Friday, October 1, 2010

Huge changes in the UK law on internet privacy

Internet and privacy laws are some of the main topics in the United Kingdom.

This week, the EU commission stated that if the UK could not effectively safeguard against the illegal interceptions of communications, specifically internet traffic, then it would lead to fines and other actions against the government.  This all comes in the mist of many UK citizens concerns and complaints that an internet ad serving system on their internet providers’ network was intercepting their internet channels and were enrolling them without a right for them to opt out of these advertisements.

"The user's consent is required for any interception of e-mails or internet surfing, the Commission says, objecting to the UK's Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), which allows a person to intercept communications if he or she has "reasonable grounds for believing" that consent has been given.  (


Under the EU, there should be sanctions for any and all unlawful interceptions.  So where does the UK stand in this matter.  The EU commission in my opinion is flexing its authority and calling for the UK to make immediate changes.  Although I do not think that the EU commission will place any real sanctions on the UK I do think that this does show the power of the public sphere and governance and its ability to implement change.  

1 comment:

  1. I'm terrified about any information I put on the internet falling into the wrong hands. Just as a reaction to the quote from the article, I feel like on both sides of the coin, consent is such a loose term. Who really reads the page and pages of fine print before clicking "Agree"? No one would understand the lingo if they read anyways. I'm always terrified of signing my life away, or giving the FBI "reasonable grounds" to search my home. At least the people of the UK are sticking up for themselves but it also makes me feel like my Big Brother fear is well grounded.