Posted on Dec 01 2015 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Shhh…Don’t talk about the new Snooper’s Charter – But, here are the latest updates!
The consultation period for the new Investigatory Powers Bill, nicknamed the Snooper’s Charter 3.0, has begun and the information emerging so far is already raising industry concerns. Mainly the fact that the new data retention orders will potentially only apply to larger ISPs; all affected ISPs will be effectively ‘gagged’ from discussing their involvement; and the consultation period has been significantly reduced to just 3 weeks!
Smaller ISPs unaffected?
According to www.ispreview.co.uk, “the Government already has data retention orders with the biggest broadband ISPs under the existing regime and told the smaller providers that, going forwards, the expectation was for such orders to continue to only be served upon the big boys.”
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Posted on Nov 17 2015 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Will the new 10Mbps USO solve the final 5% issue?
Following promises in the 2015 Budget back in March, the Government has finally confirmed plans to introduce a 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation (USO) for all broadband services across the UK by 2020. With the Government already under pressure to complete the superfast broadband rollout to the final 5% of the UK’s most hard to reach communities, we ask will this latest USO help to achieve that goal or cause further issues?
Commenting on the plans Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Access to the Internet shouldn’t be a luxury; it should be a right – absolutely fundamental to life in 21st century Britain. That is why I’m announcing a giant leap in my digital mission for Britain. Just as our forebears effectively brought gas, electricity and water to all, we’re going to bring fast broadband to every home and business that wants it. That’s right: we’re getting Britain – all of Britain – online, and on the way to becoming the most prosperous economy in the whole of Europe.”
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Posted on Nov 11 2015 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on What’s new in the Snooper’s Charter 3.0?
Labour tried it with the IMP (Interception Modernisation Programme), then the coalition Government tried it with CCDP (Communications Capabilities Development Programme). When that failed they morphed it into the Communications Data Bill which also failed, so then the new Tory Government hastily introduced DRIP (Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill) but that has a sunset clause of December 2016. It’s not surprising then that last week yet another new draft Bill was announced – this time it’s called the Investigatory Powers Bill. So what will this latest iteration which has already been widely nicknamed the ‘Snooper’s Charter 3.0’ have in store for us?
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Posted on Nov 02 2015 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on EU misses chance to strengthen net neutrality protection
Last week the EU rejected further amendments to strengthen the new laws that will essentially protect the concept of net neutrality. Critics argue this leaves the legislation weak and means the Internet could still be susceptible to becoming ‘two tiered’ or having ‘fast lanes’.
The amendments were attempting to restrict ‘overly broad language’ which critics argued ISPs could interpret to allow ‘fast lanes’ and ‘two tiered’ approaches to ensure a certain level of quality for premium services such as IPTV, but they were rejected by a huge majority in the vote. Instead the EU argues that this will be managed by regulators, although at this stage no further details were provided regarding potential punishments for contradiction of the rules.
This is a concern we raised in our recent article “Net neutrality in Europe: Enshrined in law or open to abuse?” and it’s disappointing at this stage to see the EU didn’t go further to protect net neutrality when given the chance. However, looking on the positive side, this is the first time net neutrality has ever been afforded any form of legal protection, so at least it’s a start! If the regulator approach doesn’t work as effectively as they hope, let’s hope the process will be adequately reviewed and updated as necessary. We will have to wait and see.
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Posted on Aug 11 2015 by Guest | Comments Off on Guest Blog: What’s next for communications data law?
Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA
Following the recent General Election we’ve seen a number of legal challenges and Government promises regarding the laws and regulations that directly affect our industry, in particular those regarding communications data and surveillance powers. So, what is likely to happen over the next few months and how will we be affected? We invited ISPA’s Secretary General, Nicholas Lansman, to give us his view.
After the General Election, one of the new Government’s first pieces of legislation announced was the Investigatory Powers Bill, set to come before parliament in the autumn and subject to scrutiny by a joint committee. With a proposed new law, recent independent reports and reviews and legal judgements, what is the direction of travel for communications data, and what impact will it have on the communications sector?
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Posted on Aug 04 2015 by Gemma Dickinson | 1 Comment
As discussed in our recent article ‘Who will foot the bill for the final 5%?’ we discuss the reported suggestion of an ISP tax to cover the estimated £500 million that will be needed to bring superfast broadband services to the final, hard to reach, 5% of the UK.
