Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Brexit agreement proof-reading balls-up

Tee hee. This is a good one.

Brexit deal mentions Netscape browser and Mozilla Mail - BBC News:
References to decades-old computer software are included in the new Brexit agreement, including a description of Netscape Communicator and Mozilla Mail as being "modern" services.

Experts believe officials must have copied and pasted chunks of text from old legislation into the document.

The references are on page 921 of the trade deal, in a section on encryption technology.

It also recommends using systems that are now vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

The text cites "modern e-mail software packages including Outlook, Mozilla Mail as well as Netscape Communicator 4.x."

The latter two are now defunct - the last major release of Netscape Communicator was in 1997.

I think all solicitors have experienced that sinking feeling when they find they've left something in an agreement that really should have been removed from the precedent on which it was based. The name of a previous client is a classic or the product/service that that previous client provided. Instances of irrelevant technical crap being left buried in a schedule isn't unheard of either.

But this stuff happens; it's not the end of the world. And it's proven that someone's reading the Brexit agreement at least.


I remember Netscape Navigator fondly. On my first PC, back in 1999, I found it to be much more reliable than the pesky installation of Internet Explorer 4 with which I had to grapple. As I recall, it would often freeze my entire system without warning, forcing me to switch it off at the wall.  

It was eventually fixed after I completely corrupted that computer in late December that year — apparently, uninstalling software wasn’t as straightforward as manually deleting the programme files, sigh — and it necessitated a mercy dash to computer man extraordinaire ‘Slim Steve’.

Once Steve finally got round to it some days after the drop-off, he reinstalled Windows for me and generally saved the day, allowing me to get my teenage kicks through the internet once more. 

Thanks again, Steve, wherever you are now.

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