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[FYI] (Fwd) Private Security Industry Bill - latest Straw outrage

------- Forwarded message follows -------
To:             	ukcrypto@chiark.greenend.org.uk
Subject:        	Private Security Industry Bill - latest Straw outrage
Date sent:      	Mon, 26 Mar 2001 17:54:49 +0100
From:           	Ross Anderson <Ross.Anderson@cl.cam.ac.uk>
Send reply to:  	ukcrypto@chiark.greenend.org.uk

If this bill passes, you will need a licence from the Home Office to
consult on information security or cryptography. It introduces
controls on `the giving of advice about the taking of security
precautions in relation to any risk to property or to the person'
(schedule 2, part 1, 5 (1) b).

There are exemptions for lawyers, accountants and management
consultants. There's even a training exemption that might be
interpreted as a get-out for academics teaching security courses. But
there is no exemption for the ordinary systems analyst who has to
specify information protection mechanisms as part of his job. (The
directors of his company can go to jail, too.)

Some parts of the Bill have exemptions for journalists (e.g., the part
on private eyes, schedule 2, part 1, 4). However, the part that deals
with security consulting has no such exemption. SO even if material is
destined for publication - newspaper articles, postings to ukcrypto,
my next security book - it seems that the author may need to get a
licence, if the bill is interpreted as meaning what it says.

Help may be at hand, though. The Home Secretary can change the
schedules `for the purpose of adding or excluding any such 
activities as he thinks fit'. So perhaps IT people can all write
to him and ask politely not to have to pay dues to his latest

This bill was advertised as a means of licensing wheel-clampers,
nightclub bouncers and private eyes. Nobody seems to have paid it much
attention. My informant tells me that it's now cleared the Lords and
if it isn't stopped in the commons, it could be law before the


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