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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UPDATED: Is the ‘Snooper’s charter’ inevitable?

Posted on Jan 23 2015 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on UPDATED: Is the ‘Snooper’s charter’ inevitable?

On Monday we published an article in response to the Government’s latest cries for increased surveillance powers and data retention and asked if the highly controversial ‘Snooper’s charter’ was inevitable. It appears three of the Lords (Lord Blair, Lord Carlisle and Lord King) believe it should be, as they have attempted to push through 18 pages worth of ‘amendments’ to the existing CTSB (Counter Terrorism and Security Bill) in yet another last minute and underhand move. If successful, this move would see the CTSB echo the previously rejected Snooper’s charter (aka Communications Data Bill).

The most worrying aspect of this latest development is that by passing these ‘amendments’ through at this stage of the parliamentary process they could enter into law without the proper parliamentary scrutiny and industry input that we’d all hoped for and is reasonable to expect. In fact, most of the amendments are reportedly key aspects that were rejected in the original ‘Snooper’s charter’ – so they are literally trying to resurrect it!

We expected additional powers to be introduced at some point but we are very disappointed that once again measures previously disputed are being ‘sneaked in’ without proper consideration and consultation. After the shambles of the DEA (also passed through in a pre-election back-door process), we’d hoped lessons had been learned. It seems we were wrong.

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2014 – The Best Bits of Opinion

Posted on Dec 17 2014 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on 2014 – The Best Bits of Opinion
Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

As avid readers of our Opinion blog we’re sure you’re already aware of the major issues that have plagued the industry over the last 12 months, but just in case you missed any our latest eBook gives you a quick recap of the best, and most important, bits.

It covers the ongoing data retention debacle, the increasing pressure on ISPs regarding security, the legal protection for net neutrality, the unexpected ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling, the never ending fight against piracy and the expected role of ISPs, ISPAs plans to improve the ADR system and a look at the key trends of 2014!

You can download it for free

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The new Counter Terrorism and Security Bill – Will the UK Government ever listen to industry?

Posted on Nov 26 2014 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on The new Counter Terrorism and Security Bill – Will the UK Government ever listen to industry?

Here we go again! Another classic example of rushed-through legislation without sufficient industry input or parliamentary scrutiny (or even technical understanding), in reaction to a high profile (and in this case highly emotive) issue in the run up to an election. Is this ringing any bells? No it’s not the DEA this time, it’s the brand new Counter Terrorism and Security Bill (CTSB) which has been published today.

Following yesterday’s published review into the tragic death of Fusilier Lee Rigby, which found that his death could not have been prevented by MI5 and instead criticised the ‘ISP’ (which in actual fact wasn’t an ISP but the social media platform Facebook!) for not monitoring its customers’ communications and reporting potential threats to the authorities, the Government has today published a new Bill which is set to target the increasing terrorism threat to the UK.

Unfortunately, once again Parliament has failed to grasp the technical aspects of this issue. Not only have they confused Facebook (and Google) with ‘ISPs’, they seem to think that this new Bill will enable ISPs to ‘snoop’ on their customers’ social media posts – which isn’t the case. Facebook in particular encrypts all information, which means no UK ISP will be able to access this information, regardless of the new laws! The additional fact that Facebook is a US-based company adds to the un-likelihood that they will comply with any ‘requests’ from the UK to change these practices.

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Nee Naw Nee Naw – Internet police coming through!

Posted on Nov 11 2014 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Nee Naw Nee Naw – Internet police coming through!
Categories : Privacy, Regulation, Security

Once again the role of technology firms has been called into question in the never ending debate over ‘policing the Internet’. This time its new GCHQ boss, Robert Hannigan, who has suggested the need for a new ‘deal’ between the technology industry and intelligence organisations such as GCHQ.

Hannigan requested the new deal between “democratic governments and technology companies in the area of protecting our citizens”. However, Julian David, CEO of TechUK which represents 860 technology companies has been amongst the first to reject the idea stating: “To ensure public confidence, both in the digital economy and our democracy as a whole, any obligations placed upon technology companies must be based upon a clear and transparent legal framework and effective oversight rather than, as suggested, a deal between the industry and government,”

Hannigan also suggested that technology firms are in ‘denial’ about the use of their services by criminal and terrorist organisations to which David replied:

“He is wrong to suggest that this is an issue that technology companies are in denial about. As we made clear in our recent tech manifesto, technology firms which we represent have important legal obligations to work with government to help keep the UK safe and secure which they take extremely seriously.”

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Balancing privacy and security

Posted on Sep 09 2014 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Balancing privacy and security
Categories : Government, Privacy, Regulation

We recently discussed the hastily brought in DRIP (Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act) and our dismay at the lack of consultation, debate and scrutiny this new law faced despite its impact on every UK citizen’s privacy. Now that the dust has settled and further information has emerged, let’s inspect the new law more closely and discuss its impact…

What is DRIP and why is it needed?

Following the ECJ’s ruling back in April that existing EU laws governing data retention were invalid due to their lack of safeguards to protect citizens privacy, our Government (in their infinite wisdom) rushed through a so called “emergency” law called DRIP. DRIP ensures that communications providers are still legally required to collect and store data and provide this data to our police and security services when necessary. The Government argued that, without DRIP, communications providers would have been forced to ‘delete’ such data in compliance with existing data protection laws and therefore the security services and police would have lost access to this information permanently with suggested serious repercussions in the fight against terrorism and serious crime.

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Meet the author – Paul Heritage-Redpath

Posted on Aug 19 2014 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Meet the author – Paul Heritage-Redpath

We thought it was about time you got to know a bit more about the authors of this blog, their areas of expertise and what makes them tick. After all, you’re spending your valuable time reading what they have to say and listening to their opinions! Therefore, we plan to periodically publish a ‘Meet the Author’ article to help you get to know each one a little better. We’ll kick it off with Paul Heritage-Redpath, Entanet’s Product Manager…

Paul

Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager

How long have you worked at Entanet Paul?

2 years 6 months – which doesn’t seem like 5 minutes…

What are your key responsibilities within the business and what are your areas of expertise?

As Product Manager at Entanet I am responsible for ensuring we deliver the right voice and data products to our partners to empower them to succeed. That breaks down into four main areas: providing market insight to the management team; defining and testing the feasibility of new products; managing their development and launch including pricing and then monitoring their success in-life and retiring products as necessary. Expertise – being the go-to person on the details of our portfolio means life is never dull, as things change all the time.

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