ISPA, the voice of the UK internet industry, has listed five principles to underpin reform of surveillance laws and regulations on how communications data is collected, accessed and overseen. Whilst we support reasonable access to communications data, any regime should be clearly defined, proportionate and have the strongest possible oversight.

The Internet plays a vital role the economy and wider society and we call on Government to recognise public and industry concerns over data retention and interception, and that any future policies do not erode trust in the Internet and harm the international reputation of the UK.

The five principles are:

  • Data minimisation – Data retention should be limited as far as possible both in terms of data being retained and accessed
  • Oversight maximisation – Data retention should be governed by a clear legal framework in which executive powers are subject to strong checks and balances
  • Transparent operation – Data retention risks undermining public trust in communication networks if government does not publish information about the number of requests made to CSPs
  • Jurisdictional respect - Any data retention regime must allow for a clear, robust and workable system to govern cooperation across jurisdictions
  • Competitiveness – The impact of a communications data regime must protect the UK’s position as an attractive arena for digital businesses

Announcing the principles, ISPA Secretary General Nicholas Lansman said “the Internet plays a huge part in all our lives, and we ask that Government follow these principles when developing policy in this area to maintain public trust in the Internet and ensure the UK digital economy continues to thrive and innovate”.

These principles form part of ISPA’s submission to the Anderson Review, the Government review of investigatory powers which was part of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) passed earlier in the year. Our response in full can be seen here.

About ISPA

The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) was established in 1995, currently has 200 members and is the voice of the UK internet industry to Government, parliament, regulators and the media.

For a list of members or other information about ISPA, please visit our website on or follow us on twitter @ISPAUK. You can also reach us by phone on 0203 397 3308.

The views expressed in this release are those of the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) and do not necessarily reflect the corporate policies of the individual companies that are members of the Association or other organisations that may be mentioned in the release.