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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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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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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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 | Comments Off on You think the IPA is bad – it could be worse, you could be in the USA!
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 | Comments Off on Looks like the IPA and EU can’t co-exist after all!

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 | Comments Off on Guest Blog: What will 2017 hold for the industry?
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 | Comments Off on How can the Investigatory Powers Act ever co-exist with the EU?

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 | Comments Off on Bye bye net neutrality, hello state censorship?

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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