ISPs call for users to sit on RIPsnooping board



Bill Goodwin

Internet service providers have urged the Government to give IT users a voice on a new committee that will advise...



Bill Goodwin

Internet service providers have urged the Government to give IT users a voice on a new committee that will advise ministers on the technical feasibility of telephone call and e-mail interception systems.

The Technical Advisory Board is being established later this year as part of the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act. The board will assess orders made by law enforcement agencies requiring telecoms firms and ISPs to install monitoring services.

The current proposals call for the board to be made up equally of representatives from the Government and communication service providers, including Internet, mobile and telecoms companies.

But ISPs are urging the Government, which has given companies until 24 February to respond to the proposals, to create a "technically neutral" body that would include general business representatives and civil liberties campaigners as well as technical specialists.

Roland Perry, acting chief executive of the London Internet Exchange, said it did not make sense for the board to focus on particular communications technologies when they are changing so rapidly.

"One of the reasons for the RIP Act is to try and introduce some technical independence," he said.

The Home Office is also seeking comments on the interception requirements that will be imposed on telephone companies and ISPs under the RIP Act. They stipulate that service providers should allow for the simultaneous interception of up to one in 10,000 users.

bill.goodwin@rbi.co.uk

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