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Communications of the ACM


What Went Wrong?

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Credit: Breakermaximus

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In April, 39 postmasters and sub-postmasters were cleared of wrongdoing by a court in the U.K. after being accused and sentenced for various forms of fraud and, in some cases, serving multiyear prison sentences.a

In total, around 700 people have been prosecuted based on the "evidence" from a single IT system installed by the U.K. Post Office, and while some of them probably did embezzle money, it looks like the majority did not. They were sentenced based on evidence from an IT system, which … ehhh … to be honest, we don't know what that IT system did, except we know it did it really, really badly.


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