There was a flurry of activity on the Interweb this week related to the proposed UK Digital Media Bill, with lots of people linking to this rather biased and inflammatory article. After tracking down and reading the proposed bill, the only area for concern that I can really agree with is the section that entitles the Secretary of State to modify the bill at will without consultation.
Rather than signing this petition, I used the excellent writetothem.com to contact my MP Mark Oaten. I did this on Tuesday 24th, sending the following:
"Dear Mark Oaten,
I write to you to express my concern over the proposed Digital Economy Bill, and in particular section 17, 302A (from http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldbills/001/10001.13-19.html)
"(1) The Secretary of State may by order amend Part 1 or this Part for the purpose of preventing or reducing the infringement of copyright by means of the internet, if it appears to the Secretary of State appropriate to do so having regard to technological developments that
have occurred or are likely to occur."
If I've understood correctly, this means that the current and any future Secretary of State can modify this bill at any time in line with the purpose WITHOUT a changes being publicised and voted in.
This seems quite worrying to me.
In the post today I have the following response from Mr Oaten: