Business internet

Digital Britain Report by not so digital civil servants

The Digital Britain Report is a key part of Government strategy to make the UK a leader where internet issues are concerned. I’m not sure whether I am wrily amused or plain horrified by a comment made to me by someone who had recently met the team compiling the report.

None of the civil servants at the meeting had been on Facebook, or any other social networking websites. In fact none of them seemed to have heard of Twitter. Apparently this engendered laughter all round.

You have to say that this does not bode well for the success of the Digital Britain initiative.

The Digital Britain interim report included a proposal to establish a Rights Agency to supervise the fight against illegal P2P music downloading. More detailed proposals are apparently due out this week and I am told that industry will only have 10 days to respond with comments.

This is a very short consultation period and suggests to me that Lord Stephen Carter has an agenda to muscle through this measure. Whilst I don’t disagree with him – the list of stakeholders is too long to get any meaningful consensus – the notional speed at which he seems to be trying to make things happen here lends itself to mistakes being made.

I can see a mopping up excercise following any legislation to make corrections to laws created in a rush.