WHATSAPP USER AND OPPOSER, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, has been asked why the Home Office seemingly went out of its way to not help the privacy community properly address the onerous Investigatory Powers Act.
The Open Rights Group (ORG), and a number of other such groups, were given a six-week period in which to respond to the Investigatory Powers crap that started in February. They've finished early and voiced a number of criticisms and concerns. They are concerned that the Home Office has been a bit of a dick here, and chose to communicate in lawyer speak, presumably with the intention of bamboozling people.
"Dear Home Secretary, As you know in February, the Home Office gave us six weeks to respond to your consultation on five codes of practice required by the Investigatory Powers Act," it says.
"These documents contain information about the functioning of UK surveillance powers and how these very intrusive and often risky activities are to be used in practice. However, the five documents now being consulted on include a total 413 pages of dense legal text.
"They are accompanied by a mere nine pages of notes, including just 15 paragraphs to describe what is at issue in the entire 413 pages of the five codes of practice. The 15 paragraphs describe only what the activities constitute, and in no way delineate what the Codes are attempting to deliver or protect."
The consultation then, is more of a confusathon. Needless to say, the concerned parties have a number of problems with the phug that the documents have thrown up, and don't see how they can possibly embrace and use them.
"Amber Rudd wants to be trusted with even more powers to remove security at WhatsApp, yet she is running the flimsiest possible consultation process for her existing powers, designed to stop people from understanding whatever she is proposing," said Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group.
Rudd is told that the Home Office has done the privacy community no favours. This is unlikely to surprise or concern the Home Office or the Home Secretary. It's quite convincing, though.
"The changes between the drafts shown to Parliament and the proposed codes are not in any way documented in the accompanying notes, yet fundamental differences can be found, such as changing duties from "must" to "may".The Codes are often restructured and reordered from the drafts in ways that are unhelpful in detecting the changes."
"There has been no effort to reach out, for instance through meetings or workshops, to brief people about the contents of the documents," adds the letter.
"In short, responding to the consultation on the five codes is an enormous piece of work for anyone to undertake, and the Home Office has made it near to impossible to provide a meaningful response."
Well, call us surprised. µ
We should be shocked, but...
But the search giant has now squashed the bug
But it's not yet available here in Blighty