A Question of Trust report on powers and laws issued today draws a response from UK industry body
Today’s publication of A Question of Trust by David Anderson QC, sparked Antony Walker, deputy CEO of techUK to respond:
"David Anderson QC has delivered a carefully researched report that provides a positive and constructive basis for the development of the Investigatory Powers Bill. Anderson’s findings support our position that we need new legislation to strengthen the legal framework and ensure proper democratic oversight. This is a unique opportunity to get the legal framework right for UK citizens, tech companies and UK national security."
On the recommendation to bring a number of existing pieces of legislation under one comprehensive new law:
"Bringing the surveillance capabilities of agencies under one single piece of legislation, [as previously proposed by the Intelligence and Security Committee], would address the repeated calls from industry for clarity and consistency. By developing a clear legal framework the government can both make the UK safer and protect our fundamental democratic values."
On bulk data retention
"We strongly agree with Anderson that ‘early and intensive dialogue’ with law enforcement and tech companies is critical in formulating an updated and coordinated position."
On the recommendation to strengthen independence of those authorising requests
"We have repeatedly expressed concern about the need for effective oversight. Anderson’s recommendation that those who authorise requests for communications data should be independent from operations and investigations is extremely important and a step in the right direction for strengthening public trust in how communications data is obtained by agencies."
"It is highly significant that both Sheinwald and Anderson have recognised that issues of extra-territoriality and conflicts of jurisdiction cannot be ignored. But as Anderson makes clear, concrete steps can be taken by governments to address these issues. We agree that UK Government must take the lead in developing a new international framework for data-sharing to address real and pressing limitations that are caused by conflicts between different national laws."
On key definitions to be used in the future Bill
"techUK agrees with Anderson that the definitions of content and of communications data should be reviewed, clarified and brought up to date. Precise definitions are fundamental to creating good law."
"Encryption is fundamental for keeping our modern digital economy safe and secure. Anderson’s report is an important step forward in informing the debate on this vital issue. However it remains unclear what the solution is when companies simply don’t have access to encrypted data, and we must avoid solutions that threaten the integrity of the internet itself."