Ramblings of this guy you know!

Tech Stuff and random observations on life as I see it….

Tag Archives: Government

Ed Vaizey responds to reports of ‘conspiracy’ on industry web-blocking discussions

Apparently Ed Vaizey has met the members of the Open Rights Group and wasn’t impressed by the campaigning group, describing them as being stuck in permanent shouty student mode. He is more convinced by the economic arguments posed by industry copyright holders. Vaizey himself has declared that he is a strong supporter of copyright, and said he was unimpressed by the argument that it’s “an outmoded conspiracy designed to put money into corporate interests”

He feels that most people don’t go out of their way not to pay for music but are just looking for good music and not always finding it where they want it. He would like to see the music industry working operating in “enlightened self-interest”. He also took a swing at the complaints the BT were placing against the Digital Economy Act and suggested that if they put as much effort into providing a good music offering as they did complaining, we would have an fantastic service.

He expressed frustration that ISPs were spending millions on fighting the copyright wars, rather than innovating.

There is no conspiracy
“One thing government is good at is bringing people together. I’ve found that in discussions in a neutral venue, people are more polite in front of ministers. Government also has a responsibility for setting the legislative framework and making sure it’s fit,” said the minister.

“P2P file sharing is not the only threat. We set up the Working Group on site-blocking and it has done some promising work. What kicks off this huge conspiracy theory is that ‘voluntary’ is misleading. It’s about working within the existing law to block sites that are serial infringers. It’s about trying to speed up the process to agree on the most notorious sites and have it fast-tracked.”


Call from Google to UK Government – open website-blocking debate to the public

A couple of weeks back I wrote a blogpost titled UK Copyright lobby in talks with British Government on national web censorship Now Google is trying to get the UK government to open up these closed-door discussions on website censorship to the public and parliament.

Up until now, the discussions have been private and have been with communications providers and other copyrights holders to explore the idea of website blocking for those that may infringe copyright. Sarah Hunter, Google’s UK regulatory chief is calling for a public debate on the UK-wide site censorship issue. This backs up requests from Open Rights Groups who are making the same request.

“There are conversations that the government has instigated,” Sarah Hunter said at a Westminster Media Forum on Wednesday. “We’ve said from the outside that this isn’t something companies should make decisions on. People feel very strongly about how the internet is delivered to them.”

“If the government wants to make laws about blocking websites, then they need to discuss it with the public and parliament,” Hunter continued. “I hope that… everyone who has a stake in the internet can have their voice heard.”

It seems that the Google representative was something of a lone voice at the conference, which was dedicated to discussion of the forthcoming Communications Act revamp. Various commercial broadcasters being behind the idea which protects their investment in their current offerings. They went on to state that much copyright infringment occurs beyond current national juristiction. Hunter replied back that it was still questionable whether or not blocking those websites on a national level was “the right way” to fight infringement.

Currently the public is not getting to hear about what is being proposed other than what is coming out of socieal media sites such as the following posted to Twitter by Open Rights Group (ORG) chief Jim Killock on Wednesday:

“Interesting meeting with @edvaizey this morning about web censorship. Wanted to know who ORG is and what we would do about infringement.”

UK Copyright lobby in talks with British Government on national web censorship

This story was originally reported by Cory Doctorow in a Boing Boing Posting. Currently I have not found any verification of this but the story is certainly being reposted,shared and retweeted. If it is happening as reported, it may well be something to be concerned about.

Update: The BBC news today (24/06/11) reported on this story in their technology news section. Read more about it here
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Updated: Is the excessive spend on IT all the last governments fault?

After yesterdays posting on Is the excessive spend on IT all the last governments fault?, I did get an update from someone in the know… I cant just post my own tuppenceworth without adding in about the information in the site that I was pointed to. I’m not going to repost what is posted there, you can go take a look for yourself at http://nhs-it.info

NHS23 is a dossier of communications made to the government by a group of twenty-three academics who repeatedly told the Government how the largest non-military IT operation in the world NPfIT (http://www.btplc.com/Health/NHSIT/NPfIT/index.htm) at that point was doomed to failure. The project was delivered on a “We will tell you what you need and you will build it” structure without any thought to asking for professional assistance. Read the NHS23 site for some interesting reads.

I’m going to close this off again for now… Interested to hear if this elicits any comment….

Is the excessive spend on IT all the last governments fault?

I was reading an article on the BBC this morning… click the link, read it and then comment.


The previous administration certainly has not done anything to enhance the reputation of the cost wasting of IT for IT’s sake… Certainly a very early lesson in my education; If a system doesn’t need to be computerised, dont computerise it. The question is, do we, the creators of these requested systems not have to take an element of responsibility for saying yes to these or do all we see is £££ signs? After all, government money is usually easy money.

IT is very much a service industry and so the tendency is towards trying to achieve what is requested of us but perhaps if the brakes were put on lunatic projects or just a little bit of honesty about how long it would really was going to take to build Deep Thought (hitchhikers guide reference there) and just how much it was going to cost then perhaps more sensible discussions would have been made by the administration.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not in any way want to make excuses for Labour’s policies but a sharing of the responsibility might be the right thing to do. Of course if all the political parties just got beyond all the politicking and backstabbing and just got on with the job of running the country then we might not be in the mess we are in now

I had to laugh at the sentence about using Apple equipment. It does kind of fly in the face about the criticism about opening up the procurement of IT equipment to smaller companies. I find it funny that we always talk of Apple being so secure and yet Safari loaded with security updates got hacked open in 5 minutes; too much Apple everywhere will only turn hackers attention more towards the platform then bend their wills to dominating them…. It is a dangerous complacence.



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