Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

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Time to STAND up and be counted...

The UK government has proposed a set of extensions to the already controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act - an extension that will give un-overseen access to the traffic data (including web and email logs) of every one in the UK to an extensive list of agencies and bodies, many of which should have no right to this information.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The Department of Health.
The Home Office.
The Department of Trade and Industry.
The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions.
The Department for Work and Pensions.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment for Northern Ireland.
Any local authority within the meaning of section 1 of the Local Government Act 1999
Any fire authority as defined in the Local Government (Best Value) Performance Indicators Order 2000
A council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994
A district council within the meaning of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972
The Common Services Agency of the Scottish Health Service.
The Northern Ireland Central Services Agency for the Health and Social Services.
The Environment Agency.
The Financial Services Authority.
The Food Standards Agency.
The Health and Safety Executive.
The Information Commissioner.
The Office of Fair Trading.
The Postal Services Commission.
The Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority Constabulary.
A Universal Service Provider within the meaning of the Postal Services Act 2000

"A Universal Service Provider within the meaning of the Postal Services Act 2000" includes Consignia, the semi-private Post Office. Why would they need access to email logs and mobile phone call data? All this smacks of covering up after the fact of last year's foot and mouth disease epidemic, along with a knee-jerk 9-11 response.

If you're in the UK, you should fax your MP now using the free service on the STAND website: I'm including my fax in this journal post - don't just copy it, but feel free to use it and this entry for ideas.

Dear Mr Tony Colman,

I am an Internet systems consultant and IT journalist, and I am writing to you to show how strongly I feel about the forthcoming extension to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

While I understand the need for law enforcement access to traffic data (and having provided assistance to more than one Police enquiry using existing Data Protection legislation), I am somewhat at a loss to see the relevance of the lengthy list of additional agencies that will be given unfettered and unoverseen access to what most people will see as private and personal data.

There is no reason for these agencies and departments to be given access to web logs, phone records, mobile phone data (including position information) and email information (including the recipients). Especially when the list includes "A Universal Service Provider within the meaning of the Postal Services Act 2000". Would you trust Consignia with the details of your emails? Not only is this trusting a company that has effectively abrogated the public trust, it's giving it commerically sensitive data about its competitors - something I am sure both the MMC and the DPR would find concerning...

I urge you to take part in the debate scheduled for June 18th and to prevent this destruction of our civil liberties.

One final question. Would Parliament have passed the original act if it had contained this list of bodies?

Yours Faithfully

Simon Bisson

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