With the announcement of the details of the new Investigatory Powers Bill, Security experts from Pryvate and techUK have the following comments on this critical topic.

[su_note note_color=”#ffffcc” text_color=”#00000″]Antony Walker, Deputy CEO of techUK :

“This draft bill requires very careful scrutiny. On first impressions it looks like a step in the right direction to creating what is required here – a world leading legal framework that balances the security needs with democratic values. Parliament must now judge whether the powers government is seeking such as internet connection records, equipment interference and bulk collection are necessary and proportionate and whether the safeguards being proposed to govern their use are sufficient. The importance of the task ahead of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Committee cannot be overstated.

“The Government has been at pains to stress that it is not seeking a ban on end-to-end encryption and that Communications Services Providers will be required to take reasonable steps to made data available under warrant. This looks like a good outcome for ensuring the cyber security of individuals, businesses and the UK as a whole. However, much will depend on the interpretation of what is reasonable.

“If the IP Bill is to deliver in practice, government needs to ensure that Communications Services Providers are not subject to conflicts of law. As recommended by the Sheinwald Report, UK government needs to work with the US and other countries to develop a new international framework for cooperation between jurisdictions to avoid creating uncertainty for companies and services that operate cross border.”[/su_note]

[su_note note_color=”#ffffcc” text_color=”#00000″]Jonathan Parker-Bray, CEO of Criptyque, Makers of Pryvate :

The Investigatory Powers Bill does not take into account individual’s fundamental right to privacy. Where matters of national security are concerned, we are fully behind any government proposal to protect its citizens. However, this ought not to extend to such a level where law abiding citizens no longer have the right to their own privacy. We believe that everyone has the right to choose whether or not to keep their communications private and protect themselves from cybercrime and surveillance, and use whatever encryption tools are at their disposal to achieve such ends. This bill would see those liberties potentially turned on their head, and everyone’s personal online lives – though conducted in the privacy of their own home – available for official scrutiny, without a clear rationale or justification. Everything from family photos, medical records, confidential business transactions, and legal communications can be exposed at a whim. Whilst we would agree strongly that there does need to be an updating and an expansion of legislation to account for the digital age, this should not override the hard-fought right to privacy that is owned by every citizen in the UK. Threat actors will always find nefarious ways of using good intentioned technology for their own means, and this law is a potential license for the invasion of the right to privacy on a scale this country cannot allow.[/su_note]

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