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[FYI] (Fwd) Silicon.com: Government hints at 'Snooping Bill' climb-d
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Subject: Silicon.com: Government hints at 'Snooping Bill' climb-down
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From: NMTV.WebMaster@www.nmtv.net [mailto:NMTV.WebMaster@www.nmtv.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 9:21 AM
Government hints at 'Snooping Bill' climb-down
PUBLISHED: 0:30am on Thursday 22nd June 2000
Opponents to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP)
Bill joined forces last night for a final push, amidst the
first signs of a government climb-down.
Last night's meeting, hosted by the Internet Service
Providers Association (ISPA), aimed to provide alternatives
to the government's controversial suggestions for
intercepting secure data online. Until now, lobby groups
such as ISPA, the British Chambers of Commerce and the
London Internet Exchange (LINX) have pursued separate
The event followed concessions made on Monday by Lord
Bassam, Home Office Minister in the House of Lords, who
admitted that some areas of the Bill did need reviewing.
Lord McNally, Liberal Democrat front-bencher, explained:
"The government showed signs that it would review the
burden to business and that it would try to come up with a
more precise definition of communications data - so that a
request for simple information would not unlock the door to
information on almost every aspect of an individual or
Lord Lucas of Crudwell, one of the Bill's most vocal
opponents, added: "I was very surprised and very pleased.
The new proposal won't allow government access to any more
information than a telephone bill."
Last night's ISPA meeting was expected to rally behind this
definition of communications data, which was first
presented at an EU council meeting in 1995. Roland Perry,
regulation officer at LINX, said that consensus was also
expected on the situations in which government could bypass
a magistrate's warrant.
A Home Office spokeswoman denied that changes were in the
offing. She said: "We are absolutely not retreating over
the RIP Bill. We are in discussions with businesses over
their concerns, but we are not drawing up amendments to the
However, Lord Lucas said that formal amendments were
expected next month, at the report stage of the Bill.
For related news, see:
'Snooping Bill goals slammed by EC powers'
'Government under fire as RIP Bill debate continues'
'Home Office issues Snooping Bill defence'
Copyright 1998 - 2000 NMTV/Silicon.com. All rights reserved.
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