2017: The year in review

Posted on Dec 21 2017 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on 2017: The year in review

What a packed year 2017 has been for Entanet and for the sector as a whole. From the exciting news of us joining forces with CityFibre and creating a new breed of wholesaler, to an array of legislative developments including ongoing changes to the Investigatory Powers Act and Digital Economy Act and of course the continuing debates on related issues such as online encryption and how ISPs broadband speeds should be advertised – with much more to play out in all of these areas in 2018!

As ever we’ve tried to keep you at the heart of all the key issues through our opinion blog, so if you fancy a festive recap or perhaps an opportunity to catch up on some of the bits you may have missed over a mince pie, then download our ‘2017- A year of Opinion in review’ eBook for free.

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Do the proposed IPA changes go far enough?

Posted on Dec 13 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Do the proposed IPA changes go far enough?

The Government has launched a consultation on fresh changes to the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) – nicknamed the Snoopers’ Charter – following the ruling late last year by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that much of the legislation is unlawful.

As regular readers of our blog will know, Entanet has repeatedly voiced concerns about the IPA and in particular its obvious inability to coexist with further legislation such as GDPR and the new Data Protection Bill. How can the Government insist on ISPs collating masses of data on one hand, yet give users improved rights such as the ‘right to be forgotten’ on the other? Not to mention the issues of privacy invasion and data security.

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How can YOU benefit from the new Gigabit Voucher Scheme?

Posted on Dec 06 2017 by Paul North | Comments Off on How can YOU benefit from the new Gigabit Voucher Scheme?

By providing Gigabit-capable connectivity to your SME customers with free installation via the new voucher scheme from the Government, that’s how!

Last month we announced our full support of the Government’s new £2 million Gigabit Voucher Scheme which aims to accelerate the roll out of Gigabit-capable full-fibre services to business customers by making the switch to full-fibre more affordable for SMEs, whilst also generating a massive opportunity for our channel partners.

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A refreshing approach to Internet Safety

Posted on Oct 12 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on A refreshing approach to Internet Safety

Yesterday the Government launched a new open consultation on Internet Safety in the form of its new Internet Safety Strategy green paper and, whilst we half expected the paper to reiterate the usual approach of essentially blaming ISPs and technology companies (especially social media) for the ills of the Internet , the paper makes a refreshing read.

Don’t get us wrong, the Government is still keen to point out the growing role of tech companies,especially those in social media, with regards to filtering, monitoring and removing harmful content (which we completely agree with) but it has put much more focus on the need for ongoing education, support and a truly collaborative approach involving industry to formulate a successful strategy.

The key actions of the green paper are:

  • A new social media code of practice to see a joined-up approach to remove or address bullying, intimidating or humiliating online content
  • An industry-wide levy so social media companies and communication service providers contribute to raise awareness and counter internet harms​
  • An annual internet safety transparency report to show progress on addressing abusive and harmful content and conduct
  • And support for tech and digital startups to think safety first – ensuring that necessary safety features are built into apps and products from the very start
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New Data Protection Bill & IPA – A match made in hell

Posted on Aug 09 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on New Data Protection Bill & IPA – A match made in hell

Last week the Government announced a new Data Protection Bill which will replace the existing Data Protection Act 1988 by aiming to strengthen UK citizens control over their own personal data and align our laws with the EU’s new GDPR legislation which will come into effect from May 2018. Excellent- what a good idea! There’s just one problem though – that annoying Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) which already exists and contradicts this almost entirely!

Commenting on the new Bill, Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital said: “The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world. The Bill will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit. We have some of the best data science in the world and this new law will help it to thrive.”

We don’t disagree with Mr Hancock. The Government’s press release quotes research showing more than 80% of people feel they don’t have complete control over their data online and the new Bill will aim to improve this by introducing a ‘right to be forgotten’ meaning they can request their personal data be erased (including from social media sites). It will also eradicate the use of the current default opt-out and pre-selected check boxes for consent in the collection of personal data – both requirements already included in the forthcoming GDPR.

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ISPs: Still a ‘Mere Conduit’ or now the Data Police?

Posted on Jul 07 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on ISPs: Still a ‘Mere Conduit’ or now the Data Police?

Regular readers will know that, as an Internet Service Provider (ISP), our preference is to be – as The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 call it – a ‘mere conduit’ whose role is to move bits of data, rather than being a policeman of them. An unlikely ally for this view is the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation, which includes provisions for all of us to actively minimise the amount of personal data we hold, hence reducing the risk of data loss.

The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 would have ISPs do the precise opposite however, and retain data about users. Pressure group Liberty were recently granted leave to challenge this controversial legislation in the High Court.

