Otto von Bismarck once said: “Laws are like sausages. It’s better not to see them being made.

To my mind, few things could have illustrated this clearer than yesterday’s vote on the Digital Economy bill, where – as the vote was finally called – the room quickly filled with MPs who had completely missed out on the debate of the last two days.

Faster than you could say “Stitch-up” or “Democratic deficit” the vote was overwhelmingly passed thanks to a reported 3 line whip and a back room deal with the Conservatives. Only the Liberal Democrats and one awesome Labour back bencher did the right thing.

It should be noted as well that the Labour back bencher in question was actively tweeting during the proceedings.

So that’s pretty much that. The bill as passed will pretty much regulate away the UK technology industry and provide a quick and cost effective mechanism to curtail free speech and governmental scrutiny, leaving only big business and a gagged population.

Someone much more cynical than me may suggest that this was the idea. Afterall, it is in both big business and government’s interest that you are unquestioning ignorant consumers – simple economic units that work, buy stuff and pay taxes.

So, with this and other laws worthy of East Germany making the UK feel less like a country and more like a cage, I and many others are left looking about for a free country to live in.

While I do that, I will just point out that Labour and the Conservatives are the same people – so please remember this when it comes to the ballot box.

8 thoughts on “Digital Economy (#debill) passes, UK ceases to have one

  1. Part of me is still hoping that it’ll be struck down, together with some of these other nonsense laws that you’ve pointed out, on the grounds that it violates the Human Rights Act in a very real way. That Act was codified into law as part of a wider European initiative to recognise human rights, and as such the Digital Economy Bill can be taken and contested in the European courts. It should be, as quickly as possible.

  2. True, but we shouldn’t by rights be in this situation.

    This and other laws proposed illustrate that the government really just don’t understand concepts like liberty or democracy, if they did they wouldn’t even propose such laws for fear of being laughed at (or for fear of their very lives if you understand the original meaning of the USA’s second amendment).

    It also proves once again the level of contempt the government has for the citizenry.

    As for your comment about the Human rights act, its worth pointing out that one of David Cameron’s pledges should the Conservatives win is to repeal that law and replacing it with a UK equivalent.

    This “equivalent” will make human rights *conditional* and of course under government control and with definitions set by the same.

    This is legal of course, because the EU stipulates that you only need to make provision for human rights, but doesn’t go into too much detail…

  3. Now… how do I report my competitors in the creative industry and get their Internet connections disconnected? There’s too much room for abuse.

    When you find a free country, let us know.

  4. This law will not affect the savvy geek who owns servers all over the place, proxies, VPNs and pretty much rules the internet. This will affect your single mum with 3 kids that have discovered LimeWire or Acquisition, the landlords which have “I don’t give a damn” tenants etc. Do people actually get this?!?

  5. Quite!

    Also, what if I want to silence opposition? Data released under FOI is copyright HM Government.

    What about private companies? Would Trafigura have gone through a costly super injunction when they could have simply requested the government through a switch?

    This is bigger than just file sharing, and currently the only safeguard we have is government assurance that they won’t abuse this power, but that only holds water if you trust the government.

    There is no constitutional protection, and we all know that power corrupts.

Leave a Reply