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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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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Is telephony fraud the UK’s forgotten crime?

Posted on Mar 14 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Is telephony fraud the UK’s forgotten crime?
Categories : Fraud, Security, VoIP

Telephony fraud is unfortunately nothing new but with the opening of the new National Cyber Security Centre, ITSPA have seized the opportunity to demand that GCHQ work together with industry to combat the issue and make telecoms fraud a priority.

ITSPA argued that “Government, law enforcement and industry need to be more joined up to help combat telephony fraud, which remains a significant problem and is estimated to add 2% to the average user’s phone bill.” said Eli Katz, Chair of ITSPA.

She added “Telephony fraud is in some ways the UK’s forgotten crime. Due to the difficulties in bringing forward successful prosecutions due to the highly international element of crime, it often goes unreported by the telecommunications industry, resulting in law enforcement and Government devoting a disproportionately low level of resource to the area. ITSPA continues to work to encourage industry to report instances of telephony fraud to ensure that the crime receives the attention it deserves.”

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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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Poll: The Internet of Things & The Channel

Posted on Nov 21 2016 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | Comments Off on Poll: The Internet of Things & The Channel

The Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t going away – every day businesses across the world are coming up with new and innovative ways of exploiting the opportunities that IoT brings. But we want to know what you think. Are you actively pursuing opportunities that exist in the channel to monetise IoT, or are you more cautious? Let us know by leaving a comment below or taking part in our poll.

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IPB now looks certain to be passed within weeks

Posted on Jun 20 2016 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on IPB now looks certain to be passed within weeks

Back in March, we expressed our dismay about the government’s apparent determination to push through the Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB) before the summer (The IPB takes a step closer to being law). The government seems determined to do this at all costs and while there is a possibility that it will be delayed until after the summer recess due to other parliamentary business, it now looks certain to become law within weeks.

Some adjustments have been made to the Bill since March but, in our view, they are too few and do not go anywhere near far enough. At that time, we did have some hope that an alliance of Labour and the SNP would reject the Bill in it’s current form and force much greater scrutiny and the emergence of legislation that would be, as ISPA put it, clear and workable’.

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UPDATE: Can Internet.org coexist with net neutrality (and encryption)?

Posted on May 27 2015 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on UPDATE: Can Internet.org coexist with net neutrality (and encryption)?
Categories : Net Neutrality, Security

We recently discussed the criticism Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was facing with his new Internet.org initiative which aims to enable the world’s poorest people to access the Internet for free by charging the content providers for the end users’ access. Whilst seemingly a noble idea, it is receiving increasing disapproval for its obvious contradiction with net neutrality and now further concerns have been raised about security and privacy.

As we said in our last article, in principle, the idea of providing free Internet access to some of the world’s poorest people is admirable but, as Mr Zuckerberg has admitted himself, delivering free access to the whole Internet simply isn’t possible:

“It costs tens of billions of dollars every year to run the Internet, and no operator could afford this if everything were free, But it is sustainable to build free basic services that are simpler, use less data and work on all low-end phones.”

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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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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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