Draft Comms Data Bill Select Committee appearance for oral evidence #ccdp

portcullisYesterday I gave oral evidence to the Draft Communications Data Bill Joint Select Committee1. It’s the first time I have been asked to give evidence like this and something one has to take very seriously.

I was with three others: Caspar Bowden who is a colleague on the ICO Technology Reference Panel, Dr Gus Hosein of Privacy International and David Walker, a security consultant. The committee has been seeing groups according to their rough views on the draft Bill and readers of this blog will not be surprised to hear2 that this cohort was one that had concerns.

The afternoon’s evidence sessions were reported by the Beeb.

I’m sure that I will already have mentioned that the potential consequences of this Bill becoming Law are so great that it merits the most comprehensive discussion before hand. Today is the last day of evidence sessions with the Home secretary Theresa May being up before the committee.

I don’t have access to the inner thoughts of the committee but I did get a sense of the following:

  1. the fact that many communications use encrypted traffic and that this is likely to cause problems is recognised
  2. the issue of dealing with overseas providers is not likely to be an easy one
  3. the process of oversight of the RIPA system notices needs overhauling, especially if the Bill proceeds
I’m also hoping that the message got  through that nothing can ever be totally secure and that any data gathered under this Bill/Act would eventually make its way into the public domain with disastrous consequences.
I don’t have a handle of the timetable for the rest of this process (enlightenment anyone?) but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Bill move forward in some reduced form. In the meantime we have to keep up the pressure. More in the fullness of time, a week is a long time in politics etc etc etc.

1 bit of a mouthful/oral evidence/geddit?

2 some previous posts include this one

Published by Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of trefor.net, writer, poet, philosopherontap.com

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