Greens, Pirates, UKIP and BNP weigh in on tech

Summary:In the fourth part of our Tech election 2010 series, the country's special-interest parties tell ZDNet UK about the tech strategies they would pursue if in power required to limit its scope. This would be a priority for us, and we would ensure that DNA samples of those acquitted or not charged will be destroyed rather than left on the database indefinitely, as is currently the case.

Furthermore, where possible, we will seek to use off-the-shelf software in any future procurement rather than relying on expensive contractors to program bespoke software.

What measures would you put in place to ensure that businesses and organisations better protect their customers' data and inform customers of data breaches?
We see the Data Protection Act as woefully inadequate and certainly lesser than similar laws in most other countries. A basic improvement would be to require that all personal data held should meet a minimum requirement for security, including encryption.

We plan to introduce new rights to compensation for data loss and to move data protection rules from the civil arena to criminal law, where breaches can be punished by the courts rather than at the whim of the information commissioner. Also, we recognise the value of whistle-blowers and will seek to enhance protections for them when exposing illegal practices in the workplace and elsewhere. Measures like these should provide a strong incentive for companies to improve the quality of their data protection.

What is your policy on new or existing measures to protect the critical national infrastructure?
This is a core policy for the Pirate Party, as we believe that the internet is crucial to our freedom of speech and to our cultural development and a weak critical national infrastructure (CNI) threatens this. While the UK's CNI is relatively secure, there is always more to be done, and we would advocate the allocation of greater funds to GCHQ and Security Services (or at the very least protect the funds they already receive) to ensure that our network remains one of the most secure in the world.

The Party also hopes to see a gradual move towards a more decentralised and reliably structured national network as it grows, and this topology becomes more feasible. However we understand that a giant overhaul is not currently the most pressing concern and that there are more important issues that need to be addressed.

One major issue is the security of the CNI of other countries: the internet is a global system, and the UK alone cannot protect it. Where possible, the UK should assist and collaborate with other nations in protecting their own CNI, something that can be achieved with the UK's extensive diplomatic connections and the European Union. As a party, we can assist this through Pirate Parties International, which has links to over 40 other countries.

NEXT: The UK Independence Party (UKIP)

Topics: Government : UK


David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

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