Posted on Jun 26 2017 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Encryption row continues as EU plans a back-door ban
In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks there has been much discussion amongst various European politicians over the role of end-to-end encryption in services like Whatsapp. Our own Prime Minister Theresa May in particular, has called for end-to-end encryption in these services to be removed and backdoor access granted to security agencies and police to monitor the so called ‘safe places’ where terrorists allegedly hide. However, the Internet industry and various security experts have warned that creating backdoor access and storing the data collated would significantly weaken existing encryption and create a serious security concern as it could easily be abused by fraudsters and hackers, leaving innocent users of such services at risk.
In response to the ongoing discussion, the EU’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs has now stepped in and announced plans to protect end-to-end encryption across such services by banning proposed backdoor access and promoting the use of end-to-end encryption wherever possible.
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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
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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Posted on May 31 2017 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on It’s USOs all round in the party election manifestos
It’s election time again, and regardless of your personal political preferences, we thought a brief summary of what each of the major parties has to say about all things Internet related could be useful for our readers.
While we’re not endorsing any particular party in this article and are only reporting the details of each party’s published manifestos with regards to our industry, we found all the pledges to be somewhat underwhelming. Unsurprisingly to most, as this is them essentially ‘selling themselves’ to the public they’ve clearly scooted over any details around funding or implementation and instead focused on headline-grabbing claims and pledges. Although, they too leave us somewhat flat.
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Posted on May 03 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Digital Economy Bill 2017 Update
Last week the Digital Economy Bill 2016-7 was passed by both Houses of Parliament and now receives Royal Assent which means it will be law imminently. The new legislation brings with it a number of important new implications for the industry (with some last minute changes to be aware of) so we’ve provided a summary of the key points below:
30Mbps USO scrapped in favour of 10Mbps
The 10Mbps USO for broadband has been on the cards for quite some time and its approval comes as no surprise to us. However, quite recently a proposal was passed by the House of Lords to increase this to 30Mbps by the existing 2020 deadline which seemed completely implausible to us. This has since been scrapped and the original 10Mbps confirmed; however a further clause to increase the USO has now been included. The Government will now be able to raise the USO’s minimum speed, once 75% of households have been upgraded to ‘superfast broadband’ services.
A full consultation is now expected to be held to iron out the details of the USO implementation, funding and requirements on industry.
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Posted on Feb 28 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Looks like the IPA and EU can’t co-exist after all!
We previously asked “How can the Investigatory Powers Act ever co-exist with the EU?” and according to the latest industry news reports the answer is – it can’t!
According to the technology news website, Ars Technica, a spokesperson from the Home Office has confirmed that the implementation of the highly controversial plans for widespread retention of customer data (regardless of whether or not the customer was being investigated for any crime) have been put on hold in response to the ECJ (European Court of Justice) ruling back in December.
Despite the Government initially stating they had plans to work around the ECJ ruling it seems the plans have now been completely stalled whilst they await a court date for the appeal.
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Posted on Feb 22 2017 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on How will the GDPR and ePrivacy Directive affect your marketing?
As marketers we’re used to dealing with changes and advancements, be they in the technology we promote and sell, the marketing practices and techniques that we use or the laws and regulations we must abide by. With regards to the latter, there are some significant changes on the horizon that we should all be aware of and adapt our marketing to comply with.
1. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is new European legislation that will come into force from 25th May 2018 and although the UK will be in the process of leaving the EU by then, it will still apply to anyone who collects or processes the personal data of any EU citizen. The UK Government is also expected to introduce ‘equivalent’ legislation to ensure we are able to continue to trade effectively with the EU post-Brexit. Therefore, it’s important we all know how to comply with GDPR and understand the effect it will have on our businesses, and in particular our marketing activities.
This new legislation is making headlines due to the tough financial penalties it threatens for data breaches – 4% of global turnover or €20 million. Whilst the security of our data is very important this legislation has wider reaching implications for marketers including:
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Posted on Feb 15 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Age verification – Essential protection or slippery censorship slope?
Late last year news started to emerge that several amends had been made to the already highly controversial Digital Economy Bill (DEB) including the requirements around ‘age verification’ on pornography websites.
The original plan was to include a note in the DEB to ensure the current optional ‘Parental Controls’ remained available to all customers following changes in EU legislation regarding net neutrality. However, the remit has expanded somewhat and now the DEB wants to implement a ‘tough age verification system’ on all websites displaying ‘adult content’ with ISPs required to block access to any such websites that are non-compliant.
We discuss whether or not this is necessary to effectively protect children from accessing pornography on the Internet or if it’s a slippery slope towards further censorship?
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Posted on Feb 07 2017 by Guest | Comments Off on Guest Blog: What will 2017 hold for the industry?
Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA
2017 is once again set to be a big year for the industry with significant policy developments on the horizon. In the coming year, the Digital Economy Bill will become law; there will be changes to Ofcom’s General Conditions; and the Investigatory Powers Act will be implemented. There will also be new Government funding for full-fibre broadband and changes to broadband advertising rules – all against a backdrop of Brexit and political instability. In the light of these developments it is incredibly important that the breadth of Internet industry views are heard and that is where we turn to industry bodies such as ISPA, to ensure we have our say. Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General from ISPA informs us of the key areas they are currently involved in and what we should be aware of in 2017.
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Posted on Jan 26 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on How can the Investigatory Powers Act ever co-exist with the EU?
Since its conception the IPA (Investigatory Powers Act) has been at best “controversial”. It was introduced to replace the expiring DRIPA (Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act), which in turn was hastily introduced to replace the original RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act), which was deemed invalid by the European Court of Justice back in 2014. With each iteration of this legislation under its various guises, one thing remains consistent – the emphasis on data collection and storage by ISPs for access by Government agencies, which is why it seems impossible for this legislation to ever co-exist with the EU, who clearly have opposing objectives when it comes to protecting the privacy and data of its citizens.
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Posted on Nov 30 2016 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Openrexit means Openrexit?
Yesterday’s trade press was dominated by the news that Ofcom has issued a directive that BT must ‘legally separate’ from its Openreach division. On the face of it, the move is designed to level the market playing field and encourage fairer competition but of course, whether it does remains to be seen. It’s important to appreciate that BT won’t have to split Openreach off entirely – it will still own Openreach, albeit as a legally separate entity. So what will this mean for the industry, resellers and customers?
Openreach will become a distinct company with its own board, says Ofcom, with non-executives and a chairperson not affiliated with BT (the newly appointed former Ofcom board member Mike McTighe). Ofcom also wants Openreach to have control over its branding and budget allocation. Importantly, it will have a duty to treat all of its customers equally.
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