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News - 11 July 2014

New emergency phone and internet data storage law to be introduced.

 Emergency legislation, which has the backing of Labour and the coalition parties, will be brought in next week to force phone and internet companies to log records of customer calls, texts and internet use.

 
Ministers say it is necessary so police and security services can access the data they need after a legal ruling which declared existing powers invalid.
 
Prime Minister David Cameron and his Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg say that emergency legislation is necessary to keep the country safe.
 
Stuart Coleman, Data Protection Officer at ABDS comments:
“A recent ruling of the European Court of Justice has removed the obligation on telecoms companies to retain records of when and who their customers have called, texted and emailed. Without a new law the government claims that that information could be destroyed within weeks by companies fearing legal challenges.”
 
Controversially, the new law will also produce what is being described as a "clearer legal framework" to allow access to the content of calls, texts and emails after a warrant is signed by a senior government minister. Telecoms companies are said to have warned ministers that after the Edward Snowdon revelations they are vulnerable to legal challenge by their customers.
 
Safeguards are to include:
  • The creation of a new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to examine the impact of the law on privacy and civil liberties
  • A review of the controversial RIPA - Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act
  • Annual government transparency reports on how these powers are used
  • The law will include a so-called sunset clause - ensuring that these powers will die in 2016 - so there will be a longer and wider debate about what replaces them.
 
For those who are looking for a more personal approach on a range of individual and business related issues, contact us at ABDS.
 
ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900 E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net
 
Brilliant with numbers  
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals
 
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