Lib Dems promise to invest in tech start-ups

Summary:Tech election 2010: the Liberal Democrats explain how they would strengthen the UK tech industry and safeguard digital rights

...temporary account suspension or bandwidth throttling and are concerned that not enough safeguards currently exist within the legislation.

We have urged the creative industries to work harder to attract users to legal services and hope that this, combined with measures to educate users about the damage caused by illegal file-sharing, will mean that no further action is required.

The Liberal Democrats have fought very hard to ensure that the technical measures can only be brought into effect after plenty of time has passed, followed by consultation, further scrutiny, and the opportunity for Parliament to debate, amend, or vote against the plans.

What is your e-health policy and will it include contracting patient data out to third parties?
The Liberal Democrats did not answer this question.

Which major government IT projects would you drop or change, and why?
There are a number of large-scale IT projects being planned by the Labour party that we think are intrusive and unnecessary.

In order to safeguard our civil liberties and protect individual privacy, the Liberal Democrats would scrap plans to introduce ID cards and the ContactPoint database — which is intended to hold details of every child in England — and end plans to store everyone's email and internet records without good cause.

What measures would you put in place to ensure that businesses and organisations better protect their customers' data and inform customers of data breaches?
The Liberal Democrats did not answer this question.


Broadband infrastructure investment must be targeted at the remote and rural areas.

What is your policy on new or existing measures to protect the critical national infrastructure?
We have no plans to change the existing government arrangements under which the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) is responsible for providing advice on protection against both physical and electronic measures.

One area where further progress needs to made is increasing the take-up of business continuity plans by the private sector, as many key public services rely on the private sector for at least an aspect of the service. The most recent CMI survey for the Cabinet Office demonstrated that less than half of all organisations have business continuity plans in place, suggesting that there is significantly more to do in terms of actively promoting the importance of business continuity.

Now that your party had adopted, at conference, an internet freedom policy, how does this square with your support for website-blocking as part of the Digital Economy Bill?
A legal process to enable website-blocking was introduced in the House of Lords to provide a means of tackling online piracy not involving peer-to-peer technology, and as an alternative to the government's plans to award itself sweeping powers to change copyright legislation at will.

However, there has been limited time for consultation and very little time before final decisions are made. We therefore do not believe that measures to address site blocking can reasonably be included in the Digital Economy Bill, and we will not support any such measures.

The motion passed at our conference in March sets the framework for a Liberal Democrat approach to these issues, and we are looking forward to setting up a working group after the election to formulate a full set of policies on internet rights, freedoms and regulation.

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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