Is the ‘Snooper’s charter’ inevitable?

Posted on Jan 19 2015 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Is the ‘Snooper’s charter’ inevitable?

Following the tragic events in Paris earlier this month, the Government has once again called for enhanced surveillance capabilities for the intelligence services, which would mean further data retention from ISPs and telecoms providers. This is far from the first time this has been suggested, so we ask: Is the controversial ‘Snooper’s charter’ inevitable in one form or another?

What is the ‘Snooper’s Charter’?

The original ‘Snooper’s charter’ or ‘Communications Data Bill’ was drafted by the Home Secretary, Theresa May to increase the amount of data ISPs and telecoms providers record and store and provide greater access to this information for the intelligence services and police to help them combat terrorism and serious crime. Due to concerns over cost, privacy and security of the sheer amount of data involved, the draft Bill was blocked by Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats earlier this year. However, this wasn’t the first attempt by Government to increase the collection of and access to data for the security services. The previous Government had tried to implement the Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) which was also opposed by the Lib Dems (and the Conservatives). It wasn’t completely abandoned though and seemed to reappear under the guise of the Communications Capabilities Development Programme.

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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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Who’s really responsible Mr Cameron?

Posted on Aug 01 2013 by Neil Watson | 4 Comments

Last week, David Cameron made a passionate speech about managing pornography on the Internet in terms of protecting children from exposure to it in any form and of stamping out access to both child pornography and depictions of sexual violence.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Having accused search engine operators of effectively ‘aiding and abetting’ individuals’ search activity for child pornography and sexual violence imagery and not doing enough to block it, the PM said that all ISPs will be required to set up content filters that are set to ‘on’ by default to prevent children’s access to pornography in the home. Cameron made it clear that smaller ISP’s will not be exempt from this demand. Furthermore, he added that this requirement applied to existing customers as well as new ones. He said: “By the end of next year, they [all ISPs] will have contacted all of their existing customers and presented them with an unavoidable decision about whether or not to install family friendly content filters.”

We applaud his passion for trying to maintain the innocence of children and stamp out the promotion of sexual violence but question the placement of responsibility. Cameron said that he is “not prescribing how the ISPs should contact their customers – it’s up to them to find their own technological solutions. But however they do it, there will be no escaping this decision.”

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Update: ICO is right to demand detail on the ‘Big Brother intrusive filter’

Posted on Apr 25 2013 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Update: ICO is right to demand detail on the ‘Big Brother intrusive filter’

Paul

Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager


No sooner had we published our article about the ICO demands this morning: (ICO is right to demand detail on the ‘Big Brother intrusive filter’) an update emerged that Nick Clegg appears to have put the kybosh on the ‘snooper’s charter’. Whilst the media has a field day amid the political undermining, it remains to be seen if the Bill appears in the Queen’s speech on 8 May. We will be watching with interest.

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ICO is right to demand detail on the ‘Big Brother intrusive filter’

Posted on Apr 25 2013 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on ICO is right to demand detail on the ‘Big Brother intrusive filter’
Paul

Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) –the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, has demanded that the Home Office provide answers by 11th May 2013 explaining what the “Request filter” system submerged in the controversial Communications Data Bill actually does.

Recap: What the snooping bill entails

When the draft Communications Data Bill was first proposed by the Home Office on 14th June 2012, they described the bill as a ’vital tool’ to help police and snoopers’ catch paedophiles, terrorists and other serious criminals. Privacy International, the registered charity that aims to defend privacy rights across the globe, reports that it has been part of the Home Office’s on-going quest to gain new communications surveillance powers since 2006.

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