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Apprentice View: Your privacy is about to become a lot less private

Posted on Jul 03 2017 by Ellis Mason | Comments Off on Apprentice View: Your privacy is about to become a lot less private
Categories : Encryption, Government, Privacy

All of our Apprentices get the opportunity to experience a variety of roles within Entanet as part of our training and development programme. We’ve recently welcomed Ellis Mason, a Technical Support Apprentice, for work experience within our marketing team. During his time with us, he had the opportunity to research and write a blog post which he enjoyed enormously and we’re pleased to share.

We’re at risk of losing our privacy. This is a key topic of discussion for the tech industry at the moment – and should be yours too if you think your private conversations should stay private. With recent events such as the terror attacks in London and Manchester, this topic has become more heated and more controversial. Our Government is wanting a ‘free pass’ through encrypted communications, in order to provide higher levels of safety to the public. However, this may put everyone at risk from more threats – such as the risk of personal information and bank details being stolen, which would increase the risk of fraud dramatically.

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Encryption row continues as EU plans a back-door ban

Posted on Jun 26 2017 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Encryption row continues as EU plans a back-door ban

In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks there has been much discussion amongst various European politicians over the role of end-to-end encryption in services like Whatsapp. Our own Prime Minister Theresa May in particular, has called for end-to-end encryption in these services to be removed and backdoor access granted to security agencies and police to monitor the so called ‘safe places’ where terrorists allegedly hide. However, the Internet industry and various security experts have warned that creating backdoor access and storing the data collated would significantly weaken existing encryption and create a serious security concern as it could easily be abused by fraudsters and hackers, leaving innocent users of such services at risk.

In response to the ongoing discussion, the EU’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs has now stepped in and announced plans to protect end-to-end encryption across such services by banning proposed backdoor access and promoting the use of end-to-end encryption wherever possible.

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Guest Blog: Can ‘tech companies’ do more to eradicate ‘safe places’ online?

Posted on Jun 07 2017 by Guest | Comments Off on Guest Blog: Can ‘tech companies’ do more to eradicate ‘safe places’ online?
Jim Killock, Executive Director, ORG

Jim Killock, Executive Director, ORG

In the wake of the atrocious terror attacks that have targeted Manchester and London and affected the whole of the UK in recent weeks, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, has made various statements about the role she thinks ‘tech companies’ must play in tackling terrorism. Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group has kindly provided us with a guest blog discussing the PM’s recent comments and his concerns over the Government’s plans regarding encryption, censorship and their requirements on tech companies.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks at London Bridge, Theresa May has called for Internet companies to do more so that there are ‘no safe spaces’ for terrorists online.

We must remember that these attacks were not just brutal assaults on individuals but an attempt to undermine the freedom and liberty we enjoy in this country. While some politicians may instinctively search for ‘anything’ that can be done to prevent future attacks, our response must uphold our values and democratic way of life. A free and open Internet has transformed how we live, communicate and share information – and we should protect that just as we should protect the democratic processes that the terrorists want to disrupt.

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It’s USOs all round in the party election manifestos

Posted on May 31 2017 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on It’s USOs all round in the party election manifestos

It’s election time again, and regardless of your personal political preferences, we thought a brief summary of what each of the major parties has to say about all things Internet related could be useful for our readers.

While we’re not endorsing any particular party in this article and are only reporting the details of each party’s published manifestos with regards to our industry, we found all the pledges to be  somewhat underwhelming. Unsurprisingly to most, as this is them essentially ‘selling themselves’ to the public they’ve clearly scooted over any details around funding or implementation and instead focused on headline-grabbing claims and pledges. Although, they too leave us somewhat flat.

Superfast broadband rollout pledges

A positive to take from this year’s campaign trail is that it’s good to see all three major political parties promising to ensure superfast broadband delivery to the whole of the UK in one form or another.

In summary, Labour has promised 30Mbps minimum by 2022 with hints of 300Mbps within 10 years, the Lib Dems made a similar promise of 30Mbps by 2022 but added a 6Mbps upload and unlimited usage cap with further 2Gbps fibre pledge and the Conservatives are already in the process of introducing their 10Mbps USO and completing their superfast broadband rollout.

However, it’s not anything new and exciting, is it? It’s all been discussed before. The Government recently threw out suggested amendments from the House of Lords to increase the current 10Mbps USO to 30Mbps due to funding and implementation concerns so how exactly do Labour and the Lib Dems plan to overcome these issues? Your guess is as good as ours! As for the Conservative manifesto, as we would expect with the existing Government, it’s just a confirmation of their existing strategies and plans – nothing particularly new there either.

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