ORG policy update/2018-w04

This is ORG's Policy Update for the week beginning 22/01/2018.

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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 ORG Glasgow on 1 February for a discussion of future plans for the group.
  • Join ORG Cambridge on 6 February at their monthly meetup to discuss what the group has done in the past month, and what is planned for the coming months.

Official meetings

  • Javier Ruiz, Slavka Bielikova, and Caitlin Bishop attended Privacy Camp and CPDP 2018 in Brussels, appearing on and organising several panels at the event.
  • Alex Haydock gave a presentation to ORG London on ORG's current legal activity and potential future challenges of interest.
  • Matthew Rice met with the National Union of Journalists to discuss the Scottish Defamation Bill.
  • Matthew Rice met with Police Scotland regarding the Vulnerable Persons Database.
  • Jim Killock met with the Internet Watch Foundation to discuss their Internet content regulation work and policies.
  • Jim Killock met with National Trading Standards and LINX to discuss Internet content regulation.

UK Parliament

Investigatory Powers Act Regulations pass through House of Commons unmodified

On Thursday 25 January, the House of Commons briefly considered a number of statutory regulations related to powers under the Investigatory Powers Act. The following pieces of delegated legislation were considered:

  • Draft Investigatory Powers (Interception by Businesses etc. for Monitoring and Record-keeping Purposes) Regulations 2018
  • Draft Investigatory Powers (Technical Capability) Regulations 2018
  • Draft Investigatory Powers (Review of Notices and Technical Advisory Board) Regulations 2018
  • Draft Investigatory Powers (Codes of Practice) Regulations 2018

The regulations were passed by the Delegated Legislation Committee after a series of three divisions which resulted in votes of 13-1 in favour of the legislation. SNP MP Stuart C. McDonald voted against in each of the divisions.

Data Protection Bill

The Data Protection Bill had its first reading in the House of Commons last week and is awaiting a second Commons reading before Committee Stage can begin. A date for the second reading has not yet been announced.

The Bill still contains the controversial "immigration exemption", which ORG have campaigned against during earlier stages. For more information, see last week's policy update.

ORG are planning future outreach campaigns targeting MPs and MEPs, intended to highlight our concerns with some of the provisions of the Bill.

Other national developments

Digital Charter

The Government published its Digital Charter this week, outlining its intentions to position the UK as "the safest place to be online and the best place to start and grow a digital business."

The Charter outlines a "Work Programme" that the Government intends to follow to achieve these goals.

Among other things, the Government's work programme outlines that they are focusing on:

  • "protecting people from harmful content and behaviour, including building understanding and resilience, and working with industry to encourage the development of technological solutions";
  • "looking at the legal liability that online platforms have for the content shared on their sites, including considering how we could get more effective action through better use of the existing legal frameworks and definitions";
  • "ensuring data is used in safe and ethical way, and when decisions are made based on data, these are fair and appropriately transparent"; and
  • "limiting the spread and impact of disinformation intended to mislead for political, personal and/or financial gain".

The Charter can be viewed here.

Report on the Terrorism Acts in 2016

The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, Max Hill, has published an annual report detailing the operation of the Terrorism Acts in 2016.

Notable selections from the report include:

  • The Terrorism Act stop and search powers were used 483 times in Great Britain with an arrest rate of 9%. The powers were used 197 times in Northern Ireland. The power to stop and search without suspicion was not used.
  • The number of Terrorism Act arrests decreased compared to 2015, with Northern Ireland recording the lowest number of arrests in any year since 2001.
  • There were 62 trials for terrorism related offences in 2016. Of these, 54 persons were convicted and 8 acquitted.

The full content of the report can be found here.

ORG media coverage

See ORG Press Coverage for full details.

2018-01-23-BBC News-NHS Digital approves data off-shoring in new guidance
Author: BBC News
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in a story about the NHS storing data offshore, and the US Privacy Shield scheme.
Topics: Data protection, Privacy
2018-01-24-IT PRO-NHS Digital greenlights off-shore data storage
Author: Dale Walker
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in a story about the NHS storing data offshore, and the US Privacy Shield scheme.
Topics: Data protection, Privacy
2018-01-25-The Inquirer-ORG slams NHS Digital's data off-shoring plan as a 'dangerous move'
Author: Tom Allen
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in a story about the NHS storing data offshore, and the US Privacy Shield scheme.
Topics: Data protection, Privacy

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