Reviews of Legislation covering Social Media, RIPA, Surveillance, Data Protection etc. in the light of experiences
with the recent UK Riots
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(the merger of PITCOM and the All-Party Digital Economy Group) has requested
inputs to the Government Review of Social Media following the
riots. In parallel EURIM is organising closed workshops on the Review of
RIPA and other procedures.
Call by Rt Hon Alun Michael MP for inputs to Government Review of Social
week, evidence emerged that mobile applications and social media websites had
been used by rioters to organise looting and violent activity and to promote
gossip about where "action" was going to happen. The Home Secretary, Theresa May
told the Commons last Thursday : "Social networking sites like Facebook and
Twitter and messaging services like Blackberry Messenger have been used to
coordinate criminality, and stay one step ahead of the police."
was certainly the first message that came out of the news, but there is also
been a considerable amount of emerging evidence of the police being able to use
such communications to track trends and detect crimes. And we have also seen
very effective use of social media as a means of communicating people to set up
successful community clean-up initiatives and to draw the community together.
this brings a particular focus to something that for some years has occupied
those MPs who take an interest in ICT, mobile and Internet issues. Across
parties, we have worked successfully to promote "Internet Governance" rather
than legislation or top-down regulation as the best way to promote the benefits
of mobile and internet communications while preventing misuse and law-breaking.
There is now a real opportunity for us to contribute to this important
will be aware, the Government is currently asking whether social media needs
greater regulation. Theresa May plans to meet RIM, Twitter and Facebook to
discuss the role of social media during the riots. Some of them had briefed MPs
last week about the way in which they were working with the police and we need
to unsure that the experience of MPs and a wider range of Industry players is
fed into the Government's deliberations.
all that in mind, I shall be grateful if you will feed in your own comments and
Did you have direct
experience during last week's events and their aftermath ?
Have you had comments from
constituents or police or business people that are relevant ?
How best can MPs and Peers,
across Party, contribute to intelligent public debate ?
How can we co-ordinate
informed debate that can help Government and Parliament in looking for the
right way forward ?
respond by Friday 26th August to
firstname.lastname@example.org so views can be
for EURIM Workshop on experience with RIPA, PACE and practical procedures
practical working of the legislation covering the interception of mobile and
online communications is to be reviewed as a matter of urgency.
routines are said to impede operational co-operation between the Police, Telcos,
Mobile Operators and ISPs while failing to protect against abuse. There are also
problems with interpretations of Data Protection legislation regarding
exemptions for co-operation with law enforcement and routines for voluntary
What is it reasonable to try to achieve rapidly and what
should be taken over the longer term?
How much can be achieved by streamlining request and
authorisation processes within existing legal
frameworks (including the statutory instruments for RIPA etc.)?
How much can be achieved by administrative guidance,
including from the Surveillance and Information Commissioners?
How much needs new legislation – statutory instruments or
There are also issues concerning the
operational use of mobiles, to enable offenders to be arrested at the scene of
crime, with supporting documentation and images transmitted online.
email@example.com if your organisation would
like to participate in workshops on the issues on which consultation may be
needed. It would be helpful if you could state whether your proposed
participants will have been security cleared because this may be necessary to
enable some players to join us for informed and constructive discussion.
The first workshop, for security
cleared participants only, will take place on the morning of 23rd
September. This is timed to enable some of those currently fully loaded with
handling the operational backlog to draw breath and open the discussion with a