Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The screw tightens

Computer Weekly reveals that refusal to provide the authorities with your encryption key could land you in jail for five years.
The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) has had a clause activated which allows a person to be compelled to reveal a decryption key. Two people have been convicted so far but their sentences and crimes are unknown.

The Register reports on the non-news regarding local authority snooping under RIPA powers, informing us that most snooping is carried out by the police, GCHQ and MI5. They have demanded communications data from telephone and internet providers well over half a million times annually and all that's required is permission from a senior officer. It notes that under the Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) this will be so much easier.

Who is responsible to the voters in our 'democracy'? Did I hear you reply:"Parliament"? Bless you, no. The three former High Court judges responsible for scrutiny of snooping - the Interception of Communications Commissioner, the Intelligence Services Commissioner, and the Chief Surveillance Commissioner - all deliver their reports directly to Number 10.

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