November 14th, 2010 by Martin Tod

Julian Huppert at desk in WestminsterWelcome to our open policy consultation on Information Technology and Intellectual Property

We are doing this as a pilot to learn how we can use the power of the internet to consult with the public and relevant experts in all our future policy development. The power of the net means that we can get input from experts from around the UK and the world – and also build a community to engage in discussion of our policy ideas.

This is consultation not official Liberal Democrat policy (yet)

This consultation paper is presented as the first stage in the development of Party policy on Information and Communication Technology. It does not represent agreed Party policy. It is designed to stimulate debate and discussion within the Party and outside.

Based on the responses generated, on the party’s fundamental values and on the deliberations of the working group, a full Information and Communication Technology policy paper will be drawn up and presented to the party’s Conference for debate.

We want to know what you think

The Liberal Democrats believe strongly in consulting and listening with the communities that we campaign in. In this particular case we are interested in hearing from the internet community with policy ideas and reaction to the ideas put forward in our policy green paper. There are currently two opportunities for feedback:

You do not need to be a party member to participate in any part of the process.

I look forward to hearing your views.

Julian Huppert MP

Join the IT policy discussion

December 9th, 2010 by Martin Tod

If you’re interested in joining the Make IT Policy discussion email list, just send an email to libdemsforit-subscribe@lists.libdems.org.uk and you’ll be automatically added to the discussion list.

IT policy subgroups

November 14th, 2010 by Martin Tod

The IT & IP policy working group agreed to appoint subject leads at the last meeting, comprising:

  • Digital inclusion – Andy Hudson & Bridget Fox
  • R&D, Open Source & Security – Aladdin Ayesh & Neil McGovern
  • Commerce & Taxation – Serena Tierney & Rachel Coleman Finch
  • Government & Politics – Martin Tod & Neville Farmer
  • Regulation, Creative industries & Privacy – Julian Huppert & Paul Thompson

These groups are looking to get ideas from outside experts.  They already have a working list, but all suggestions for further ideas are most welcome.

New IT policy consultation paper published

August 10th, 2010 by Martin Tod

The party has now posted a new IT policy paper online in PDF format.

If the people on the working group decide to have an email consultation list or an accessible website that allows comments, I’ll post details here as well.

New Policy Working Group on Information Technology and Intellectual Property

July 16th, 2010 by Martin Tod

The Federal Policy Committee is setting up a Policy Working Group on these issues, to be chaired by Dr Julian Huppert MP.

The working group will review all aspects of policy on IT and the internet. It will be necessary to give significant attention to intellectual property issues, with particular attention to their application to the digital economy.

The group will take forward the issues raised by the conference motion Freedom, Creativity and the Internet adopted by the Spring Conference 2010.

Party members interested in joining the group should contact Debbie Enever on d.enever@libdems.org.uk for more details. The final deadline for applications is 6 August 2010.

Digital Economy Bill – web blocking

March 5th, 2010 by Martin Tod

There’s been quite a lot of activity in the Lib Dem blogosphere over the last couple of days about the decision by the Lib Dem Lords to propose an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill allowing injunctions requiring ISPs to block to particular websites.

You can read Tim Clement-Jones’s argument in favour of the proposals here, a response by Cory Doctorow here and a further response by 25 of the party’s PPCs on Lib Dem Voice.

IT policy discussion restarted

February 13th, 2010 by Martin Tod

After quite a few years, a group has set itself up on ACT to discuss Lib Dem IT policy.

The group describes itself as:

Lib Dems for some decent IT Policy – open standards, decent project management, re-skilling local and national government in technology – less throwing cash at EDS et al, fair and good value tendering.

Interested? More at http://act.libdems.org.uk/group/libdemsforsomedecentitpolicy

Open Source Mapping – and open data generally

May 12th, 2006 by Martin Tod

Interesting article in the Guardian yesterday about

an attempt to map the Isle of Wight’s roads in one weekend for OpenStreetMap.org, a website that helps create maps free for anyone to use for any purpose. If Ordnance Survey and other national agencies will not make their data freely available, then OpenStreetMap, developed over the past two years, will re-collect it from scratch.

It links to the Guardian’s Free Our Data campaign for free public access to data about the UK and its citizens.

So far, this isn’t an area where the Liberal Democrats have policy one way or the other – although given our historical distrust of monopolies, whether state or private, I suspect it’s something we would support. The current situation also puts up a financial barrier to all kinds of party activity which could be helpful to fellow citizens: looking up local councillors and campaigners, creating tools to make it easier for people to report casework etc. etc.

Perhaps a motion to conference?

New campaign site to ‘save the internet’

April 24th, 2006 by Martin Tod

It’s clear that the threat to ‘net neutrality’ is increasing (as mentioned in this previous post) – and it’s not just a US problem.

Find out more at the SavetheInternet.com coalition website.

You can read more about net neutrality on the BBC website.

Given Tony Blair’s apparent unconditional desire to accept, and even reapply, almost everything done by George Bush and the Republican party, this is one we need to watch carefully.

Moving MakeITPolicy to WordPress

March 29th, 2006 by Martin Tod

Richard and I were shooting the breeze and we realised that our former version of this site replicated many of the techniques used by WordPress – although mostly via manual means. So as an experiment, and to provide a model for other party groups wishing to consult on policy, we’ve converted the site to WordPress and created a template that replicated our old site.

The one thing that this will let us easily do is post updates on IT related issues (such as ID cards) and easily allow comments on the site without all the hassle this caused on the old site!