#TechTop3

By July 24, 2015EU

By the London Technology Team

Government to appeal DRIPA ruling

Following a High Court judgment that ruled that the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA) is unlawful, the Government has announced that it will appeal the decision. The court found that sections 1 and 2 of DRIPA are incompatible with EU human rights legislation. The law, controversially passed as emergency legislation last year, allows the Home Secretary to order companies to retain communications data for up to 12 months. 

Covering the story for V3, @Jason_A_Murdock explains that the ruling gives the Government until March 2016 to amend the legislation, after which the unlawful sections will cease to have effect. Commentators have noted the constitutional significance of the ruling, with some suggesting it may be only the second time in history that the High Court has dis-applied primary legislation.

New Ofcom Chief Executive grilled by Commons Committee

This week, the new Chief Executive of Ofcom, Sharon White, appeared before the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. Despite her self-acknowledged limited experience of telecoms and media issues prior to her appointment, White gave an assured performance in a wide-ranging session.

The CMS Committee, now chaired by Jesse Norman following John Whittingdale’s promotion to Secretary of State, questioned White on her appointment, salary and background and also a number of hot topics for the tech sector, including: the possible structural separation of BT and Openreach; BT’s role in the rollout of superfast broadband; mobile switching and the proposed merger of O2 and Three.

White’s appearance in front of the Committee was covered widely in the press, with much of the coverage focussing on her comments that Ofcom will not be intimidated by BT’s opposition to the structural separation. Steve McCaskill covered the session well for TechWeek Europe.

Payments platform lifts GaaPing hole 

This week has seen a number of fintech-related developments but perhaps the news of a prototype version of a cross-government payments platform is the most interesting.

The Government Digital Service-designed platform will enable civil servants to do reconciliation, provide user support and issue refunds. Once ready and working, the platform will no doubt have wider uses with an aspiration to make it easier for citizens and businesses to pay government and make it faster for government services to start taking payments, amongst other things.

This is one of the first tangible results of Government as a Platform (GaaP) strategy. The GaaP initiative has already delivered GOV.UK verify, an information assurance platform.

You can find an excellent summary of this story in the Government Computing magazine here.