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Date: 2000-06-12

UK: Berners-Lee zu ENFOPOL neu

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q/depesche 00.6.12/1

UK: Berners-Lee zu ENFOPOL reginonal

Tim Berners-Lee, personaliter & gewichtsmäßig nicht weiter
kommentierbar über die RIP-Bill im UK - der bisher treuesten
nationalen Umsetzung von ENFOPOL

post/skrypt: Am Werke sind mit dem UK wieder einemal die
Eif/rigsten der Ei/frigen in Europa - erstaunlich. Die erz- haupt
& staats/hegelianische Nation Nummer 1 FR wird sich neu
deklarieren müssen im Zeitalter der tribalistischen
Generalüberwachung. Ausgerufen von jenen, die nicht mal
genau wissen, ob sie mehr Sachsen oder mehr Angeln sind.

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Jamie Doward Sunday June 11, 2000

Tim Berners-Lee, regarded as the father of the world wide
web, has launched a blistering attack on government plans to
give the security services sweeping powers to intercept
emails and monitor traffic on the internet. The computer
scientist who invented the technologies which underpin the
web told The Observer that the Regulation of Investigatory
Powers Bill would stifle the development of the internet.

He said the Bill - now going through the House of Lords -
would have been thrown out 'in a second' in the US. 'It gives a
government great power to abuse personal and commercial

Once the Bill becomes law every internet service provider
(ISP) in the UK will be required to install a link to the security
services, whichwill then be able to monitor internet traffic.
Security services will be able to find out which websites
users look at, which pages they download, and which
chatrooms or discussion groups they frequent.

Even more controversially, the Bill gives the Home Secretary
the power to demand the surrender of keys to en-crypted
data - a proposal which has been fiercely criticised by civil
liberties and business organisations alike.

Other campaigners have pointed out that the Bill does not
recognise the global nature of the internet and is therefore
doomed to failure.

Berners-Lee believes the Bill fails to make governments
accountable for their actions: 'There's very little protection.
There's no recourse if your information has been pilfered by
the Government, and even if it comes to light there is very
little you can do.'

He is also concerned that third parties will be unable to
monitor the authorities' actions: 'Is there any way the press
can ever find out to what extent this is happening? Is there
any independent agency which has the right to follow up
every request and find out statistically to what extent some of
these things were just abuses of power?'

Some commentators claim that an unregulated internet is far
more dangerous than the threat of a strong-armed
Government. They cite the example of David Copeland,
currently being tried at the Old Bailey for causing bomb
explosions in London, who allegedly found out how to make
bombs on the web.

But Berners-Lee argues that you cannot shoot the
messenger. 'The internet is an enabling technology.
Information has always been powerful and suddenly we have
a much more powerful information tool, and this poses
challenges to society to use it for good rather than bad.'

His attack comes days after the Bill was attacked by the
Institute of Directors. Professor Jim Norton, head of e-
business policy, expressed fears that the Bill could be
interpreted too broadly - giving government excessive powers
and even forcing companies to move abroad.

'Is it really the intention to provide Inland Revenue or VAT
inspectors or DTI company investigators with these powers?'
he said. Many companies were worried, 'especially
multinationals who contrast the proposed UK legislation with
far more business-friendly proposals in Ireland, France,
Germany and even the US.'

The Government will come under further pressure later this
week when the London School of Economics releases a
research paper highly critical of the Bill. The paper -
commissioned by the British Chamber of Commerce - will
argue that the Bill risks inflicting serious damage to both
business and civil liberties


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edited by Harkank
published on: 2000-06-12
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