The Parliamentary Internet Conference 2012

Posted by CJD on October 26, 2012

Every year the online industries get together in the in the Houses of Parliament  for a conference with politicians and other interested groups. I go along representing both ITSPA (the Internet Telephony Service Provider’s Association) and Voipfone. Here’s a few things that stuck in my mind/notebook from yesterday’s Conference:

“The  Internet is 8% of the UK’s GDP. 10% of UK retail sales are done online.”
Cloe Smith MP, Secretary to the Cabinet Office.

ARM Holding reckons that the have 95% of the chipsets in mobile devices.

“Great customer service equals bad security”
Simon McCalla (Nominet) explaining that overly helpful customer support staff can let in the bad people.

Andy Smith, Security Manager for the Cabinet office, caused a small storm by saying that “When you put information on the internet do not use your real name, your real date of birth,” This immediately made it onto a news feed on the BBC and later of Radio 4 news:

It all seemed pretty sensible to me at the time, he was talking about social media sites, not the tax office  – sometimes you have to feel sorry for political classes, say anything mildly controversial and you become an ogre.

I would have thought that this statement would have attracted more attention:
“My kids would do a better job than me; I’m used to drugs and thugs”
Martin Hewitt, Deputy Chief Commissioner Met Police and head of Specialist Crime Unit. (I don’t believe him, he seems pretty damn good to me.)

“There are 90,000 freelance hackers in China”
“Online fraud in UK is £27bn”
Christian Rogan, TrendMicro

“I’m absolutely committed to an open Internet”
Ed Vaizey, MP, Minister for  Culture, Communications and Creative Industries.

(Then he should force Everything Everywhere and Vodafone to sign the Broadband Stakeholder’s Group’s Code of Practice for an open internet.)

“Every attempt at an internet walled garden has failed.”
Jon Beardmore, BT, explaining why blocking access to services on the internet is a bad idea.

“The internet allows innovation without permission” Steve Ungar, Ofcom explaining why the open internet has been a great idea. He then went to ague for restrictions on open internet……

“Everything Everywhere agrees with the concept of the open internet, but there are commercial considerations…….”
Priya Sahathevan, Regulatory Counsel, Everything Everywhere, explaining why they are refusing to sign the BSG’s Code of Practice for an open internet.

This is what the BSG CoP says – and jolly good it is too; why would an honest company not want to sign up to that:

……. signatories will:

  • Ensure that full and open internet access products, with no blocked services, will be the norm within their portfolio of products.
  • Provide greater transparency in instances where certain classes of legal content, applications and/or services are unavailable on a product. These products will not be marketed as “internet access” and signatories will be obliged to ensure that any restrictions are clearly communicated to consumers.
  • Not target and degrade the content or applications of specific providers.

Everything Everywhere needs to rethink its position before there’s a falling out.

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