Feeds

Government begins RIPA review

Peeking at snooping laws

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The Government will review the use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), the law that governs state tapping of phone, email and internet use. The law will be looked at as part of a wider review of counter-terrorism laws.

Civil liberties campaigners criticised several anti-terrorism laws introduced by the last Labour Government as being restrictive of individual freedoms. The current Conservative and Liberal Democrat coaltion Government will review those laws, claiming its aim is to restore some lost rights.

"The review will look at what counter-terrorism powers and measures could be rolled back in order to restore the balance of civil liberties and counter-terrorism powers," said a Home Office statement on the review.

"National security is the first duty of government but we are also committed to reversing the substantial erosion of civil liberties," said Home Secretary Theresa May. "I want a counter-terrorism regime that is proportionate, focused and transparent. We must ensure that in protecting public safety, the powers which we need to deal with terrorism are in keeping with Britain’s traditions of freedom and fairness."

RIPA powers to monitor citizens' activities could be used not just by police and state security services but also by local authorities to monitor compliance with various laws. Civil liberties campaigners criticised the use of RIPA to monitor residents' compliance with dog fouling or refuse recycling laws.

Security minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones told ZDNet UK last week that some local authority uses of RIPA were not acceptable.

"We will reduce the powers of local authorities," she said. "It's a question of how many bodies have powers and what powers they have. We want to create a situation which is less intrusive on the part of local authorities into the lives of ordinary citizens."

The Government review could also examine existing rules that force telecoms companies and ISPs to store records of individuals’ use of their systems on behalf of the authorities.

The Home Office said that its review would examine "the use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) by local authorities, and access to communications data more generally".

The review will be overseen by Liberal Democrat peer and former director of public prosecutions Lord Ken Macdonald.

"We will look at the evidence presented to us and where it is clear that legislation needs to be amended or powers need to be rolled back, we will do," said May.

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?