ORG policy update/2018-w02

This is ORG's Policy Update for the week beginning 08/01/2018.

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ORG’s work

  • ORG have started fundraising to recruit more permanent members of our legal team. Join ORG today to help out!
  • ORG launched a new petition against printer manufacturer Epson's attempts to get eBay to remove listings of third-party ink cartridges from their marketplace.
  • ORG is running a petition against the Government’s misguided proposals threatening fines for internet companies who do not rapidly censor extremist material shared on their platforms. Sign the petition here!
  • ORG have been hard at work updating the court ordered blocks section of the Blocked! tool to display clearer and more accurate information about court ordered blocks.

Planned local group events:

  • Join the newly-reformed ORG Norwich on 22 January for their revival meetup and to discuss their plans for the future.
  • See ORG's legal director Myles Jackman speak at an ORG London event on 24 January. Come along to hear about ORG's past legal successes and plans for the future.

Official meetings

  • Jim Killock and Alex Haydock met with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to discuss the Government's progress implementing the Digital Economy Act's rules requiring age verification systems for pornographic content.
  • Jim Killock met Article 19 and ISPA to discuss UK Internet censorship, and FACT to discuss their domain seizures.
  • Slavka Bielikova met with Unison and the3million to discuss the Data Protection Bill.

UK Parliament

Peers debate Data Protection Bill Section 80(2)

This week, the House of Lords debated the Section 80(2) amendment to the Data Protection Bill that has been pushed and supported by ORG.

Lord Ashton of Hyde argued against the amendment, noting:

The Government are sympathetic to the idea of facilitating greater private enforcement, but we continue to believe that the Bill as drafted provides significant and sufficient recourse for data subjects. In our view, there is no need to invoke article 80(2) of the GDPR, with all the risks and potential pitfalls that that entails.

Lord Ashton went on to propose instead that the bill be amended to include a provision to review the effectiveness of the relevant sections two years after the bill receives Royal Assent. This mirrors an earlier suggestion made by the department in charge of the Bill (DCMS), but is slightly stronger as the review would have a statutory footing in the bill itself, rather than the previous suggestion which amounted to a "commitment to review" by the DCMS.

Labour and Lib Dem Peers supported Lord Ashton's suggestion of a review amendment. ORG still do not believe periodic review is sufficient, but are pleased to see such review being placed on a statutory footing in the bill itself.

You can read ORG's recent blog post on the DEBill's progress here.

The third reading of the Bill is expected to take place in the House of Lords on the 17 January, and the Bill is expected to begin its progress through the House of Commons by the end of the month.

Other national developments

Annual report of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner

This week Tony Porter, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, published his annual report commenting on the implementation of surveillance camera aystems, and outlining his future plans.

Among other things, the report highlights the threat of surveillance camera hacking, stressing importance of prioritising the security of surveillance systems. It also highlighted that the ability to effectively regulate an improvement in the operation of surveillance camera systems in public is hampered by the restricted range of organisations that must comply with the Home Secretary’s Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.

It also comments on ANPR, suggesting:

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) one of the largest non military databases in the UK, should be placed on a statutory footing by the Government. It has a national infrastructure of approximately 9,000 cameras that captures between 25 to 40 million pieces of data (citizens’ number plates) per day and up to 20 to 30 billion records are held.

You can read the full report here.

Questions in the UK Parliament

Question about Police use of IMSI catchers

Thengam Debbnaire asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police forces operate an International Mobile Subscriber Identifier (IMSI) catcher, and what guidance the Government provided on their use.

Nick Hurd MP replied, noting that:

Investigative activity by public authorities involving interference with property or wireless telegraphy is regulated by the Police Act 1997 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994, which set out the high level of authorisation required before law enforcement or the security and intelligence agencies can undertake such activity.

He also noted that the use of all such covert investigation powers is overseen by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

Question about the implementation of the EU NIS Directive

Brendan O'Hara asked the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport what plans the department has to implement the EU Network and Information Systems Directive.

Margot James replied, noting that the National Cyber Security Centre intends to publish cross-sector security guidance in January 2018, and that "compliance will be monitored and enforced by sector based Competent Authorities".

Question about the application of GDPR after Brexit

Lord Laird asked the whether the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) will continue to have jurisdiction in the UK after Brexit in relation to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Lord Ashton of Hyde confirmed that, while the direct jurisdiction of the CJEU will cease upon leaving the EU, the Data Protection Bill and the EU (Withdrawal) Bill would ensure that all of the provisions of GDPR were incorporated into UK law.

ORG media coverage

See ORG Press Coverage for full details.

2018-01-05-BBC News-Porn age-checks risk pushing children to dark web, officials warn
Author: Brian Wheeler
Summary: Myles Jackman quoted in a story about potential problems with age verification.
Topics: Privacy
2018-01-05-Gizmodo UK-The Government has Admitted That Porn Age Checks Could Harm Small ISPs and Increase Fraud
Author: Tom Pritchard
Summary: Myles Jackman quoted in a story about potential problems with age verification.
Topics: Privacy
2018-01-09-EU Observer-Commission: 120 minutes to remove illegal online content
Author: Nikolaj Nielsen
Summary: EU Observer uses an ORG quote from a Dec 2017 BBC News story in an article about the EU Commission's suggestion that internet platform providers equip themselves to remove extremist material on their platform within 2 hours.
Topics: Online censorship

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