04 January 2001
The government must examine the impact of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act on business confidence and investment within a year of its implementation, according to a damning new report.
Regulating Cyberspace, published by independent adviser the Better Regulation Task Force, said the act, which came into force in October and gives police the power to demand encryption codes for e-mails, could hamper the take-up of e-commerce and damage the government's aim to make Britain the best place in the world to do it.
"Confidence in the regulatory framework is crucial, otherwise UK businesses may decide participation in e-commerce is too risky, or may delay their activities and so slow the growth of UK e-commerce," the report noted.
The warning comes as Alan Boxer, managing director of independent advisory group e centreUK, issued a statement, backed by key business leaders, demanding action from the government over the delay to the appointment of an e-envoy.
Andrew Pinder has been the acting e-envoy after Alex Allan resigned in October. Despite more than 90 applicants, the Cabinet Office said no suitable candidate has been found and headhunters have been called in.