The government faces legal issues as DCMS allows the use of automatic message deletion

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The government faces legal issues surrounding the automatic deletion of messages. This is a practice recognized by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports.

A planned proceeding issued earlier this year by the citizens of the Transparency Campaign Group and Digitalis is related to allegations of violations of the UK Public Records Act. The law is designed to keep a variety of records open to the public, including legal and financial documents, official ministerial documents, and more.

According to citizens, “the law … covers the message between the special adviser and the minister on the policies of the British government.”

A new letter sent by DCMS to the campaign group allows department ministers and senior officials to exchange messages that are intentionally self-deleting.

“Instant messaging (via Google Workspace) can be used in preference to email in normal communications where you don’t need to keep a record of your communications,” the letter said. Parents.. “Chat messages are retained for 90 days, giving staff the opportunity to record a substantive conversation. After that, the message is permanently deleted. The user can also switch off history. That is, a chat session. The message will be deleted when is finished. “

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The approval of the use of self-deleted Google messages “indicates that the government’s business share is growing” through other private messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Signal. Behind the claim. ..

“These apps allow you to delete a message after reading it or after a few minutes,” says the public. “This lack of transparency is an urgent threat to the future of democratic accountability and public records.”

With enhanced anti-encryption and auto-removal options, Signal was adopted by Conservative lawmakers following a victory in the 2019 general election. Since then, the Prime Minister and other senior executives on Downing Street have also been reported to be among the users of the ultra-safe platform.

Six weeks ago, citizens and Foxgrove announced that they were preparing to launch a legal challenge. [will] To stop government ministers and advisers … carry out government operations with messages that explode and disappear. ”

Since then, the campaign group has raised £ 43,570 to support their efforts. This exceeded the original goal of £ 40,000 and was subsequently superseded by the £ 60,000 “stretch goal”.

In light of DCMS’s approval to allow the use of self-deleting messages, the government has been given two weeks to stop using such technology or face potential legal consequences. ..

“If no urgent action is taken to prevent ministers and officials from erasing records, there is a risk of permanent loss of important files regarding Covid’s policies and other important areas of British history. That would be a tragedy, “said Citizens Secretary-General Clara Magwire. Parents.. “Government by disappearing messages is not completely democratically accepted. Frankly, the government’s policy of allowing ministers and officials to delete instant messages for years, whenever they want. It’s amazing to have had. If the government doesn’t resolve this issue within 14 days, we’ll see them in court. “

The government faces legal issues as DCMS allows the use of automatic message deletion

Source link The government faces legal issues as DCMS allows the use of automatic message deletion

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