Snoopers’ Charter 2.0

This afternoon at 4.30 I have been invited to give evidence in Parliament to the Joint Select Committee on the Investigatory Powers Bill.

This follows evidence I gave on the technical aspects of the bill to the Science and Technology Committee on November 10th; see video and documents. Of particular interest may be comments by my Cambridge colleague Richard Clayton; an analysis by my UCL colleague George Danezis; the ORG wiki; and finally the text of the bill itself.

While the USA has reacted to the Snowden revelations by restraining the NSA in various ways, the UK reaction appears to be the opposite. Do we really want to follow countries like China, Russia and Kazakhstan, and take the risk that we’ll tip countries like Brazil and India into following our lead? If the Internet fragments into national islands, that will not only do grave harm to the world economy, but make life a lot harder for GCHQ too.

4 thoughts on “Snoopers’ Charter 2.0

  1. The URL for the link “comments by my Cambridge colleague Richard Clayton” seems to have got lost.

  2. Thankyou for taking the time to go there and articulate the technical matters and put them into economic terms so well, and for keeping your composure on a number of occasions during the answers.

    My frustration with this is that implicit within it is this idea that seems to have grown from nowhere, that only the likes of Apple have a say in whether or not we get capable encryption. It’s completely wrong from the off. And then the likes of Apple are being pressured, via the proxy of public outrage, using emotive, incorrect examples:

    There is no concept of simultaneous encryption at other levels, nor that of any self-managed encryption, nor any understanding that bad people, whatever that means, will be in this category and unaffected by any of the proposed legislation.


  3. I listened to most of the recordings; it was good to see someone making a technical representation who could also readily translate things into the legal language with which the committee was most comfortable.

    One thing I noted was that none of the commentators really seemed to spend much time on the ultimate consumers of the powers discussed. One critique of the original RIPA bill was the sheer number of different government bodies which were listed as being able to get hold of some or all of the information. There was focus on the security services – but presumably their powers would in any case be somewhat separate, though would build on the provisions laid out in this new bill.

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