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One of Jisc’s activities is to monitor and, where possible, influence regulatory developments that affect us and our customer universities, colleges and schools as operators of large computer networks. Since Janet and its customer networks are classified by Ofcom as private networks, postings here are likely to concentrate on the regulation of those networks. Postings here are, to the best of our knowledge, accurate on the date they are made, but may well become out of date or unreliable at unpredictable times thereafter. Before taking action that may have legal consequences, you should talk to your own lawyers. NEW: To help navigate the many posts on the General Data Protection Regulation, I've classified them as most relevant to developing a GDPR compliance process, GDPR's effect on specific topics, or how the GDPR is being developed. Or you can just use my free GDPR project plan.

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Queen's Speech 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 09:17

Yesterday at the State Opening of Parliament the Queen's Speech announced the Government's plan for legislation in the next year. A couple of the proposed Bills seem likely to affect network operators.

First is a Defamation Bill, which was the subject of a consultation last year. Although the Internet isn't the main focus of the legislation, the consultation did recognise that there were problems with the current system of liability for hosting providers, which encourages them to remove any comment that is the subject of a complaint, without considering whether the complaint is justified. A posting by Julian Huppert MP on the Liberal Democrat Voice blog suggests that the draft legislation may be published as soon as tomorrow.

Second is the Communications Bill, in which the Government intends "to maintain the ability of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access vital communications data under strict safeguards". At the moment ISPs are required by the Data Retention Regulations 2009 to keep information about e-mails and phone calls sent using their services; law enforcement agencies can then use powers in Part 1 Chapter 2 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to access that information. The Government doesn't seem to have published any information about this, so it's not clear whether one or both of these Acts will be changed by the new Bill. Julian Huppert's blog suggests that a draft bill will be published for consultation before a final version is considered by Parliament.