techUK Responds to Sir Nigel Sheinwald's Summary of Work to Date

30 Jun 2015 09:53 AM

techUK backs Sheinwald's recommendation for a new international framework for data sharing between nations.

Sir Nigel Sheinwald, the Prime Minister's Special Envoy on Law Enforcement Data Sharing, last week released a summary of his work to date since his appointment in September 2014.

In his capacity as the Special Envoy, Sheinwald had been working with foreign Governments and US Communication Service Providers (CSPs) in order to, amongst other things, improve access to communications data for intelligence purposes across different and, at times, conflicting legal jurisdictions.

After submitting his classified report to the Prime Minister earlier this year, Sheinwald's summary of activities is intended to give an insight into his plans for a long-term, international arrangement to solve the problem of data sharing between nations.

In his summary, Sheinwald has called for:

In summary, Sheinwald's summary is to be welcomed, reinforcing many of the calls that techUK have made in the past. On this issue, government and industry have a shared goal to deliver legal clarity and certainty going forward. It is not a question of making things 'easier' or bypassing due legal process, rather defining new front doors that can be clearly articulated and inspire public confidence.

Both Sheinwald and Anderson have made well-thought-through and workable recommendations. It will take effort and resources to deliver these ambitious goals but it is the only sustainable way forward to address the complexities of gaps and conflicts of laws. It is in everyone's interests that these recommendations are quickly endorsed by government and that steps are taken to initiate discussions with like minded countries as soon as possible.