Bridget joins peers and performers in calls for more debate on Digital Economy Bill

23 March, 2010 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary campaigner for Islington South & Finsbury, Bridget Fox, has written an open letter, published in the Guardian, calling for more debate on the controversial Digital Economy Bill.

The Bill, backed by Labour and Conservatives, has attracted criticism for its measures allowing web-blocking and internet disconnection.

Bridget led a campaign within the Liberal Democrats leading to a motion condemning parts of the Bill being passed at her party’s conference earlier this month.

The digital economy bill is highly controversial. We believe that it threatens to severely infringe fundamental human rights, by allowing the disconnection of internet accounts for alleged copyright infringement, and also by new “website blocking” laws that could result in new ways to suppress free speech and legitimate activity. There are also dangers to business, through restrictions on provision on open wifi networks, that could damage our economy.

But our worry today is that none of this will be properly debated by parliament. Last week, Harriet Harman MP failed to give the Commons any reassurances that this bill would be properly scrutinised by our elected MPs. Democracy and accountability will be sidestepped if this bill is rushed through and amended without debate.

For these reasons we are writing to ask that those most controversial parts of the bill – covering “technical measures” and court orders for website blocking – either be properly debated, or be taken out of the bill and subjected to genuine democratic scrutiny in a new parliament.

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Entry filed under: Bridget4Islington.

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