IT contractors will be affected by ‘snoopers’ charter’
Anyone who has been following the news will know that the government have recently made some changes to the way law enforcement organisations are able to access personal data held electronically. Dubbed a ‘snoopers’ charter’ by some critics, the purpose of the legislation is to allow for detection and prevention of crime by intelligence, law enforcement and security agencies by providing them with the power to access communications data.
Naturally, this will have an impact on IT contractors whose work could be affected by the new legislation, not least because the changes will affect both business and personal communication, with both being subject to being accessed and retained by those who hold the power to do so. Anyone working in the sectors most affected, such as telecoms or internet communications, should be aware of the implications of the legislation on the work that they do.
For those dealing with communications, it will be important to understand that encryption, whilst still allowed, may need to be intercepted and therefore may have to be removed under the terms of the bill is requested by one of the organisations that could intercept the information. Law enforcement authorities may require encryption keys to be disclosed in order to provide access to any data that they need, and many commentators are hoping that the final bill will clear up some confusion which currently exists between the wording of the draft bill and the explanatory notes.
There is also some debate over the scope of the bill’s requirements for providers to retain information about the ‘internet connection records’ of users, but this is another area where the current wording is unclear and those who will need to understand the law more thoroughly are seeking clarification.
Anyone who is considering going it alone and working for themselves should read our guide to being an IT contractor for details of what they should be considering. Our handy contractor calculator will help you to work out what your take home pay could be and our range of free contractors’ guides have plenty of information which could help you to make your solo career a success.
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