Guest Blog: ISPAs ongoing concerns over the IPB

Posted on Feb 03 2016 by Guest | Comments Off on Guest Blog: ISPAs ongoing concerns over the IPB
Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA

Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA

The ‘Snooper’s Charter’ in its various iterations has been an ongoing cause for concern for Entanet and the industry as a whole for several years now and, as we move ever closer towards its seemingly inevitable implementation as the Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB), we decided to have a chat with ISPA’s Secretary General, Nicholas Lansman to find out his concerns for industry and what he thinks the committee scrutinising the Bill should be focusing on.

ISPA’s View

Parliament is currently scrutinising the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, which aims to ‘consolidate existing legislation and ensure the powers in the Bill are fit for the digital age’.

Whilst ISPA welcomes a new Bill to replace the outdated legislation governing this area, there are specific concerns from ISPA, Entanet and industry around the lack of clarity in the Bill, its costs and what exactly will be expected of ISPs.

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2015 – The year in review

Posted on Dec 15 2015 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on 2015 – The year in review

It’s certainly been an eventful year within the industry, with plenty of innovations and new technologies and trends emerging, an abundance of regulatory changes both UK and EU based, industry process changes with things like the new switching process and channel unrest with a clear backlash against BT’s relationship with Openreach. We’ve tried to keep you up to date and informed about the key issues that affect you and your customers as part of this fascinating channel, as well as providing useful eBooks and sales advice along the way too.

If you missed any of the blog this year and would like a quick recap, why not download our ‘2015- A year of Opinion in review’ eBook and have a catch up over the holidays. Simply enter your email address into the form field below to receive your free copy. 

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Shhh…Don’t talk about the new Snooper’s Charter – But, here are the latest updates!

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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What’s new in the Snooper’s Charter 3.0?

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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What will the end of ‘Safe Harbor’ mean for the UK?

Posted on Oct 07 2015 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on What will the end of ‘Safe Harbor’ mean for the UK?
Categories : Privacy, Regulation

Earlier this week the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ruled that Safe Harbour is invalid due to its lack of protection against mass surveillance by the US Government. So, what is Safe Harbour and what impact will this ruling have on UK citizens and businesses?

What is Safe Harbor?

European data protection laws mean that companies can only transfer EU citizens’ data to countries that provide an ‘adequate’ level of data protection. Because the US doesn’t meet this criteria an agreement was made with them in 2000 called ‘Safe Harbor’ which simply required the company to self-certify that they undertake the necessary steps to ensure data is protected. However, following several revelations including those from Edward Snowden regarding the US Government’s mass surveillance practices, the CJEU has now ruled that this agreement is invalid as it doesn’t provide adequate protection. This means with immediate effect companies transferring data between the EU and the US will be affected.

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Has the High Court put a dampener on future snooping plans?

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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Will it be third time lucky for the ‘Snooper’s Charter’?

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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Election 2015: How will it affect our industry?

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:

Conservatives

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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UK Government admits to “suspicionless hacking”

Posted on Mar 25 2015 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on UK Government admits to “suspicionless hacking”
Categories : Government, Privacy

We were alarmed by the news that broke late last week that the British Government has admitted its intelligence services have the power to and historically have hacked into the personal equipment (phones, computers, networks) of anyone anywhere in the world, even where the ‘target’ is not a threat to national security or suspected of a crime. This has raised obvious concerns amongst privacy advocates and indeed the general public regarding the immense scope of the surveillance powers these organisations have.

This information was discovered within a Government court document published by Privacy International and the admissions were made in response to two court cases filed against GCHQ last year following the Edward Snowden revelations.

A press release from Privacy International states:

“Buried deep within the document, Government lawyers claim that while the intelligence services require authorisation to hack into the computer and mobile phones of “intelligence targets”, GCHQ is equally permitted to break into computers anywhere in the world even if they are not connected to a crime or a threat to national security.”

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The even Greater Firewall of China!

Posted on Feb 06 2015 by Neil Watson | 1 Comment

It’s no secret that China imposes wide reaching Internet censorship on its citizens – nicknamed the Great Firewall of China, but this Firewall just got greater as the Chinese Government strengthened its blocks against VPNs (and other means of circumvention) last week.

For years, Chinese citizens have been subject to the Government’s Internet censorship which blocks access to many Western sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google as well as email clients such as Gmail and is known to restrict access to information that is ‘critical’ of the Chinese Government. Their argument is they are trying to ‘enhance development’ of their own Internet services within the country and give Chinese based tech firms an advantage over foreign competition. Critics argue though that their actions actually hamper innovation and serve only to control and restrict the information their citizens have access to.

Until now many citizens used VPNs to circumvent the filters and gain access to the ‘forbidden’ sites but last week it was reported that China has increased its Firewall capabilities and is specifically targeting VPNs and other circumvention methods to enforce its restrictions. It is also increasing the ‘requirements’ it makes on foreign companies wanting to do business within China.

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