You think the IPA is bad – it could be worse, you could be in the USA!

Posted on Apr 03 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | No Comments
Categories : Data retention, Privacy

For two western countries that are relatively similar in many ways, it appears the UK and the USA could not have more opposing views when it comes to the protection of data and privacy. Whilst the UK Government continues to fend off ongoing legal challenges and criticism of its controversial IPA (Investigatory Powers Act) or Snoopers’ Charter as it’s widely nicknamed, the USA is about to make it perfectly legal for ISPs to sell off their customers’ personal information and web activity history to the highest bidders for commercial use.

As you know from our previous articles on the subject, the IPA requires UK ISPs to retain vast amounts of customer data including your online activity and enables the security agencies and police to access this data as and when they require, regardless of whether or not you are suspected of a crime. The latest challenge to this Act has come from the European Court of Justice who argued the new law contravenes existing European laws on privacy and data retention. See our article “How can the Investigatory Powers Act ever co-exist with the EU?” for more information.

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Looks like the IPA and EU can’t co-exist after all!

Posted on Feb 28 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | No Comments

We previously asked “How can the Investigatory Powers Act ever co-exist with the EU?” and according to the latest industry news reports the answer is – it can’t!

According to the technology news website, Ars Technica, a spokesperson from the Home Office has confirmed that the implementation of the highly controversial plans for widespread retention of customer data (regardless of whether or not the customer was being investigated for any crime) have been put on hold in response to the ECJ (European Court of Justice) ruling back in December.

Despite the Government initially stating they had plans to work around the ECJ ruling it seems the plans have now been completely stalled whilst they await a court date for the appeal.

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Guest Blog: What will 2017 hold for the industry?

Posted on Feb 07 2017 by Guest | No Comments
Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA

Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA

2017 is once again set to be a big year for the industry with significant policy developments on the horizon. In the coming year, the Digital Economy Bill will become law; there will be changes to Ofcom’s General Conditions; and the Investigatory Powers Act will be implemented. There will also be new Government funding for full-fibre broadband and changes to broadband advertising rules – all against a backdrop of Brexit and political instability. In the light of these developments it is incredibly important that the breadth of Internet industry views are heard and that is where we turn to industry bodies such as ISPA, to ensure we have our say. Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General from ISPA informs us of the key areas they are currently involved in and what we should be aware of in 2017.

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How can the Investigatory Powers Act ever co-exist with the EU?

Posted on Jan 26 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | No Comments

Since its conception the IPA (Investigatory Powers Act) has been at best “controversial”. It was introduced to replace the expiring DRIPA (Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act), which in turn was hastily introduced to replace the original RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act), which was deemed invalid by the European Court of Justice back in 2014. With each iteration of this legislation under its various guises, one thing remains consistent – the emphasis on data collection and storage by ISPs for access by Government agencies, which is why it seems impossible for this legislation to ever co-exist with the EU, who clearly have opposing objectives when it comes to protecting the privacy and data of its citizens.

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Bye bye net neutrality, hello state censorship?

Posted on Dec 13 2016 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | No Comments

Not content with forcing ISPs to store the browsing history of UK citizens (as enshrined into law via the Investigatory Powers Act), the Government now appears to be ignoring the concept of net neutrality with its latest Bill entering the House of Lords. The Digital Economy Bill, due its second reading in the Lords today (13th December 2016), compels websites carrying material which “it is reasonable to assume from its nature that any classification certificate issued in respect of a video work including it would be an R18 certificate” to carry out age verification checks to try and stop youngsters accessing such material. If the sites don’t do this, ISPs will be required to block them. Yet EU net neutrality rules state that all Internet traffic must be treated equally and goes so far as to say that Governments cannot block access to sites that are legal – even if they are distasteful.

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