Chris Humphries, director general of the British Chamber of Commerce has slammed the British government for creating a "competitive disadvantage" through its Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill.

In a letter to Home Secretary, Jack Straw, he said the Bill would "limit UK businesses’ adoption of electronic trading".

Humphries has three main concerns. The first is that the Bill requires ISPs to provide interception capabilities. He warns this will place an anti-competitive burden on the ISP industry, and that the costs of the measure have been miscalculated.

He also criticized Section 46 of the Bill, which criminalizes the leaking of information that a surveillance order has been issued.

Humphries writes: "The use of a Section 46 notice with a tipping-off order attached, served on a member of staff within a company could result in that individual being placed in the position of having to breach the trust of their employer, without the opportunity to make the directors of the company aware of that requirement."

Humphries’ third concern is that lost or missing encryption keys means employees or employers who legitimately lack access to a decryption key can face criminal charges.

He writes: "The decision to reverse the burden of proof in relation to the offence of failing to disclose a key not only threatens civil liberties but also potentially burdens businesses with managing the retention of revoked keys."