Highlights from Consultation on snoopers charter with MS, Google and Yahoo.
"Sarah Hunter: From the Google perspective, Charles Farr’s characterisation of the conversation is not one that I recognise. Actually, in our meeting with the Home Office, we questioned some of the technical measures in the Bill, such as the request filter. I do not think that we agreed, shall I say, on its feasibility."
Q585 Lord Jones: Do you have many bust-ups? I mean: have you had distinguished cases on this?
Stephen Collins: With law enforcement?
Lord Jones: Yes.
Stephen Collins: [REDACTED]
Sarah Hunter: ...For a British start-up, this Bill might put huge and unwieldy obligations upon them, such that it would put you off starting up a business. If you felt that you had to not only retain user data but potentially ask for extra data that you would not necessarily want to ask for, and then have it available to law enforcement, that is a significant cost. I think it would be very harmful to the competition within our sector.
Stephen Collins [MS]:... I do not want to exaggerate too much but there is a whole host of reasons, when one is involved in a start-up, for siting a company in a particular country. One of those that is taken very seriously is the regulatory burden. There are also the questions of access to venture capital, the amount of red tape and the qualifications of the staff but, when you are a two, three, five or 10-man band, this is an important consideration. You simply cannot tie up capital in unnecessary regulatory compliance when you can go to another market...
Sarah Hunter: From Google’s perspective, all of the Gmail traffic is encrypted by default and we are pretty confident about the quality of that encryption. It could be stored, but whether it could be read is another matter.
Stephen Collins: From the Microsoft perspective, all Skype traffic is encrypted, and increasingly encryption is being rolled out to enhance user privacy and security across the so-called Microsoft Live ID services, which include Hotmail. We would be in a similar position to Google, so presumably the data stream could be captured but there is nothing intelligible there.
Stephen Collins: ... The key point is that our services cannot be made to look like telephony. We need better educated and trained police men and women.