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[FYI] (Fwd) [GILC-plan] FYI - RIP Act - Interceptions

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Date sent:      	Sat, 13 Jul 2002 13:36:56 +0200
Copies to:      	gilc-plan@mailman.gilc.org
To:             	edri-members@edri.org
From:           	Meryem Marzouki <meryem.marzouki@dial.oleane.com>
Subject:        	[GILC-plan] FYI - RIP Act - Interceptions

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FYI: http://techupdate.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t481-s2118813,00.html

"RIPA demands push up ISP costs
16:41 Tuesday 9th July 2002
Paul Stevens, Olswang

Overshadowed by last month's furore over public authorities' access to
e-mail and telephone data, another set of new RIPA rules is due to hit
the communications industry next month

 From 1st August, ISPs and telcos will be obliged to maintain certain
minimum levels of interception capacity in order to assist law
enforcement agencies. The cost to the industry of implementing these
controversial measures, however, remains unclear.


These new obligations are contained in the Regulation of Investigatory
Powers (Maintenance of Interception Capability) Order 2002 (the
"Order"). This 'fleshes out' provisions under the Regulation of
Investigatory Powers Act 2000 ('RIPA') which give the Home Secretary
power to order a provider of public telecoms services to maintain a
"reasonable" level of intercept capacity to enable interception
warrants to be complied with. Consultation with industry on this issue
took place between December 2000 and August 2001.

ISPs are expressing their confusion over the new obligations and how
they will be recompensed. The actual obligations are as follows.

The new obligations in more detail

The Order imposes new legal obligations on providers of public 
telecommunications services, although service providers who do not (or
do not intend to) provide their service to over 10,000 users in the UK
are exempt, as are providers who limit their services to the banking,
insurance, investment or other financial services sectors.

The 'intercept capacity' which service providers are required to
provide is as follows:

     * A mechanism for implementing interceptions within one working
of the service provider being informed that the interception has been

     * Where the service provider serves more than 10,000 people, to
enable the simultaneous interception of communications of up to 1 in
10, 000 of those users;

     * To ensure the interception of all communications and related
traffic data authorised by the warrant and their simultaneous
transmission to the law enforcement agency in question;

     * To ensure the intercepted communication and data can be

     * To ensure the handover interface complies with any requirements
stipulated by the Home Secretary (these should generally be in line
with agreed industry standards);

     * To ensure filtering to provide isolated traffic data,
with the relevant account where reasonable;

     * To ensure any protection applied to the intercepted
can be removed;

To minimise the risk of "tipping-off" the interception subject or
other unauthorised persons about the interception. Where a service
provider is unhappy with the extent or compliance cost of an
interception notice, a referral can be made to the National Technical
Advisory Board ('TAB'), a body comprised of industry as well as
Government representatives. Non-compliance with these interception
obligations carries civil penalties, including issue of an injunction.

Cost implications

The cost burden on the telecoms industry of implementing the new
measures is potentially substantial. RIPA imposes a duty on the
Secretary of State to ensure that a service provider receives a "fair
contribution" towards the cost of complying with an interception
warrant or maintaining intercept capability. A sum of 20 million has
been earmarked for communications provider support for the three years
from 2001 to 2004 in connection with broader RIPA obligations, of
which 14 million was spent last year. Further consultations are due
to take place between the Government, industry and the TAB on the
precise costs to the industry of complying with these new rules but no
timetable has yet been set.

The bigger picture

RIPA, which has been on the statute book since July 2000, has been the
source of enormous controversy since the proposals for reform of the
interception regime were first published three years ago. Recently, in
a much-publicised climb-down, the Home Secretary David Blunkett
withdrew a proposal to extend the range of public authorities with
power to access details of people's communications under the Act.

Although the Act received Royal Assent nearly two years ago, its
wide-ranging provisions have been brought into force by a series of
statutory instruments since then. The most recent include an
Interception of Communications Code of Practice which came into force
on 1 July 2002 and which outlines the duties of law enforcement
agencies with regard to interception of telephone and internet
communications for national security and crime prevention purposes.
Codes of Practice regulating the use of other covert surveillance
techniques are also due to come into force on 1st August.

The information contained in this bulletin is intended as a general
overview of the subjects featured and detailed specialist advice
should always be taken before taking or refraining from taking any

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