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The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIP)

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Introduction

' The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIP) ' Description The Regulation of Investigatory Powers act was passed in the UK in July 2000. This act allows the government to access a person's electronic communications in a very unrestricting manner, whereby infringing their privacy. Why was it imposed? This act was imposed so that employers were able to monitor the actions taken place by their employees, which falls under 'Communications Data' (e-mails, telephone calls etc). This was to identify any inappropriate e-mails being sent and overlong private telephone calls. The government also had reasons behind the launch of this act, as it meant that they could be used for national security, from preventing or detecting serious crime or safeguarding the UK's economic well-being. How was it imposed? Business employers would set up equipment that would be able to monitor what every employee was doing at all times. ...read more.

Middle

comply with every rule and regulation and so, they may use the telephone for private uses and may even send private e-mail. If there were any suspicion that an illegal or inappropriate act is being carried out then it would be necessary to use the RIP act. However the 'Data Protection Commissioner' issued a draft code of conduct, which sets out strict rules on monitoring. The government may use the RIP to monitor Internet traffic. This is because Internet traffic data falls under the definition of 'communications data'. The government therefore can, gather information such as what websites you visit and when, who you email, who emails you, what newsgroups you read, all the phone numbers you call, what software you've downloaded, what documents you've downloaded, where and when you log on to a machine and from where you logged on, etc. ...read more.

Conclusion

Advantages and Disadvantages Business Advantages (employers view) > Able to monitor the actions of employees > Able to act against the employees if an inappropriate action has been taken Business Disadvantages (employers view) > Strong objection from some employee's > Conflicts with Human Rights Act 1998 > Data Protection Commissioner issues a draft set of strict rules on monitoring (Limiting the use of the RIP act) Government Advantages > The government can demand that a public telecommunications service intercepts an individual's communications > Served for purposes which relate to national security, preventing or detecting serious crime or safeguarding the economic well-being of the UK Government Disadvantages > Need an 'Interception Warrant' to demand a public telecommunications service intercepts an individual's communications > It is illegal for surveillance data to be used in legal proceedings (Cannot be used within a court of law, and not even be mentioned) > Some people (Hackers) are able to access private information about the government having used the same methods the government uses to access the information from us, the public. ...read more.

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