The UK Investigatory Powers bill – hang on, why is nobody abbreviating it as the UKIP bill? OK, we’ll play ball, it’s the IP Bill – has passed into law. It’s fair to say that a number of IT experts and businesses gave their views before the thing passed into the statute books, but that is as nothing compared to the amount that have been in charge since the thing became law.
So, when we publish the comments that followed – and these are proactively submitted, we have deliberately not asked anyone for their views, these came to us unbidden – here’s the question. Where was the expertise when this thing was gestating?
Post-legislation commentary on IP bill
Here are some of the thoughts people have shared post-“snooper’s charter” as it became known before the law changed.
“The best way to fight against the legislation is to employ a VPN (virtual private network) that encrypts the internet traffic traveling to and from a device. ISPs and the government cannot see the final destination of a VPN user’s web traffic–only that their data is being sent to a remote server. However, not all VPNs can protect you from the Snooper’s Charter, so it is important to learn the distinction,” said one pitch. Best way to fight against the legislation? Why would you need to fight against legislation?
““UK citizens are right to demonstrate peacefully against such draconian measures. That this bill has received such a strong and immediate response from the public, after being passed only 9 days ago, should leave no doubts about their scepticism. Not only is the bill overly intrusive, it is not clear. Our own Consumer Openness Index shows fifty-three percent of the public believe that the impact of the IP Bill has not been adequately explained by Theresa May and lacks a balanced argument,” said someone else.
We are deliberately not mentioning the names because the point is not the names, it’s the timing. There may or may not be a thousand things wrong with the IP bill, but the time to make the objections clear isn’t after it happened, it was before. The point would not be worth making but for the fact that it’s happened before. The passion with which the Remain campaign for EU membership in the UK was simply not in evidence before the argument was lost. Likewise, the anti-IP bill people are more voluble now that the issue has been settled.
Perhaps another time the people who feel strongly – in this instance the IT community – could make their presence felt before rather than after the nick of time..?