UK loses blockchain firm after ‘snooping charter’ gets green light

Eris Industries, an industrial cryptography firm that uses blockchain technology, is now leaving the United Kingdom in protest against the re-introduction of the Communications Data Bill.

The bill was announced in the Queen’s speech last week after initially being shelved in January. The Conservative party now plan to legitimise the so called ‘snooping charter’ after it was blocked by the Liberal Democrats during the time of the coalition government.

Originally drafted in 2012, the bill ‘‘would give the law enforcement agencies the essential tools they need to tackle serious crime and terrorism but at the same time limit the risk of intrusion into the privacy of the vast majority of honest citizens.’’

The proposed legislation will give the Government access to cryptographic ‘back-doors’, making Eris’ information accessible to government agencies such as MI5.

Preston Byrne, COO of Eris Industries has responded to the bill on behalf of the company, vehemently opposing the legislation. His organisation becomes one of the first companies to leave the UK in response to the bill. Its primary headquarters will now be located in New York.

‘‘Eris Industries’ position is that this proposed bill would impinge vital and legitimate business interests of our company. As such we will be relocating staff out of the United Kingdom until further clarity on the provisions of the bill is achieved,’’ commented Byrne in a statement posted on Eris’ website.

‘‘If this Bill is passed into law, we are likely to see a mass exodus of tech companies and financial services firms alike from the United Kingdom. We are happy to lead by example,’’ continued Byrne.

Byrne states that his business is focused on industrial cryptography and that the legislation would ‘‘prevent our technology’s use in myriad industrial applications, including financial services, which need reliable, open-source cryptography desperately if they are to stay competitive in a digital age.’’



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