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UK Government Publishes Written Evidence for New ISP Internet Snooping Bill


ISP review on the UK govt’s proposed new “snoopers charter”.

LINX Statement

The draft Bill contemplates the collection of a large amount of personal communications data. Both the volume and range of data to be collected are unprecedented in the UK, and probably in the world.

In our analysis the “filtering arrangements” provided for in clauses 14‐16 are best understood as a “profiling engine” which creates detailed profiles on all users of electronic communications systems and makes those profiles available for sophisticated data mining.

In our opinion this profiling engine amounts to an enormously powerful tool for public authorities. Its mere existence significantly implicates privacy rights, and its extensive use would represent a dramatic shift in the balance between personal privacy and the capabilities of the State to investigate and analyse the citizen.

Virgin Media Statement

At this stage, our primary concern with the draft Bill as it stands relates to the retention requirements on providers not previously caught by data retention requirements and the requirement for UK providers to retain data of these providers. Virgin Media currently enjoys good working relationships with a range of third parties, both domestically and internationally. In many cases, Virgin Media makes their applications and services available to its customers through, for example its TiVo service. If Virgin Media is legally obliged to provide data from such third parties, this may well damage its commercial relationship with those parties and other third parties, particularly those based overseas who may be reluctant to make their services available to Virgin Media.

In Conclusion:

  • Virgin make a valid point – the snoopers charter will impact on customers – and make them reluctant to deal with any UK based company.
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