ISPA, the voice of the UK internet industry, believes that today’s report by the Intelligence and Security Committee is a positive development with a number of important recommendations on increased transparency and accountability.
While we welcome some recommendations - such as extra safeguards for metadata that could reveal personal information - we take issue with the Committee’s mischaracterisation of the use of encryption, which could undermine secure services and users’ trust in the Internet. This report marks the opening of a debate and process around an updated communications data framework and the balance between privacy and security. Further debate around fundamental issues, such as the bulk collection of data, is needed.
There are a number of on-going reviews in this area and ISPA looks forward to engaging with the new parliament on this key issue. To ensure that this happens, is is crucial that full and detailed consultation takes place with industry and wider stakeholders, and Parliament is given sufficient time to scrutinise proposals. Getting this right will not only ensure that future surveillance legislation proportionately balances security, privacy but it will maintain the UK's reputation as a leading place to do business online.