Entanet says passing the emergency data bill marks a sad day for British democracy

July 11, 2014

Telford, 14 July 2014 – Entanet, the leading wholesale communications services provider and an influential voice in the industry, has reacted to the government plans to push an emergency bill on data retention through as a sad day for British democracy and a move that will trample on the rights of citizens.

The European Court of Justice has previously stated that the EU’s Data Retention Directive is invalid and the Communications Data Bill has twice been shelved. In 2012, the UK government said it would take a methodical and deeply consultative approach to reviewing the Bill and involve key parties as appropriate. But the government announced earlier this week that it was rushing through legislation before Parliament recedes for the summer.

In Entanet’s view the action is little more than stitch-up, being put forward as it is at a time when there will be no time for further consultation or for MPs to consider it in any detail.

Entanet Product Manager, Paul Heritage-Redpath, who gave evidence to the UK Joint Committee on the Communications Data Bill in October 2012, states: “At a time when the Snowden revelations have shown the enormous extent to which ordinary citizens’ private communications are caught up in government surveillance activities, it is outrageous that laws affecting each and every one of us are being passed seemingly without any of the normal parliamentary oversight or debate.

“I gave evidence to the Joint Committee of the House of Commons and House of Lords speaking against the thoroughly discredited Communications Data Bill. In their report that Select Committee said [para 284]*1: ‘Before re-drafted legislation is introduced there should be a new round of consultation with technical experts, industry, law enforcement bodies, public authorities and civil liberties groups.’

“The report also said that there should be ‘stronger safeguards’ and that service providers should be given a clear understanding of why the legislation is necessary.’ Even Charles Farr, director-general, Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism in the Home Office, conceded in his evidence that discussions with communications and Internet companies ‘need to continue and go into more detail as we get closer to the time when the Bill is enacted, should it be so.’

“It seems that now, none of that consultation is going to take place. There has been zero consultation. Instead, we will have a law that has been rushed through that gives the government tremendous power – and which the European Court of Justice has rejected. Once again the UK state is flying in the face of public opinion, ignoring industry experts and trampling on citizens’ rights in an attempt to extend its powers over technologies those in power understand little of and have even less control over. This is a sad day for British democracy.”

— ENDS —

Notes to editors:
*1 – see http://www.parliament.uk/documents/joint-committees/communications-data/Oral%20Evidence%20Volume.pdf

About Entanet
Entanet is a leading wholesale voice and data communications provider and operates via a network of wholesale and resale channel partners. It was founded in 1996 by Taiwanese entrepreneur Jason Tsai and employs over 80 staff at its offices in Telford, Shropshire.

In February 2014, mid-market equity investor Mobeus Equity Partners made an initial £6 million investment to support a £14 million management buyout. Jason Tsai remains a significant shareholder.

Entanet offers an extensive portfolio of connectivity services, including wholesale and packaged broadband, leased lines, EFM, IP VPNs, hosting and co-location, VoIP and traditional telecoms. The company operates its own fully-resilient nationwide next generation network which enables it and its partners to provide up to 10Gbps capacity to customers right across the UK. In addition, it has further connectivity into Amsterdam and Frankfurt and over 900 peering relationships across Europe.

The quality of Entanet’s services and its commitment to partners has been widely recognised. The company was recently named Best Channel ISP in the 2013 Comms National Awards and as the winner in the 2013 ISPA Awards for Best Business Fixed Broadband. In the Comms National Awards 2012 it was awarded Best Channel Wholesale Service Provider. It also received the ISPA award for Best Internet Telephony in 2011 and was short-listed in the Specialist Services Vendor of the Year category in the CRN Channel Awards – an accolade it has won twice in previous years. The company has also been listed on a number of occasions in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100, Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA and other listings of fast-growing, privately-held UK companies.

For more information contact:
Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing
Entanet International Ltd
Tel: 0333 101 0000
Email: marketing@enta.net