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[FYI] (Fwd) Silicon.com: Anti-RIP lobby wins changes to Snooping Bil
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- Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 20:11:19 +0200
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From: Owen Blacker <email@example.com>
To: "'UK Crypto list'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Subject: Silicon.com: Anti-RIP lobby wins changes to Snooping Bill
Date sent: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 18:47:45 +0100
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From: NMTV.WebMaster@www.nmtv.net [mailto:NMTV.WebMaster@www.nmtv.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2000 6:49 PM
Anti-RIP lobby wins changes to Snooping Bill
PUBLISHED: 0:15am on Wednesday 28th June 2000
The UK government has bowed to industry pressure and
introduced a series of amendments to the RIP Bill, as
predicted by silicon.com last week (see
The Home Office has now agreed to restrict the level of
internet communication that can be obtained by the
intelligence services without a warrant.
The Bill will still enable the security forces to demand
access to encryption keys in "certain circumstances", but
states that the usual action will be to obtain a plain text
printout of the material in question.
The government also said that company directors will now be
informed if the intelligence services demand access to
encryption keys, and added that decryption notices will
always say who has authorised them, in response to concerns
regarding the possibility of spoof notices.
Yaman Akdeniz, director of Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties
UK, said while he welcomed the amendments, he believed the
government was still skirting the ethical issues
surrounding the privacy debate.
Speaking to silicon.com, Akdeniz said: "Any improvement is
welcome, but they had to reach a compromise or it would
have been thrown out of the House. They are backing down
because they always knew the Bill was intrusive. I don't
like government having that much surveillance ability. The
Cold War is over - there is no serious security threat.
They have to justify the need for such a Bill now."
Mark Sharman, head of policy at the British Chamber of
Commerce (BCC), said he was happy with the amendments as
they dealt with most of the concerns raised in a recent
report by the BCC.
Sharman said: "The amendments will go a long way to meeting
the concerns of the industry and they have addressed the
majority of our concerns. But we will have to wait and see
how the codes of practice turn out, they will be the key
A spokesman at the London Internet Exchange remained more
cautious. He told silicon.com that he would feel happier
about the amendments once he heard the outcome of today's
debate in the House of Lords.
He said: "These amendments are so complex it's impossible
to comment on them now. We're talking about over 50 pages
of amendments in total, and sometimes it's just one word in
an amendment that causes the problem."
A Home Office spokesman said: "Where changes can be made
which offer reassurance, but which at the same time
maintain the balance sought by the Bill, the Government has
made them. We have received a number of constructive points
in the Lords on areas such as the definition of
communications data, and clarification on the use of
decryption provisions which we believe we can meet through
For related news, see:
'Government muses ISP tax relief for 'Snooping Bill''
'Government hints at 'Snooping Bill' climb-down'
'RIP: a framework for 21st century law enforcement - or an unnecessary
burden on British business?' http://www.silicon.com/a36614
Copyright 1998 - 2000 NMTV/Silicon.com. All rights reserved.
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