What do you think about a potential ISP tax? Do you think it’s necessary and fair in order to reach the final 5%? Or do you think alternative funding methods should be used? Do you think the cost will simply be passed on to consumers through increased prices? Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below and taking part in our new poll (on the right of the page).
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Posted on Jul 29 2015 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Who will foot the bill for the final 5%?
The superfast broadband rollout so far has been funded in a number of ways: BDUK funding (partly from the BBC License fee pot), match-funding from local authorities and a number of Government-led schemes encouraging industry to tender for contracts to reach the 95% target. The “homes passed” numbers are increasing, but reaching the final 5% was always going to be tricky and expensive.
The Government has estimated that it will cost a further £500million to deliver superfast broadband to the last 5% and, due to the predominantly remote locations and diverse geography, standard fibre broadband is unlikely to be suitable. A number of trials are already under way to evaluate the most suitable technology to do the job (e.g. satellite, wireless). But £500 million is a lot of money to find, so where is it likely to come from?
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Posted on Jul 22 2015 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Has the High Court put a dampener on future snooping plans?
The highly controversial DRIPA (Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act) was dealt a further blow last week when the High Court ruled that parts of the current law were unlawful and inconsistent with European Union law.
DRIPA is a temporary law which was brought in to replace the ‘invalid’ RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) following last year’s European Court of Justice rulings but it seems this replacement law has also fallen foul of the courts when queried by Tom Watson MP, David Davis MP and civil rights group Liberty, who worked together to bring the case to court.
Whilst DRIPA is due to be replaced by an allegedly tougher law by the end of 2016, the High Court has ruled that it needs significantly adjusting before that date. By March 2016 the law must be amended to require independent approval to access communications data.
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Posted on May 13 2015 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Will it be third time lucky for the ‘Snooper’s Charter’?
Following the election of our new Conservative Government last week and Mr Cameron’s re-appointment of Theresa May as Secretary of State, rumours are now rife that one of the first items on her agenda is to reignite the highly controversial ‘Snooper’s Charter’. Will it be third time lucky for Theresa May?
Shortly after the Conservative’s election win was confirmed, May reportedly commented that implementing the Communications Data Bill or ‘Snooper’s Charter’ as it has been nicknamed, is a key priority for her and her party.
Her last attempt to introduce this Bill was blocked by the Liberal Democrat part of the coalition Government who had concerns over its impact on privacy and freedom of expression. Interestingly, in their own pre-election manifesto they had planned to introduce a significantly different new ‘Digital Bill of Rights’.
May said: “David Cameron has already said, and I’ve said, that a Conservative government would be giving the security agencies and law enforcement agencies the powers that they need to ensure they’re keeping up to date as people communicate with communications data.
We were prevented from bringing in that legislation into the last government because of the coalition with the Liberal Democrats and we are determined to bring that through, because we believe that is necessary to maintain the capabilities for our law enforcement agencies such that they can continue to do the excellent job, day in and day out, of keeping us safe and secure.”
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Posted on Apr 21 2015 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Election 2015: How will it affect our industry?
It’s election time again and the party manifestos are already starting to emerge. This led us to wonder what impact each of the main parties’ pre-election promises could have on our industry if they’re elected, specifically in terms of broadband coverage, eradicating the not-spots and the ongoing surveillance vs privacy debate. We are politically neutral and are simply describing the information provided by each of the major parties so far. It is for you to judge which you think is the best.
In alphabetical order, here’s the full detail:
The Conservative manifesto is probably the most obvious as they clearly plan to continue with the objectives they have already started. They will continue with their existing plans to deliver superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017 using the BDUK system and support providers’ deployment of ‘ultrafast’ broadband as they stated in the recent Budget.
David Cameron stated: “We will deliver the next generation of UK infrastructure: more roads and broadband, High Speed 2 and rail improvements across the nation.
You asked that while we got Britain back living within her means, we should invest in the things that really matter… science, superfast broadband, our railways and roads. 40,000 homes and business connected to superfast broadband every week.”
They will also explore the options of near universal superfast broadband coverage across the UK by 2018, offer Connection Vouchers (worth up to £3,000) to 50 cities and surrounding areas in order to help businesses install superfast broadband and review the potential for adjusting the current Universal Service Obligation to include a 5Mbps broadband speed requirement.
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