Monthly Archives: March 2010

On the Digital Economy Bill

From: Andy Piper
Sent: 17 March 2010 12:09
To: HOWARTH, Gerald
Subject: My concerns about Internet laws and the Digital Economy Bill

Dear Mr Howarth

I’m writing to you today because I’m very worried that the Government is rushing the Digital Economy Bill into law potentially without a full Parliamentary debate and opportunity for scrutiny. This is an important piece of legislation and to treat it in this way concerns me greatly.

I work in the IT industry – I am a Certified IT Professional and a member of the British Computer Society. The BCS itself yesterday called for the Bill to be considered in more detail ( Many people think it will damage schools and businesses as well as innocent people who rely on the Internet because it will allow the Government to disconnect people it suspects of copyright infringement.

I regularly speak at conferences about the impact of the Internet, “social media” and new technology on our lives (for example, I spoke at the SOMESSO conference in London last spring – slides and video are available online; and I will speak at the CRIM conference in Montreal next month). As such, I would be happy to share my expertise with you should you feel the need to understand the issues in more detail. Other industry experts, Internet service providers (including BT) and large Internet companies like Google and Yahoo are all opposing the Bill – yet the Government seems intent on forcing it through without a real debate.

As a constituent I am writing to you today to ask you to do all you can to ensure the Government doesn’t just rush the Bill through. This Government has already taken some of the most extreme measures to deprive UK citizens of our democratic right to debate important issues and I believe that this is yet another area where we may end up in a dangerous position without further careful consideration.

Yours sincerely

Andy Piper

(more at

Innovation and Social Media

“Telephone and email still remain important, just as face-to-face meetings and traditional mail retain their spaces,” he said. “Social media is just that: social. It’s part of the way in which humans have driven technology to enable them to communicate, create, share and collaborate. It reflects our own desire as a species to form communities and to connect with one another.”

Last week I was interviewed via email by Camille Tuutti for an article she was writing for GovCon Executive. You can read a few of the things I said about IBM’s use of social media (including the snippet above) in the piece, which is now posted online.