Friday, 2 April 2010

Digital Economy Bill - Freedom vs Regulation - IP reconsidered.

Regardless of how it is dressed up, the main purpose of this bill is to give the Government complete control of the British public's access to the internet. And nowadays that means controlling access to all kinds of news and views from all kinds of sources, even those that the Government doesn't like.

As well as limiting specific individuals access, it provides for an iron curtain to be raised between the internet in the UK and the rest of the world. Giving the government total control over what the British public can and cannot see on the internet from the rest of the world. To pass this bill would to emulate The Peoples Republic of China and its internet filtering. An environment that is so oppressive that Google is currently withdrawing its hardware from China due to state interference.

Once a law is in place, it will be used. You must not and cannot allow laws to be passed and just 'trust' that they will not be abused. The Digital Economy Bill must be thrown out, and the whole issue reconsidered.

We (the honest, decent, British public) would not accept the government deciding whether or not we could use the postal service, nor whether we could have a telephone, a radio or a television, nor whether we read a newspaper - We must not accept them deciding whether or not we are allowed access the internet.

There are already laws against copyright infringement etc. This bill is not needed for that, its real purpose is far more worrying, government control of our communications - this new, cheap, fast, free, independent form of communication 'the internet' - all citizens and political parties who may be in opposition should be very worried.

Should I be elected at the upcoming general election I will fight this bill, and even if already passed, I will seek to remove its intrusions.

Think it couldn't happen?

When there is a taxpayer funded quango who wants to make it law for all social network sites to have *its* button on them to report abuse - and cites the murder of a youngster to support its call, you have to realise that regulation is heading out of control.

It isn't for the want of a taxpayer funded HTML button that insecure youngsters get lured into trouble. If taxpayer money wasn't being consumed by these pointless quangos perusing their misguided technological goals, maybe there would be sufficient resources to address the real problems.

The purpose of intellectual protection was to increase innovation (making it safe to publish, without fear of copying) - if it is stifling innovation then it isn't doing its job and needs to be rethought. That rethink starts with open, honest and frank discussion. It maybe that things *cant* be improved (unlikely but possible) but unless you have the discussion no one is in a position to know.

But that discussion isn't happening - the discussion that did happen was among rich and powerful people with vested interests and it happened behind closed doors.

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