Home Office widens interception law debate


The Home Office has agreed to meet with civil society campaigners to discuss a review into UK interception laws.

Earlier this month, the Government called for a consultation over proposed changes to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), following pressure from the European Commission.

Brussels had called on the UK to change its laws after the controversial trialling of Phorm software, which tracked user behaviour.

The Open Rights Group slammed the way in which the Government handled the consultation, claiming there was little time to give responses with a deadline of 7 December.

Now the Government has extended the deadline to 17 December and agreed to meet with civil society representatives next week, including the Open Rights Group.

"This is a small but important victory ... It is vital that civil society is not 'locked out' of discussions like this, allowing industrial voices to determine the agenda alone," said Jim Killock, the Open Rights Group's executive director.

"We fought for several years to get these laws changed."

The campaigning body has now called on people to share their views on the review of RIPA, which covers interception laws. The Open Rights Group will then take any pertinent concerns to Government officials.

Under the proposals, even unintentional interception of communications could be punished.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.