A UK TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY GROUP is calling on the Home Office to be more open about its plans for the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).
TechUK, which counts BT Openreach, Microsoft and Accenture as members, is responding to comments made by former head of MI6 Sir John Sawers at an event in London on Tuesday about industry and government collaboration.
RIPA is at the heart of TechUK's complaints, along with various draft codes of practice that are apparently too drafty, and the suggestion that industry should just accept them.
Sawers' comments were made at an event concerning trust in sources that was hosted by Edelman. A transcript of his talk is available online (PDF).
He said that Edward Snowden's revelations about the UK GCHQ and the US National Security Agency had damaged relations with industry and that this needs fixing.
Sawers suggested that a new arrangement, or a refreshed one, should be put in place between the two parties, and that this would help in the fight against terrorism.
"It was certainly a great concern for me that the informal cooperation that worked well between most technology companies and communication companies and security services was broken by the Snowden revelations and has not been repaired," he said.
"Snowden threw a massive rock in the pool. The ripples from that still have not died down, but it has provoked a debate on these very difficult issues.
"There needs to be some new compact between the technology companies and those who are responsible for security if we are not to see events like we saw in Paris last week."
A lot of RIPA-related responses come from the scandalised camp, but TechUK said that it takes legal obligations seriously.
"Sawers called for a new relationship between industry and the security services, but this has to be firmly rooted in law," said Antony Walker, deputy CEO of TechUK.
"In a democratic society, the only way to protect security, freedom and trust is through the creation of an appropriate, proportionate and transparent legal framework.
"In order to achieve this, further changes are required to the current draft Codes of Practice." µ
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