Issue-by-issue: parties' tech policies compared

Issue-by-issue: parties' tech policies compared

Summary: Tech election 2010: having spoken to a range of political parties, ZDNet UK lines up their tech policies on the key issues for a side-by-side view

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TOPICS: Government UK
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  • TECH ELECTION 2010

    PLANS TO DROP OR CHANGE MAJOR GOVERNMENT IT PROJECTS

    Labour: did not answer this question.

    Conservatives: would drop the ID cards scheme; would introduce a moratorium on all planned IT procurement projects; would introduce a presumption against any government IT project costing more than £100m.

    Liberal Democrats: would scrap ID cards and the ContactPoint database, and end plans to store everyone's email and internet records "without good cause".

    Green Party: wants to move from the "monolithic" procurement of proprietary systems towards a "more modular, release-early-and-often open-source approach".

    Pirate Party UK: would drop ID cards and limit the scope of the National Identity Register and the DNA database; would give preference to off-the-shelf software over bespoke software.

    UKIP: did not answer this question.

    BNP: would scrap the National Identity Scheme, the Rural Payments Agency and parts of the Becta Home Access programme.

    SNP: opposes the ID card scheme and points out that ID cards will not be required to access devolved services north of the border.

    Plaid Cymru: would scrap ID cards and the National Identity Register.

    Photo credit: Chris Beaumont/CBS Interactive

  • TECH ELECTION 2010

    BALANCE BETWEEN ONLINE PRIVACY AND COMMERCIAL INTERESTS

    Labour: insists the Digital Economy Act allows for consultation, full parliamentary scrutiny and a robust appeals process.

    Conservatives: welcome the Digital Economy Act; want to educate people about the "wrongs of illegal downloading".

    Liberal Democrats: worry about the lack of safeguards in Digital Economy Act regarding technical measures such as account suspension and bandwidth throttling; oppose the act's website-blocking provisions.

    Green Party: believes existing policy has favoured commercial interests over citizens' rights; supports online privacy and anonymity in all cases except where national security justifies a breach.

    Pirate Party UK: opposes any monitoring of people's internet connections; wants all "secretive surveillance" to be a criminal offence.

    UKIP: opposes the Digital Economy Act, based on the way it was hurried through the legislative process in the pre-election 'wash-up'.

    BNP: supports copyright law but opposes a crackdown on downloaders — thinks uploaders should be targeted instead.

    SNP: wants more collaboration with "global partners" to ensure harmonised laws; favours copyright enforcement but opposes the business secretary being able to amend copyright law without parliamentary scrutiny.

    Plaid Cymru: did not answer this question.

    Photo credit: David Meyer/ZDNet UK

  • TECH ELECTION 2010

    E-HEALTH POLICIES AND CONTRACTING PATIENT DATA OUT TO THIRD PARTIES

    Labour: says the NHS could no longer function without the National Programme for IT (NPfIT); promises to cut the costs of the programme.

    Conservatives: want patients to have greater control over their records.

    Liberal Democrats: did not answer this question.

    Green Party: wants patients to have access to own records; supports use of telemedicine; sees contracting-out patient data to third parties as unnecessarily risky.

    Pirate Party UK: supports a national NHS database if correctly implemented; supports the contracting-out of data by individual hospitals, as long as it is secure and patients give consent.

    UKIP: opposes the NHS Spine on the basis of patient privacy.

    BNP: strongly opposes the contracting-out of data to third parties; supports NPfIT but wants a review of it.

    SNP: is very keen on the use of e-health in remote and rural areas; opposes the contracting-out of patient data to third parties.

    Plaid Cymru: has no specific e-health policy.

Topic: Government UK

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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