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ISPs Cautioned - Private Data Handling
By: MarkJ - 29 January, 2004 (2:37 PM)

UK civil liberty groups have cautioned ISPs against the use of third party 'clearing houses', which are designed to help security services get access to users private data logs:

At the start of this year, a firm called Singlepoint was set up with the aim of acting as a middleman between ISPs and public bodies that might want access to communications data. The business responds directly to new snooping powers that came into force on 5 January, which grant 600 public authorities access to communications data held by ISPs and telephone operators.

But privacy experts are concerned such clearing houses will get caught between the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2003 and the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act (ATCSA) 2001, which set different standards for data retention and data access.

'An ISP can retain data for the purpose of national security under the ATCSA, but access comes under the RIPA, which doesn't set those limits,' said Tony Bunyan, editor of civil liberties group Statewatch. 'Singlepoint will be caught by this lack of legal certainty in the same way that ISPs are.'

It's unclear which providers Singlepoint will be working with. More @ NewMediaZero.

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