Policy Issues and developments following the Attacks on America on 11
Crime, and Security Bill has been published - 13 November, 2001
The Bill includes a section on retention of communications data
Updated - includes Home Office, Retention
of Communications Data: Supplemental Regulatory Impact Assessment.
Lords and House of Commons Joint Committee On Human Rights -
Second Report on the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill,
HL 37, HC 372, 16 November 2001
"We note that as the Bill is
presently drafted, the Code of Practice relating to the retention of
communications data will not be subject to any parliamentary
procedure. We also have in mind that a Code of Practice may be used as
evidence in courts and tribunals, and that a direction given by a
Secretary of State may give rise to legal obligations. In the light of
these factors, we consider that measures should be put in place to
ensure that the Code of Practice and any directions are compatible
with the right to respect for private and family life, home and
correspondence under Article 8 of the ECHR, and that those measures
should be specified, so far as practicable, on the face of the
legislation. We accordingly draw these provisions to the attention of
EU Forum on
CyberCrime discussion paper for Expert’s Meeting
on Retention of Traffic Data, 6 November 2001
This is an informal Working Paper prepared by the Commission services
but this paper will be discussed at
session of the EU Forum on CyberCrime, Brussels, 27 November 2001.
Important questions include: What data need to be retained and for how long?
What are the kind of data most often required by law enforcement?
In what concrete cases do law enforcement authorities get traffic data from electronic
Have there been cases where absence of data has led to failure to investigate?
Why does mandatory retention pose legal problems with regard the ECHR?
Would mandatory transfer of the necessary data to a trusted third party infringe
personal data protection ?
Guardian, Police get sweeping access to net data,
November 7, 2001
"Blunkett will not limit scope of measure to terrorist cases..
The Guardian has established that the detailed communications
data to be retained as part of the government's response to the September 11 attacks will be available to police investigating
minor crimes. It will also be available for tax collection and public health and safety purposes.
US NCAC Free Expression After September 11th - An Online Index
Following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, the National Coalition Against Censorship received
repeated calls and e-mails from supporters, media, students and others concerned with free speech asking about
censorship incidents arising from the attacks. Those who took the time to contact us are concerned that the events
of 9/11 will result in incidents of government censorship and suppression of speech by private entities, as is often
the case during times of crisis. See further the
EFF Chilling Effects of Anti-Terrorism: "National
Security" Toll on Freedom of Expression pages.
US Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section
Field Guidance on New Authorities That Relate to Computer Crime
and Electronic Evidence Enacted in the USA Patriot Act of 2001
(Media section), Farewell
web freedom? October 22, 2001
Home Secretary David Blunkett
announces the Emergency Anti-Terrorism Bill which include:
Measures to enable communication service providers to retain data generated in the course of their business,
namely the records of calls made and other data - not the content. Government will work with the industry on a Code of
Practice to take this forward, 15 October, 2001.
Wired News, England
closes extremist site, 04 October, 2001
Police sources told Reuters on Thursday that the closure of the London-based Sakina Securities website
followed the arrest of one of its instructors on terrorism charges.
BBC News, Net surveillance 'fatally flawed',
01 October, 2001
The Observer calls
for key escrow, 30 September, 2001
There are, however, important initiatives that Mr Blunkett could take. By far the most effective would be the curtailing of the
complex encryption terrorists use to protect their communications. Organisations using encryption codes legitimately should be obliged
to give the electronic key to the appropriate police authority in advance. European Union proposals for greater information
sharing and the establishment of a EU-wide certificate of arrest for terrorists are also welcome.
Straw interview with Sue MacGregor on the BBC Today Programme, 28
You can also listen the Jack
Straw interview (MP3 file)
BBC News, Net freedom fears 'hurt terror fight',
28 September, 2001
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says "naive" campaigners against stronger
surveillance laws have hurt the anti-terror fight. He suggested that with stronger powers, the
security services might have detected some of the 11 suicide hijackers who are now known to
have passed through the UK on their way to the US.
See the transcript of Straw's speech (both text and audio)
Note also Straw takes swipe at liberals,
The Guardian, 29 September, 2001
Liberal Democrats, Straw
must produce evidence of need to change Internet surveillance laws,
28 September, 2001
Simon Hughes MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, responding to the Home Secretary’s comments that
“naïve” civil liberties campaigners against stronger internet surveillance laws have undermined the fight against
terrorism, said: “The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill was the right law to pass at the time on the evidence available.
If the Government think that a law only just on the statute book needs changing literally a few months later, then they
must come back with the argument and evidence. Reasonable legislation is always likely to command parliamentary
support. Unnecessarily wide legislation will always be revised.
Recent conversations with City of London authorities
lead me to believe that many of the powers that have not been used in the past are at last being used to good effect.
We should not increase powers if the law as it stands is already sufficient.”
The Guardian, The statutes of liberty: The LibDems say that new encryption laws are not
needed, 27 September, 2001
No Regrets About Developing PGP,
24 September, 2001.
"....strong cryptography does more good for a democratic society than harm, even if it can be used by terrorists."
adopted by the Council (Justice and Home Affairs) - Brussels, 20
4. The Council requests the European Commission to submit proposals
for ensuring that law enforcement authorities are able
to investigate criminal acts involving the use of electronic
communications systems and to take legal measures against
their perpetrators. In this context, the Council will be making a
particular effort to strike a balance between the protection
of personal data and the law enforcement authorities' need to gain
access to data for the purposes of criminal investigations.
Phone Companies, ISPs To Retain Communications Data By B Mitchener,
The Wall Street Journal, 14 September, 2001.
British authorities, in a dragnet against terrorism, Thursday
asked telephone companies and ISPs in the country to retain all
communications-traffic data for the next month. The National High-Tech
Crime Unit issued the request under the UK's Data Protection Act,
which normally prohibits companies from keeping such data any longer
than is needed for billing purposes. The request falls well short of a
nationwide wiretap, but it represents an unusually broad step in
anticipation of a request for assistance from law-enforcement
authorities in the United States and elsewhere. "It's
precautionary," says Tony Hutchings, intelligence team leader of
the London-based, multi-agency crime unit. "If the data's gone by
the time we get the request in, we can't do anything about it."
The data that the government wants kept consist of details of
communications -- numbers dialed, duration of calls, and Internet
Protocol addresses kept by ISPs, for example -- not the actual content
of the communications. IP addresses, which are the codes computers use
to communicate with one another over the Internet, often aren't kept
for billing purposes. But they can give law-enforcement authorities
valuable clues into the whereabouts and conversation partners of
suspected criminals. Under U.K. law, the government can't legally
require telephone companies and ISPs to retain the communications
data, but companies generally comply if the government justifies its
request in terms of legitimate needs, such as the apprehension and
prosecution of people who commit serious crimes. Mr. Hutchings said
his agency had justified its claims in accordance with the law.
Taylor, N.; Walker, C., Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (1):
Bigbrother.gov.uk: State surveillance in the age of information and
rights, (2001) Criminal Law Review, (February), pp. 73-90 at http://www.cyber-rights.org/documents/crimlr.pdf
(Published in this format with permission from Sweet & Maxwell, the
publishers of the Criminal Law Review).
information about the Regulation of
Investigatory Powers Act 2000 see http://www.cyber-rights.org/crypto/
Free Secure Web based e-mail - http://www.cyber-rights.net