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 Post subject: What powers does CDB give over RIPA?
PostPosted: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 05:23:43 +0000 
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RIPA is one of those bills that was probably deliberately incomprehensible such that no-one could find anything to object to before it passed.

If I remember correctly it was unlimited data collection with compulsory installation of surveillance equipment and criminal penalties for providers to even mention they were spying on anyone. :shock:

Am meeting an MP tomorrow so need an answer by 10am.


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 Post subject: Re: What powers does CDB give over RIPA?
PostPosted: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 07:03:58 +0000 
Installation of equipment not under RIPA. There are some obsolescent telecoms regs that might be used to enforce that.

ISPs and telcos can in effect be ordered to hand over anything they have. Problem for comprehensive spying is there is no motive for service providers to keep more than they need for billing and traffic management. Hence the policy laundering through the EU that resulted in the Data Retention Directive and the retention regs made under it.

There are in a number of statutes relating to investigation, something called tipping-off offences. In RIPA these are in s54:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/23/section/54

But this applies to notices requiring decryption.

In connection with disclosure of communications data, I imagine (but cannot confirm) that communications providers are either subject to tipping-off provisions under other legislation - since the data are sought for some purpose - or told that they will be charged with perverting the course of justice or something similar, or in the case of small ones just generally menaced by cloak-and-daggeriness.

Note there are more than half a million such requests a year, however. It has effectively become an automatic unquestioned procedure, even if it would take a very robust organisation to evaluate the request independently and refuse to cooperate with the authorities.

If the 'filters' - i.e. direct access - that is the ambition of CDB were to be put into place, then tipping-off becomes an entirely academic question. CSPs WOULD NOT KNOW who and what the probes were looking at.


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 Post subject: Re: What powers does CDB give over RIPA?
PostPosted: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 09:16:58 +0000 
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davegould wrote:
RIPA is one of those bills that was probably deliberately incomprehensible such that no-one could find anything to object to before it passed.

If I remember correctly it was unlimited data collection with compulsory installation of surveillance equipment and criminal penalties for providers to even mention they were spying on anyone.

My understanding is that RIPA does NOT force Telcos and ISPs to collect any data that they wouldn't otherwise collect in the normal course of their business (e.g. for billing purposes). However, it DOES force them to hand over the data that they do collect, without a warrant, to any one of about 800 official bodies.

CDB, for the first time, would allow government to force ISPs and Telcos to collect specific types of data that the government wants, but which the Telcos and ISPs don't want or need. And then hand it over under similar terms to RIPA, again with no warrant.

Initially RIPA only allowed about half a dozen law-enforcement agencies to demand data, but this list was radically extended by order (i.e. unvetted by parliament) to include job centres, 474 local councils, the Chief Inspector of Schools, Office of Fair Trading, Charity Commission, DEFRA, Driving Standards Agency, and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. It looks as though the Home Office has the same game-plan for CDB - initially only a short list of law-enforcers would have CDB powers, but the list could be extended by order. Agencies that have RIPA powers are, of course, queuing up to make the case to get CDB powers.

IMHO the key point to make is that RIPA has been amended to force Councils to get a Magistrate's Warrant before they can use RIPA powers (because of a public outcry). If these safeguards are needed for (elected) councils, surely they're also needed for (unelected) Quangos, HMRC, Police, etc, etc.

If officialdom needs a warrant to search someone's house, it should also need a warrant to search their communications data.

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 Post subject: Re: What powers does CDB give over RIPA?
PostPosted: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 15:22:06 +0000 
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Very helpful.

One thing she was concerned about was the terrorist threat. Something interesting she said was that Westminster is frequently swamped by police so it certainly gives MPs the impression there is a terrorist threat.

Also, this might be a good argument for Tories:

Cameron is taking a stand on not leaving a door open for NuLabour to silence the press. Tories are thereby indirectly brainwashed to believe in this. However, it's then stupid to leave a door open with enabling legislation such as this.

I will pass on her details to Andrew. If the Bill isn't killed next week, I should be able to lobby at least two other coalition MPs. Also happy to lobby re: Justice and Security Bill although that's off-topic. Those who need to, know my contact details.


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