March 11, 2010 | Jim Killock

Conservatives need to ditch support for anti-tech, anti-rights Digital Economy Bill proposals

Today at midday, the Conservatives are announcing manifesto plans for faster broadband and a ‘data freedom act’ to release masses of government data.

But these progressive ideas stand in stark contrast to the actions of the Conservative party today, supporting disconnection and threats of self-censorship in the Digital Economy Bill.

Let’s be clear: trying to get everyone online and building a society dependent on the internet is a policy that is totally contradicted by a policy of disconnection as a punishment for civil copyright infringement. And Conservative support for poorly worked out BPI-drafted proposals for web blocking looks ignorant and destructive.

This Monday, a survey showed that 80% of world’s citizens see the internet as a fundamental right. And today, the British Computer Society added their weight to concerns about disconnection, saying that they current plans would harm digital inclusion. Meanwhile libraries and the FSB warn about the harm that will be done to them, as they too are threatened with disconnection.

Conservatives want to win the fight for our heart and minds: they cannot hope to do so while supporting regressive policies like disconnection.

Take action

Please do help the Conservatives to realise that disconnection is wrong. If you are a Conservative, let your party leaders know. If you have a Conservtitve MP, write to them. 

And whoever you are, challenge all the candidates to tell us what they think.