In government, I voted against the Labour whip only once. That was on the occasion of the Digital Economy Act being shoved through parliament ‘on the wash-up’ (i.e. without due process and with the agreement of all parties because it was the end of a parliament and the issue ostensibly ‘was not contentious’). Today, I’m.. read more →

24 Nov 2013
November 24, 2013

GCHQ: Porn today, Fraud tomorrow?


Wherever you stand on the NSA/GCHQ debate, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll agree that there’s a lot more government collecting and inter-government sharing of information about us than we’d realised.  I’m in the ‘if-GCHQ-doesn’t-collect-stuff-on-me-but-shares-everything-with-the-NSA-which-does-then-that-means-GCHQ-has-all-my-stuff-anyway-and-that’s-a-bit-blinking-cheeky’ camp. But if you’ve never given it all that much thought, here’s a really super Guardian piece by novelist John.. read more →

01 Apr 2012
April 1, 2012

Privacy and Injunctions

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Today’s Sunday Herald has dedicated its front page to one of the conclusions of the Houses of Parliament Privacy and Injunctions Committee, of which I was a member. The recommendation is that privacy injunctions granted by the English High Court should automatically apply in Scotland, which has a separate legal system. I was absent, for.. read more →

Today’s lead news in the UK is the arrest of Wikileaks (which is actually not a ‘wiki’ at all, ironically) founder Julian Assange.  He’s been arrested following allegations of sexual assault in Sweden and it’s important to separate that from other allegations that he may have broken other laws by publishing leaked US Government information. Or.. read more →

05 Dec 2010
December 5, 2010



There are three general lines of thought expressed around the Wikileaks saga. The first is condemnatory. Governments, led by the US, say Julian Assange and his colleagues are risking the lives of others and  damaging the effectiveness of international diplomacy in respect of some of the trickiest parts of the world. The second is laudatory;.. read more →

There’s been quite a bit of comment (#deact on twitter) about Gordon Brown’s appointment to the Board of the Web Foundation. It’s been mainly negative, on account of the fact that that the DE Act is viewed by many as being a bit, er, rough around the edges.  It’s passage in the Commons was certainly.. read more →

The All Party Group on the Digital Economy is up and running at Westminster and we’ve started to put together a plan of events and briefings.  Our website will go live shortly but, in the meantime,  I thought I’d use this blog to flag up a meeting at the House of Commons on 27th July.. read more →

15 May 2010
May 15, 2010

Parliamentary Group on DEAct


I blogged below about the DEAct and said if re-elected I’d organise an all-party group to campaign at Westminster for the obvious change required.  All-party groups are essentially all about MPs who have a common interest in a topic; they work across party boundaries to further particular aims and to form they need at least.. read more →

NB: This blog was set up before the dissolution of parliament, after which there are no MPs. Until the election, I’ll be posting at When parliament returns, regardless of who’s in power, the DE Act will be revisited – all the parties have agreed that it has flaws which urgently need correcting. How can.. read more →

07 Apr 2010
April 7, 2010

#DE Bill Vote, 7 April


Been watching  #debill #38degrees #deb on Twitter, and a bunch of great references by lots of tweeple. Thought I’d clarify a couple of points of process, for anyone interested. There’ll be a one hour debate at close of play tonight, maybe around midnight.  It’ll constitute the Committee Stage and Third Reading (instead of the 50.. read more →