A Manchester-based ISP is threatening to move some of its services abroad to protect client confidentiality if the UK government does not make significant changes to the so-called internet snooping bill.
Poptel, which has clients including trades unions, registered charities and local governments, said it fears it would not be able to guarantee the confidentiality of its communications under the scope of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Bill.
The Bill, the subject of significant criticism both by business leaders and IT industry representatives, would give the police powers to monitor private internet surfing and email.
Shaun Fensom, chairman and founder of Poptel, told vnunet.com: "We have been forced to consider moving some of our services overseas. The general thrust of the legislation is to give government agencies access to people's communications and we feel we would not be able to guarantee the confidentiality of our clients' communications.
"The government has not made the kind of amendments we want to see."
The RIP Bill has been criticised by a broad alliance of opposition members of the House of Lords, business, civil rights and IT industry groups for being badly drafted, too expensive for ISPs to implement, technologically obsolete, damaging to ecommerce and potentially breaking European Union human rights laws.
The government says it wants to ease fears over the Bill, and in the past few weeks has introduced some amendments to that effect. However, opposition groups remain unconvinced and say further changes must be made.
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