Letter: Labour's use of Excalibur system

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your report, "Labour swaps private data with tycoon" (21 May), contains a number of inaccuracies.

I am writing therefore to make it clear that the Labour Party has never agreed with Philip Jeffrey that any data currently stored on the Excalibur system should be marketed or sold commercially, nor is it the party's intention to reach such an agreement in the future.

You claim that the computer is connected to the Internet. As this has never been checked with the Labour Party and is simply untrue, I am baffled that such an assertion could be made.

The Excalibur software is available commercially. It is run on industry- standard computer hardware. Many other multi-national and large public bodies use, or are considering using, the software and hardware concerned.

I am sure the manufacturers are very grateful for the publicity your paper has given them. I am less confident that you are concerned accurately to reflect either the nature of the technology or the use to which the Labour Party puts it.

DAVID HILL

Chief Media Spokesperson

The Labour Party

London SE17

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