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ShareMay rushes through Snoopers Charter – why are we not surprised!?

Less than three weeks after it received scathing criticism from no fewer than three parliamentary committees, news that a revised Investigatory Powers Bill was to be published today was gently released by Theresa May at the weekend. From past experience we’re not surprised this has happened but we’re hanging our head in despair. How can a government be able to rail-road such a controversial Bill through without proper consultation or, at the very least, further dialogue on the points the three committees raised? Today’s action is indicative of a Government that is intent on forcing through legislation that furthers its own agenda with little consideration of the consequences.

Back in December 2015 Entanet provided written evidence to the Select Committee, raising concerns over the definition of a ‘Communications Service Provider’, the timescales to implement the IPB, the cost of implementation and who will pay, the vagueness of ‘Internet Connection Records’ and the robustness of any system to guarantee that data on private citizens would remain secure and not open to abuse or intrusion for malevolent means.

We’re disappointed that the Government would attempt to publish such a critical document without giving adequate time for detailed scrutiny. Not only will the IPB impact our personal lives with never-experienced-before levels of surveillance on a largely innocent population, but the comms industry will be immediately on the back foot to try and implement the required changes before the sunset clause on DRIPA expires in December. The whole process of “consultation” with the industry through the parliamentary committee’s on the previous draft IPB was clearly a farce intended to pacify us, while Theresa May forges ahead with a ‘come hell or high water’ attitude. Internet Service Providers will surely feel insulted that the comms industry has not been adequately considered in developing this Bill, especially given that we will be hit the hardest. Today’s reading of the revised Bill will be followed with interest, although we’re not holding our breath that it more adequately appeases the concerns that we raised with the Select Committee.

Have your say!

What are your views about the IPB? Do you believe that the Home Office has had enough time to properly consider the feedback received from the Joint Select Committee, the Science & Technology Committee and the Intelligence & Security Committee? How will the changes impact the comms industry? Will smaller ISPs be hit the hardest? Let us know your view by leaving a comment below.

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