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06 August 2010, 15:18

UK government reckons IE 6 safe enough

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IE Logo According to an official response to an e-petition on the virtual suggestion box website set up by the new coalition government, the UK government considers Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 (IE 6) web browser to be sufficiently safe for use in government departments. Web developer Dan Frydman submitted a petition calling for the government to switch to a more up-to-date browser.

According to the government, there is no evidence that switching to another browser from a fully-patched version of Internet Explorer 6 improves security. Switching to Internet Explorer 8 would, it reckons, be too time-consuming and too expensive for taxpayers. The government believes that using firewalls and anti-virus software (and regular updates) is a more cost effective means of protecting users.

Microsoft itself considers surfing with Internet Explorer 6 to be risky. In April, responding to the release of Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report, Tom Köhler, Information Security Director at Microsoft Germany stated that, "Users who still have Internet Explorer 6 installed on their systems are taking an unnecessary risk and should urgently update to the free version 8, which offers a significantly higher level of protection." Internet Explorer 6 under Windows XP SP3 will continue to be officially supported until 2014.


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