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

...who are merely taking advantage of the availability of free material, law enforcement efforts should focus on the uploaders as the source of the problem.

Furthermore, the obligation to protect data should primarily be the concern of the private companies with whom that data originates. A person who leaves his front door unlocked and who is then burgled has the right to expect the state to catch and prosecute the thief, but not to make sure that the door was locked in the first place.

What is your e-health policy and will it include contracting patient data out to third parties?
The BNP believes strongly that all data held by the government must be kept securely in-house and under no circumstances be given out to third parties. This will open up a potentially dangerous can of worms and precedents.

The BNP fully supports the Department of Health's National Programme for IT, but the obvious problems in its rollout are a great source of concern. This project, like all other government IT projects which have stalled for assorted reasons, needs to be the subject of a major review and put under stricter guidelines.

Which major government IT projects would you drop or change, and why?
In 2007, it was reported that only 30 percent of government IT projects and programmes were successful. This is a shocking statistic that needs to be reversed.

[Technology universities will] obviate the current regime's policies of importing foreigners to do jobs British people should be doing.

A BNP government would halt the following projects: the National Identity Scheme — there is no need for this project at all; the Rural Payments Agency — this is part of the EU Common Agricultural Policy infrastructure, and it is BNP policy to withdraw from the EU; parts of the Becta Home Access programme, which effectively forces taxpayers to buy computers for private individuals — this is an incredibly dangerous precedent to set. What will the next demand be? Digital flat-screen TVs for all?

What measures would you put in place to ensure that businesses and organisations better protect their customers' data and inform customers of data breaches?
A BNP government would amend the Data Protection Act (DPA) to ensure that it was more easily enforceable and that the penalties for breaches of the act would be severe. The BNP has seen its own membership list leaked with the responsible person being given a derisory £200 fine. This slap-on-the-wrist type of punishment makes a mockery of the intention of the law, and the BNP would seek the severest penalties possible with a minimum term of imprisonment to serve as a deterrent to this sort of crime and online identity theft.

What is your policy on new or existing measures to protect the critical national infrastructure?
It is the BNP's policy to ensure that the telecoms network is returned to state ownership. This is the only way in which the state can ensure its security and the only manner in which the massive capital investment needed to upgrade the systems to provide the universal service obligation of 100Mbps broadband service can be met.

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

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.