Friday, February 22, 2008

Meddling polies should focus on what matters

I understand the need for regulation and laws, but it annoys me when polies meddle in areas for the sake of being seen to do some thing. The UK government is threatening legislation to penalise ISPs for not blocking privacy. The really idiotic thing is the UK government has already said their idea falls afoul of UK and EU data privacy laws. So what's going to happen? The government will pass the law, the ISPs will challenge in the UK and EU and the law will be rule illegal. So back to drawing board with the only accomplished is a lot of money spent on lawyers and the government been seen to do something.

Beyond the technical hurdles, there is also the political fallout from the law being overturned plus the damage this will do to a government tettering on the brink. I wonder if this new push has arisen when someone pointed out wholesale kicking off of downloaders is likely to lose Labour votes.

To me, this is massive over-reaction to a relative minor problem. Stopping downloading of content is not going to be a saviour of society nor cure its ills. There are far more pressing problems in the economy that WILL do massive amount of damage to peoples lives - credit crisis, stagflation, deep recession - that the government should be worrying about. Protecting an outdated business model is NOT the governments job.

This legislation has the air of desperation. Of a government looking down a yawing canyon of irrelevance and trying deperately to be seen to be doing something, anything.

Fiddling while Rome(London) burns.

Tags: UK Government, UK, ISPs, Policy