So, it would seem that despite firm opposition by the Liberal democrats the utter abortion that is the Digital Economy bill has made it through the house of lords and has been passed back to the commons.

It is the government’s hope that MPs will not exercise their right to debate this bill further, and if the debate doesn’t happen the bill will be made law.

I can not express how bad this authoritarian and protectionist bill is or how much damage it will do to the UK economy.

It will increase the already disastrous brain drain, as well as losing any party which supports this bill the sizeable UK technical vote.

Please write to your MP now and ask that the bill is debated in full!

Image “closed” by Gill Holgate

So, I’ve been a little bit quiet over the whole Barcamp transparency thing in recent months for one reason or another – but not because nothing has been happening!

As the UK enters into an election year, and with legislation such as the infamous Digital Economy Bill being rushed through parliament, and all parties promising to clean up politics, 2010 looks to be an exciting year for transparency related issues.

I am therefore delighted to confirm that Barcamp Transparency will be happening again later this year, with more speakers, more interesting conversations and more beer afterwards!

Transparency isn’t just a hot topic in the UK of course, so we are currently actively putting together plans for holding similar events elsewhere in the world.  If you would be interested in helping out, please get in touch!

Finally, it has come to light from the conversations that we have been having that there is a need for an online community space to help organise these events and let people from around the world discuss and collaborate on transparency related issues.

Therefore, I am delighted to say that we are currently putting this together and that Ben Werdmuller (of Elgg fame) has agreed to become our Community Manager!

Get in touch and let us know what you want to see in the future!

There was a small ripple around the internet this morning caused by the Home office opening up the Beta terrorist reporting tool.

To what extent the reports from this tool are monitored is unclear, but I suspect this will cause more problems that it solves.

Even before we consider the rather broad definition the government has for illegal material (which on the face of it could cover a number of science and religious texts), I can see the tool quickly becoming buried under false positives – whether through over sensitive citizens or through plain vindictiveness – which would need to be investigated.

Even if no further action is taken after the investigation, the cost in both time and resources must surely represent a significant risk that things that are actually a threat will be missed.