ORG policy update/2018-w05

This is ORG's Policy Update for the week beginning 29/01/2018.

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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 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.
  • ORG Oxford is back! Join them at Oxford Hackspace on 12 February for their first event.

Official meetings

  • Jim Killock and Alex Haydock attended the Supreme Court hearing in the Cartier web blocking challenge, along with David Allen Green, who prepared ORG's submissions in the case.
  • Jim Killock attended a meeting with Nominet to discuss domain suspensions in the UK.
  • Mike Morel and Alex Haydock visited Glasgow to deliver a free speech training workshop to members of the ORG Scotland local groups.
  • Slavka Bielikova attended a roundtable with other organisations interested in campaigning against the immigration exemption from the Data Protection Bill.

UK Parliament

Investigatory Powers Act Regulations pass through House of Lords unmodified

After passing through the House of Commons last week, the four Investigatory Powers Act Regulations were considered on Thursday by the House of Lords.

The Regulations considered were passed unmodified and were as follows:

  • 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 full debate can be read here.

BBFC Approved as Age Verification Regulator

After consideration on Thursday by the by the House of Lords, and by the House of Commons' Delegated Legislation Committee, Parliament approved the BBFC as the regulatory body for age verification services.

The "Particulars of Proposed Designation of Age-Verification Regulator" was drafted in December 2017 and outlines the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's vision for the BBFC's role and operation as regulator.

The Commons' Delegated Legislation Committee debate can be read here, and the House of Lords debate can be read here.

Other national developments

Court of Appeal rules mass surveillance illegal

On January 30, the Court of Appeal handed down a judgment in the case originally brought by Tom Watson MP and David Davis MP against DRIPA. After receiving the judgment of the CJEU, and after the publication of the Government's consultation in November 2017, the Court of Appeal delivered its final judgment in the case on 30 January 2018.

The judgment carried the following notable points:

  • Surveillance data retained for the purposes of fighting crime should be restricted to "serious crime"; and
  • Access to retained data must be approved by a court or other administrative body.

The Court also refused to rule on a number of points, citing other ongoing litigation at the time of the judgment. Namely:

  • The Court refused to rule on the issue of whether the judgment of the CJEU applied to "national security", noting that this would be ruled on in an ongoing case brought by Privacy International in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal;
  • The Court noted that the issue of whether collected data must be retained within the EU was also to be decided in Privacy International's Investigatory Powers Tribunal Challenge;
  • The Court considered the question of whether people were eligible to be notified that they had been surveilled at a time when notification would no longer pose a risk to ongoing investigations. Again, it concluded that this would be an issue in the ongoing Privacy International case.
  • Finally, the Court considered whether it was able to rule on the question of whether data retained for security purposes could only be retained in cases where a specific person or set of people could be linked to serious criminal offences and the data could be reasonably assumed to assist in the prevention of such offences. The Court determined that this issue would be addressed in Liberty's ongoing challenge against the Investigatory Powers Act.

Security of Network and Information Systems Directive consultation responses

On 29 January 2018, the Government published responses to their consultation on the Security of Network and Information Systems Directive.

The Government published its proposals for improving the security of the UK’s essential services through the NIS directive in a public consultation in 2017. ​ This consultation covered six main topics -

  • How to identify essential services
  • A national Framework to manage implementation
  • The security requirements for operators of essential services
  • The incident reporting requirements for operators of essential services
  • The requirements on Digital Service Providers
  • The proposed penalty regime

According to the consultation response document: "The Government received over 350 responses to its consultation. These responses showed that there was broad support for the Government’s approach and that in the main, the Government’s proposals were thought to be appropriate and proportionate."

The consultation response document is available here.

Questions in the UK Parliament

Question about offensive online communications

Joan Ryan asked the Secretary of State for Justice what further steps his Department plans to take to review legislation on offensive online communications; and if he would make a statement.

Lucy Frazer responded that the legislation that can be used to prosecute offensive online communications includes the Protection from Harassment Act 1997; the Malicious Communications Act 1988; and the Communications Act 2003. She also noted that the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 made changes to the relevant offences in these last two Acts which aim to "ensure that people who commit them are prosecuted and properly punished".

Frazer confirmed that the department had "no current plan to introduce specific additional legislation to address offensive online communications."

ORG media coverage

See ORG Press Coverage for full details. citizens could soon have to use their passport to access porn
Author: Buzz Contributor
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in a story about age verification, the BBFC, and the dangers posed by a central database of ID connected to users' porn viewing habits.
Topics: Privacy
2018-01-31-Metro-New porn laws will mean Pornhub asks for your name and address before browsing
Author: Rob Waugh
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in a story about age verification, the BBFC, and the dangers posed by a central database of ID connected to users' porn viewing habits.
Topics: Privacy
2018-01-31-bit-tech-Appeals Court rules against government surveillance law
Author: Gareth Halfacree
Summary: Matthew Rice quoted in a story about the Court of Appeal's judgment ruling mass surveillance illegal.
Topics: Surveillance
2018-02-01-Daily Mail-Pornhub will now ask for users' names and addresses before they browse in a move that has triggered fears of Ashley Madison-style blackmail leaks
Author: Stewart Paterson
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in a story about age verification, the BBFC, and the dangers posed by a central database of ID connected to users' porn viewing habits.
Topics: Privacy
2018-02-01-The Inquirer-Pornhub's 'AgeID' system will require punters to hand over their date of birth
Author: Tom Allen
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in a story about age verification, the BBFC, and the dangers posed by a central database of ID connected to users' porn viewing habits.
Topics: Privacy
2018-02-02-Dazed Digital-Inside the disturbing revenge porn forum sharing gay men’s nudes
Author: Michael Rose
Summary: Alex Haydock quoted in an article about a "Revenge Porn" site targeted at sharing explicit images without permission.
Topics: Privacy

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