Just As It Tries To Kick People Offline, The British Gov't Wants To Move All Public Service Online

from the interesting-timing dept

Just as it considers kicking people offline via the Digital Economy Bill, it looks like the UK is getting set to move all sorts of government services online -- giving every UK citizen a unique webpage, where they can access all sorts of personalized gov't services. Now, some folks are (perhaps reasonably) concerned about privacy and the threat of data breaches, but it seems like an even bigger issue is the conflicting messages the UK gov't seems to be sending in threatening to remove people's internet connections at the same time it's trying to get them to do more and more online.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 2:35am

    The right to access information and services is now what people in the U.S. might consider an "inalienable" right. There are many ways to do this, such as snail mail, telephone, and internet access, but progress is pushing more and more services to be available exclusively online.

    Depending on your lifestyle and need to access information, losing your internet connection can be a terrible hardship. Anyone looked for a job lately? Certain workforce sectors just do not take paper resumes anymore. If you submit one, it will go straight to the trash. They demand you submit it online. What if you are a reporter and must access information in pursuit of your job? Reporters were around before the internet, but the internet has now become so indispensable a tool that to be forbidden to use it would be crippling. Stock traders, IT personnel, and many other kinds of jobs would just not be able to function effectively without the internet given conditions today.

    We live in the age of information, and it's upsetting to see that governments have not only failed to recognize access to information as a right, but that some are trying to take it away.

    The internet isn't just a luxury anymore.

     

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  2.  
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    Brain Marvin, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 2:55am

    its great idea to have right to information online.. but there are risks like hacking..

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 3:22am

    Re:

    You say that like storing information offline is completely safe.....

     

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  4.  
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    Doge (profile), Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 3:24am

    Right

    Access to an uncensored internet is a right that we have to sustain in todays world. There are many who regard this as a threat to their way of doing business, but merely doing business is not an excuse for removing a human right.

    I hope that governments will recognise this, and not bow down to the sleazy claims of the music industry that it threatens their business model - well change it then...

     

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  5.  
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    MrSonPopo, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 3:55am

    Re: Right

    The so-called "right to profit" is one big part of the problem. It has taken a meaning that as long as your business model creates an (not necessarily realistic) expectation that people will give you money for whatever crap you're offering, as long as no one else is offering it or, god forbid, offering for free.

    "Boo hoo, if people share then my business model doesn't work!"
    "*sob*, *sob* if people give bad reviews on my products, then I can't sell my products!"
    "Waaahh, it doesn't matter if people are going to die without my medicine...I created it on the expectation that other people wouldn't be allowed to produce it!"

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 4:06am

    the uk government doesnt want to kick people offline. they just want them to stop stealing.

     

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  7.  
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    NullOp, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 4:08am

    UK

    WTF?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re:

    There have been many stories published about documents of all sorts being found in dumpsters. Sometimes it was becasue the business was no more, others just becasue they are thoughtless.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 5:09am

    Re:

    They should call the cops then. Or don't the police in the UK arrest those who steal? Denigrated into anarchy in the UK, has it?

    Maybe the UK government can make a law that turns copyright infringement into a criminal action, like theft? So the stealers can still access the interent but from jail.

    I'm sure that would be pretty easy to do.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 5:38am

    Re: Re:

    You have to email the cops now, no more phone service. Good luck doing that while on the internet blacklist.

     

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  11.  
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    Chargone (profile), Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 5:46am

    Re: Re: Right

    The right to pursue happiness and profit are not the same as the right to attain it, methinks.

    Not that the corporations want the government to remember that officially...

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 6:09am

    Anyone paying attention knows that the British government has had its collective proverbial head up its collective proverbial arse for quite some time with respect to technology and information policy. Conflicting messages are the norm on this backward island.

     

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  13.  
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    mike42 (profile), Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 6:30am

    History repeats itself

    Sounds like a great idea! When someone is accused of copyright infringement, we turn off their major line of commmunication! We'll call it... Excommunication! And since these accused infringers obviously don't BELIEVE in our business model, and we're looking for a stronger term than, "Pirates", let's call them, "Business Model Heretics" or just "Heretics" for short. Then we'll sue the Heretics, take away their possessions and property, make them confess their heresy, and finally burn them at the stake!

    Woo-hoo! No more stealers 'round here no more!

     

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  14.  
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    Ady, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 6:41am

    This is exactly why we need the Digital Economy Bill...

     

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  15.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 7:54am

    so when you get kicked offline

    "the uk government doesn't want to kick people offline. they just want them to stop stealing."

    TAM your wrong they want to kick people off cause everyone is sharing , and as sharing is caring they DON'T CARE do they.

