#TechTop3 – Our top 3 tech stories of the week

By November 6, 2015UK

By the London Technology Team

Spectre of surveillance

With the new Bond film in cinemas, Theresa May introduced new online surveillance legislation, heralding the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill as a game changer for police and intelligence agencies’ efforts to fight crime in the digital age, but with ‘some of the strongest protections and safeguards anywhere in the democratic world.’

Terror law reviewer David Anderson QC stated that whilst people may not be happy with the content of the proposed bill, no one could call it opaque (or is it?); Nick Clegg called it a ‘vast improvement’ on the bill that came before it.

However, others weren’t quite as kind. David Davis MP criticised the provisions for whistle-blowers; Liberty branded the bill an ‘astonishing assault’ on internet security in the UK; Edward Snowden called the UK the most intrusive and least accountable surveillance regime in the West; and Jimmy Wales suggested that Apple should refuse to sell iPhones in the UK if the Government bans end-to-end encryption. It was widely covered, with The Guardian producing a useful rundown of the key elements in Wired.

Safe Harbour negotiations leave port

A new ‘Safe Harbour’ agreement is in the works as EU-US negotiations started this week with Vice President Joe Biden holding talks with Jean-Claude Juncker on a new legal agreement.

The UK government and tech firms are nervous over the uncertainty caused by the previous agreement being struck down by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the clock is ticking for a new agreement to be settled before the January deadline. If no agreement is reached, companies sending data to the US could be sanctioned heavily.

The negotiations were discussed in the FT and The Register.

Banks play at cyber-war

In the wake of last week’s massive cyber-attack on TalkTalk,  the biggest banks in the UK and US will be subjected to a simulated attack by the Bank of England and its US counterparts this month.

The exercise, which is known as Operation Resilient Shield, was announced in January this year during David Cameron’s visit to Washington and will be co-ordinated by CERT UK, the Computer Emergency Response Team. The operation will examine the channels of communications between each government, the governments and banks they regulate and the banks’ communications with each other.

As cyber-attacks become increasingly frequent and severe, cyber security will become an increasing priority for Government and industry alike.

The news was broken in the Telegraph.