Home UK MP Solicits Digital Pledges

UK MP Solicits Digital Pledges

Tom Watson, the digitally literate British parliamentarian and Labour PPC for the West Bromwich East Constituency, has established a series of “digital pledges” in the wake of the Digital Economy Bill in the United Kingdom.

Watson was one of the primary opponents of the bill, which makes it possible for the British government to put the kibosh on pesky websites under the guise of copyright infringements.

“I want to stand on a platform that is avowedly supportive of the generation that seek to use the Internet to make the world a better place,” Watson said. He’s leaving comments open until April 14 and has created a dedicated site for this discussion in the hope of honing the pledges. The discussion site has a voting function and “I believe that copyright and software patent laws should be reformed to reflect the needs of citizens in the Internet age” is the clear leader so far.

Given the proliferation of information-restricting legislation around the globe, we would like to see candidates in every election in every country make similar pledges. How about it? Here’s a model for you in Watson’s.

My (draft) Digital Pledges

  1. I will support and campaign for more transparency in the public and private sector.
  2. I will oppose measures that unjustly deny people’s access to the Internet.
  3. Whilst noting the acknowledged limitations, I believe people have the right to free speech on the Internet.
  4. I will support all measures that allow people access to their personal data held by others. I further support restoration of control over how personal data is gathered, managed and shared to the individual.
  5. I will use my role as an MP to support international free expression movements.
  6. The Internet shall be built and operated openly and without discrimination.
  7. I will support all measures to bring non-personal public data into the public domain.
  8. I will support all proposals that lead to greater numbers joining the digital world and oppose measures that reduce it.
  9. I believe that copyright and software patent laws should be reformed to reflect the needs of citizens in the Internet age.

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