FC: U.K. may abandon plan for more agencies doing surveillance

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Tue Jun 18 2002 - 07:55:38 PDT

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    Previous Politech message:
    Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 15:31:14 +0100
    From: Richard Clayton <listmasterat_private>
    Subject: FIPR-Bulletin: FIPR welcomes Government rethink on snooping powers
    You have received this message from the FIPR Bulletin mailing list run by
    the Foundation for Information Policy Research        http://www.fipr.org/
    FIPR Press Release:
    FOR IMMEDIATE USE: 18 June 2002
    FIPR welcomes Government rethink on snooping powers
    The Home Office is reported to have postponed its proposals to amend the
    Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act to allow a huge increase in
    the official that can access personal details of phone calls and emails.
    Attention was first drawn to the highly technical Regulations
    encapsulating this change by an FIPR Press Release on 10th June. The
    story has since become headline news and the Government has now decided
    not to proceed with these changes.
    Ian Brown, Director of FIPR welcomed this news, "these proposals were
    poorly	 considered, poorly justified and over the past week have been
    condemned by almost everyone outside of Whitehall. The Home Office must
    now tear them up and start again from first principles."
    He continued, "we are as keen as anyone else in seeing wrongdoing
    investigated, but we don't think that handing out such wide-reaching
    powers to every bureaucrat in the land is compatible with living in a
    free society. The Government needs to carefully consider whether self-
    authorisation can ever be appropriate for this type of invasion of
    privacy and they need to pay a lot more attention to the oversight
    regime. An Interception Commissioner who doesn't have the resources to
    open all his mail is no credible way to ensure that abuse is detected."
    Contacts for enquiries:
    Ian Brown
    Foundation for Information Policy Research
    Ian is abroad for the rest of the week :(
    In his absence please contact:
    Richard Clayton
    07887 794 090
    Notes for editors
    1. The Foundation for Information Policy Research (www.fipr.org), is a
        non-profit think-tank for Internet and Information Technology policy,
        governed by an independent Board of Trustees with an Advisory Council
        of experts.
    2. The only independent oversight of this part of the RIP Act is
        provided by the Interception Commissioner, but as no central records
        are kept of accesses, he must travel around every police force and
        agency inspecting a random sample of their records.
    3. Alan Beith MP of the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee told
        Parliament in 2001 that the commissioner was "dependent on a tiny
        support structure which is quite incapable of carrying out the job...
        there was not even anybody to open the mail, let alone process it,
        for many months."
        see Hansard 29 Mar 2001, Col 1150
    4. The order, now abandoned, is at:
    5. A RIP s22 notice will reveal details held by a communications service
        provider such as...
             name and address
             service usage details
             details of who you have been calling
             details of who has called you
             mobile phone location info
             source and destination of email
             usage of web sites (but not pages within such sites)
    6. The current list of bodies allowed to serve RIP s22 notices is:
        Police (all the forces, MOD police, NCS, NCIS)
        Secret Intelligence Agencies (MI5, MI6, GCHQ)
        Customs and Excise
        Inland Revenue
    7. The order was to extend the list of public authorities that can issue
        RIP s22 notices (ie to access traffic data from telcos and ISPs)...
        ...to add the following central Government departments
        1. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
        2. The Department of Health.
        3. The Home Office.
        4. The Department of Trade and Industry.
        5. The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions.
        6. The Department for Work and Pensions.
        7. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment for Northern
        AND pretty much any local authority
        8. Any local authority within the meaning of section 1 of the Local
           Government Act 1999
        9. Any fire authority as defined in the Local Government (Best Value)
           Performance Indicators Order 2000
       10. A council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc.
           (Scotland) Act 1994
       11. A district council within the meaning of the Local Government Act
           (Northern Ireland) 1972
        AND NHS bodies in Scotland and Northern Ireland
       12. The Common Services Agency of the Scottish Health Service.
       13. The Northern Ireland Central Services Agency for the Health and
           Social Services.
        AND some other bodies
       14. The Environment Agency.
       15. The Financial Services Authority.
       16. The Food Standards Agency.
       17. The Health and Safety Executive.
       18. The Information Commissioner.
       19. The Office of Fair Trading.
       20. The Postal Services Commission.
       21. The Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency.
       22. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
       23. The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority Constabulary.
       24. A Universal Service Provider within the meaning of the Postal
           Services Act 2000
    Richard Clayton                                       treasurer @ 
    Foundation for Information Policy Research                   http://www.fipr.org
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