Tom Watson

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= Labour MP in the UK


" Watson, who serves on the advisory council of the Open Rights Group, decided to campaign on a list of ten digital pledges - possibly the first MP ever to campaign on copyright reform.

"I had a bruising experience opposing the Digital Economy Act at the start of the general election", he says. "I thought, I'm not going to allow the steamroller to hit me again in the next Parliament. I want to derive some mandate from my own constituents to stand out on these issues." Now, he says, "I'm trying to quietly get on with it and where I can advance these causes I do."

But, he adds, "What we have is an ambiguous position by government on all things digital." As a result, "It's quite a fluid time in digital policy."

On his list besides the DEA, which "has all the worst ingredients for bad legislation" are the provisions in the Freedom Bill about the role and power of the Information Commissioner's Office.

"We could be extending the role of Freedom of Information, increasing the ICO's powers, and having their remit extended to look at privacy. As a society in the digital age we are teasing out the different borders of privacy and what it means to live your life in perpetuity on the Net," he said.

"We're not going to be able to cast that settlement straight away, but policy makers need to be on it and need to be responding to the needs and desires and new threats, and they're not. This legislation could help." [1] (