    Prove that the candy bar is gone which it isn't. AND Prove why anyone should pay for tv and music and movies. WHY tell me really why they feel entitled to money for 50 years or more
    let alone more then 5 years....DOES the factory worker get money for the life of your car all time you use it?
    THe door makers?
    THE SHOE makers?
    See when you put copyrights to other businesses it suddenly looks realllllll
    FUCKING EXPENSIVE DON'T IT
    last i checked its a capitalist world
    HOW ABOUT SOME COMPETITION and this is what ACTA destroys
    COMPETITION

    AS sarkozy got trounched in FRANCE so too shall ANY GOVT THAT TRIES THIS CRAP

     

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  16.  
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    mike allen (profile), Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 9:24am

    perhaps

    TAM or other**AA trol can tell me how copyright is good for inovation. copyright= make one or two good songs sit back take the coke. or no copyright= keep making good songs and having hits.

     

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  17.  
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    Dennis Hampton, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 9:40am

    Business

    I search the net looking for this type of content to give me ideas on future articles that I am going to write on this same general subject. Appreciate reading your article and thanks for the great content and information on Legitimate online businesses.

     

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  18.  
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    Flakey, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 10:15am

    Disconnects

    I am sure by now that many of the public have thought of accusing the lawmakers of infringement enough time to get their internet access removed. It's a likely enough thought that it's sure to be played out again and again.

    To me this suggests that there will be some sort of list of those not allowed to be removed or if you will, some people won't have to worry about having their net disconnected if they are in government. Most likely those same people in government will have access to more than one connection too, making sure that a disconnect will not affect them.

    It is no stretch of the imagination to come up with above. Nor is any sort of mental wizardry needed to come up with the most likely answer to it.

    The question will be how long will it take for this to come to light after it is put in practice?

    Like some other organizations we know, it seems that the UK government is determined to increase household usage of the internet while at the same time, removing access. A strange duality isn't it?

     

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  19.  
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    Mr. Oizo, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 10:42am

    The message is quite clear

    We will run internet for the population and need control of everything. I don't see any mixed message here ?

     

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  20.  
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    Rikuo, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 10:44am

    Well

    Step 1: Move all government and other essential services online.
    Step 2: Accuse someone three times of copyright infringement.
    Step 3: Remove their internet access.
    Step 4: Banned person says "But Internet access is essential!"
    Step 5: Banned person goes to internet cafe to renew car tax etc.
    Step 6: Government hears of this, demands internet cafes begin i.d. checks at door, those banned are refused service.
    Step 7: This results in huge overheads for cafes. Prices soar, business drops off, most go out of business.
    Step 8: Banned person loses car, can't access other information, can't renew passport, etc. Is stuck in the country, is not allowed to go on holidays.
    Step 9: Banned person receives sub-standard treatment on NHS, because they weren't able to buy insurance online. They die because of sub-standard treatment.
    Step 10: Government declares this whole sequence of events a complete success!

     

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  21.  
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    Richard (profile), Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 11:37am

    I'm glad this was such a short piece so I was able to re-read it several times quite quickly in shocked disbelief. I wonder if prisoners (you know, actual criminals, not copyright infringers) get some kind of internet access in prison? Seems to me you might be better off ACTUALLY stealing a physical DVD in the UK.

     

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  22.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 11:53am

    Re: (Ady)

    Sarcasm Fail?

     

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  23.  
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    MrSonPopo, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Re: History repeats itself

    +3 internets for you, sir. You made me lol all over the place here. :D

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    Re:

    the uk government doesnt want to kick people offline.

    Then you haven't actually read the Digital Economy Bill.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 6:13pm

    Re:

    the uk government doesnt want to kick people offline. they just want them to stop stealing.
    Stop stealing what?

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    truth, Sep 26th, 2010 @ 2:31pm

    the truth of "copyright infringement"

    Economists often refer to the need for a capitalist economy to have a "free flow of information".

    Software, media etc is so easy to copy because it is nothing more than information. Information of the exact sort referred to above. Computer programs help people organize and plan efficiently. Media carries important messages that can help people make the right choices.

    Free flow of information is important because it allows people not to waste resources on unsuccessful ventures, thus improving the efficiency of the economy. Software and media does just that.

    The truth is our concept of "intellectual property" is flawed. Most computer programs, media etc. are simple rehashes of similar concepts and nothing particularly new or novel.

    In reality producers of such things are actually providing a service, not creating a product that they own. Those people who pay for that product pay to get something tailored to their needs and something well supported. People who go to movie theaters pay to get the whole experience and see the latest in entertainment. The end result however is information, which no one can own in any legitimate capitalist economy.

    The current state of things is a pretty accurate reflection of the way things SHOULD be. "Piracy" is rampant, yet producers of media and software still make a profit off of the people who are willing to pay to get the best.

     

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