure.
To this point, all seems relatively innocent – apart from a rather curious departure from customary open and transparent website navigation.
In the present case, when one clicks on that link, the URL automatically redirects the user not to the YCBID Projects page – as the text suggests – but to a high-end cyber security company called ProofPoint and their ‘Targeted Attack Protection’ product for “advanced threat security”, see:
This checks incoming ‘traffic’ to ensure that the user is not an “advanced threat” (by whatever definition – perhaps a loose association with the Yorkshire Coast Levy Payers’ Association, Mazars or the North Yorks Enquirer, or all three?).
If the security check concludes (by whatever criteria) that the user is an “advanced threat”, ProofPoint blocks the connection to the very information that YCBID is so anxious to disseminate.
For most ‘innocent’ users, ProofPoint will not identify an “advanced threat” – whereupon ProofPoint will then immediately re-direct the user back to the YCBID website resource to which the user expected to be directed in the first place – the open and transparent YCBID Projects page:
A number of local businesses have posed questions to the Enquirer regarding this rather paranoid approach to public involvement, including:
1. Why are Levy payers’ funds being squandered on ProofPoint?
Who constitutes YCBID’s potential “advanced threat” – other than interested Levy payers?
What sort of secrets does YCBID hold that would justify costly “advanced threat security”?
Standard searches on any common search engine do not locate the Projects document. Most commercial firewall software is more than adequate for site security – and readily available reasonably cheaply. So what are the deep secrets that YCBID is so anxious to protect? Details of Mo ASWAT’s pension fund?
2. Value for Money?
Why is YCBID squandering Levy-payers’ money on a third-party company bringing no additional footfall to the Yorkshire Coast? Jobs for the boys?
3. Openness and Transparency?
How are non-registered Levy-payers supposed to find out what is going on if they are not already on the list for circular updates?
Over to you Miss MONEYPENNY (a.k.a. Ms Kerry CARRUTHERS – YCBID’s CEO) and your inimitable colleague, 006½ (a.k.a. Mr Clive ROWE-EVANS – YCBID’s Chair).
For sure, the North Yorks Enquirer (‘Licensed to Spill’) will be looking forward to sharing your open and transparent explanation.