The article by David Taylor on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act showed a very poor standard of journalism (Invasion of Privacy, 5 April, page 23). Jack Straw has addressed the ‘main flaws’ of the Act.
a) All internet service providers are not required to monitor all data traffic. A few may be required to maintain an intercept capability.
b) There will be no special centre to monitor email traffic at MI5 headquarters. Every single email which is to be opened by the security authorities will require the signature of the Home Secretary on an intercept warrant.
c) The government believes the Act is compliant with the European Convention on Human Rights.
d) There were substantial amendments of the Act in Parliament including setting #20m aside over the next three years to ease the introduction of the Act. As for the final point that the act puts the UK at a disadvantage over the US and Ireland, I can only conclude that it is those who intend to use email and the internet for illegal purposes who are at a disadvantage in the UK.
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