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Tories promise RIP review

The Conservative Party has pledged to review the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act and the telecoms market in a manifesto aimed at "freeing the IT sector".

Although it welcomes the powers that the RIP Act gives police in criminal investigations, the Tory manifesto opposes the "enormously damaging" record-keeping burden it places on IT departments.

Alan Duncan, the shadow technology minister, said, "I cannot see the need for all this regulation. For example, I am sure that if MI5 went to an ISP and said it was investigating terrorism it would receive help voluntarily.

"I believe the IT industry is in the best place to regulate itself."

The manifesto said a Conservative government would review the telecoms market to ensure there is the fair and open access to local networks needed to rekindle the UK's floundering broadband industry.

Duncan said the Tories would also put strong pressure on Oftel to ensure that BT opens its local loop to competitors. The controversial auction of licences for fixed wireless broadband, which left much of the country uncovered would be staged again, he added.

The manifesto also promises to repeal the IR35 tax regulations that have hit IT contractors.



David Brown

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