digital economy bill

A historic opportunity to modernise the framework of public service broadcasting in the UK is upon us. This Wednesday the House of Lords will debate the Digital Economy Bill. It deserves more attention than it may receive.
In an era of anxiety about the proliferation of fake news, and the need to support British creative and commercial success internationally, protecting the best of the BBC and encouraging it to innovate and excel has never been more important. So it is of deep concern that recent months have seen growing anxiety that government policy is threatening both the independence of the BBC and its continuing ability to deliver core activities.
The digital revolution is having a profound effect on our lives by dramatically changing the way we live, work and interact with one another. Today, inventions and innovations are happening at speeds which were previously unimaginable, providing new and exciting opportunities for us all.
The BBFC operates transparent, consistent and trusted co-regulatory and self-regulatory classification and labelling systems in the UK. The BBFC Classification Guidelines are based on large-scale public consultation and supplemented with expert research. The last review of the Classification Guidelines involved more than 10,000 members of the public from across the UK.
This is a mendacious attempt to derail sensible safeguarding measures presumably as it is perceived to be easier to decry any attempts to regulate internet sites as 'unworkable', than have to make the case for why existing BBFC regulations for classification of sex on film might be reviewed and possibly modernised in light of changing sexual attitudes.
Now, I am experiencing a strong sense of déja vu. The new incarnation of the Digital Economy Bill starts with a real concern, that children can access pornography online, and puts forward a 'modest proposal". This is a deserving group whose interests are indisputably important.
Currently a bill is being passed through parliament, and it wants to control your sex life. The Digital Economy bill, widely touted as a means to limit children's access to online pornography, faces its third reading on Monday, 28th November - the final stop before it becomes law.
Labour have always known that education matters, it's why in Government we expanded and updated sex education and why in the Digital Economy Bill, we are taking the first steps towards developing statutory online sex education for the smartphone generation; helping children navigate the online world in a safe environment where they can ask questions and have any concerns answered.
Labour believes that this should have been a Digital Future Bill looking at how we support the digital economy so that it works for everyone: thinking about skills and education, Digital inclusion, workers' protections in the gig economy, the ethics of Big Data and data sharing, digital infrastructure, taxation, digital public services, financing for start-ups particularly outside London, WiFi in public spaces, the progress of open data policy making and post-Brexit the ability of companies to recruit specialists. On those challenges and opportunities the Government is silent.
We hope that the Committee scrutinising the Bill are brave enough to acknowledge that Part 5 is an old fashioned approach to a very modern problem. Rather than amend Part 5, we hope they send it back from where it came and push for a rewrite so that this legislation can be meaningful rather than meaningless.
In a welcome twist of events, the May government adopted Labour Party policy this week. Described as more "Balls than Osborne", Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that Conservative economic policy = fiscal discipline + investment for growth.
Recent research by the NSPCC found that young people are as likely to see online porn accidentally as search for it, and that repeated viewing can lead them to see porn as realistic. Exposing children to porn at a young age, before they are equipped to cope with it, can be extremely damaging to their developing understanding of sex and relationships.
Digital streaming services like Netflix and Spotify are reducing piracy, according to an article in the Daily Telegraph earlier