Entanet asks ‘will the government ever listen to the Internet industry?’

December 3, 2014

New legislation aimed at getting Internet companies to monitor customer communications is a further example of how actions are being taken without proper consultation

Telford, 03 December 2014 – Wholesale connectivity provider Entanet has published a new opinion piece on its website commenting on the UK government for rushing through legislation and without properly consulting the Internet industry or parliament about what is possible and practical.

The new Counter Terrorism and Security Bill (CTSB) is, the company states, another classic example of action being taken in response to a high profile (and in this case highly emotive) issue in the run-up to an election.

In the article, Paul Heritage-Redpath, Entanet Product Manager, states: “Unfortunately, once again parliament has failed to grasp the technical aspects of this issue. Not only have they confused Facebook (and Google) with ‘ISPs’, they seem to think that this new Bill will enable ISPs to ‘snoop’ on their customers’ social media posts – which isn’t the case. Facebook in particular encrypts all information, which means no UK ISP will be able to access this information, regardless of the new laws. The additional fact that Facebook is a US-based company decreases the likelihood that they will comply with any ‘requests’ from the UK to change these practices.”

One of the concerns of the proposed new Bill is the fact that it will once again focus on the IP address to identify a user. The article states: “The government regularly calls on the industry to work with them, yet when we do they ignore our suggestions and concerns and then impose new regulations on us that will provide little benefit to the investigations. When are they going to learn to listen to us?”

ISPA has already voiced its disappointment that the Home Office did not consult with industry on proposals for IP matching, but has said it will work with its members to scrutinise and inform the legislation, notwithstanding that the fast-track process being used makes this challenging.

Heritage-Redpath also points out that previous efforts to introduce legislation covering the monitoring of email and other communications have been thwarted by concerns over privacy and the sheer enormity of the task.

Currently, ISPs are required to provide details of specific customer communications when requested to do so by the police or security agencies using a RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) notice. ISPs do not, at present, proactively monitor or scan customer communications for potential ‘illegal’ activity or terrorist threats.

Heritage-Redpath states: “We don’t have the legal power to do so and we, as ISPs, are not the police – therefore should not be making such judgements.”

A full version of the post is available to read at: http://www.enta.net/opinion/2014/11/26/counter-terrorism-security-bill-uk-government-listen-industry/

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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 101 000