Firms quit UK over RIP Bill

I've heard that petrochemical firms and several banks have been quietly taking their international secure IT processing out of the UK - to Ireland, Singapore and the US.



John Riley

I've heard that petrochemical firms and several banks have been quietly taking their international secure IT processing out of the UK - to Ireland, Singapore and the US. This could cost more than 30,000 IT jobs plus all the related capability.

They're doing it without fuss. They don't want to worry their customers. All they're leaving in the UK is domestic processing.

This exodus is a direct result of worries about the effect of the RIP Bill. Firms fear the breadth of powers it provides to various groups to intercept confidential commercial data. They are not trying to fight any more. They're just going. They fear the UK simply isn't a safe place for confidential data.

The petrochemical industry, a prime target for industrial espionage, has been the first to go. Banks are following.

The Home Office, which has been promoting the Bill, has watched Parliamentary draughtsmen add all sorts of impractical just-in-case bells and whistles, heavily weighted in favour of the spooks.

Tony Blair seems blissfully unaware how all his fine words about the UK being the best place for e-business are fast unravelling through Jack Straw's unworkable spooks charter to eavesdrop the Web.

The Bill is a dog's breakfast and has the makings of yet another national IT disaster.

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