A move to Ireland has been described as sending a strong message to companies who care about the privacy and security of their data that this is a country that can support that.
Following a report in the Guardian, where it was claimed that Home Secretary Theresa May had called Yahoo to an “urgent meeting to raise security concerns after the company announced plans to move to Dublin where it is beyond the reach of Britain’s surveillance laws.”
As the Government can force companies based in the UK to provide information on their servers by seeking warrants under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, 2000 (RIPA), a Whitehall source told the Guardian that the move to Dublin “could particularly affect investigations led by Scotland Yard and the national crime agency.”
In an email to IT Security Guru, Dublin-based security consultant Brian Honan, CEO of BH Consulting, said that he did not understand a concern about Irish security, as Ireland is a safe place to do business.
He said: “Yahoo moving to Ireland does send a strong message to companies who care about the privacy and security of their data that this is a country that can support that. We have a strong Data Protection environment where the Data Protection has the right to audit any company. Our Data Protection Commissioner’s office is also well experience with dealing with multi-national companies having responsibility for companies such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Indeed the commissioner recently conducted an audit on Facebook’s privacy regime.
“Yahoo moving to Ireland will put it out of reach of the UK Government looking for legal interception of data from Yahoo’s users. However, as Yahoo is a US company it will still be subject to US laws such as the Patriot Act and FISA. Ireland, and the rest of the EU, is also subject to the Data Retention Directive which obliges Telcos and Internet Service Providers to retain metadata on their users for up to two years. So while moving to Ireland will stop the UK from being able to send requests for data directly to Yahoo, it will still be subject to other laws in this area.”
Honan also pointed to a highly skilled pool of information security professionals based in Ireland and a group of multinational companies in the country.
Yahoo said it was “committed to preserving our users trust and security and continue our efforts to expand encryption across all of our services” and called the spying “completely unacceptable.”