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Government Censorship Piracy United Kingdom Your Rights Online

British Coalition Partner Attempts to Block Web Censorship Powers 58

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the lib-dem-redacted-redacted-regrets-his-redacted-decision dept.
judgecorp writes "The Liberal Democrat party is attempting to repeal the controversial web-blocking powers allowed by Britain's Digital Economy Act. The move goes against the policy of the coalition government, and the tactic chosen is a roundabout one: Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert proposed an amendment to a different bill which would have had the effect of repealing parts of the DEA. The amendment was not discussed, but the proposal is a sign that the Lib Dems mean business on this policy, adopted at their party conference."
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British Coalition Partner Attempts to Block Web Censorship Powers

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  • by EdZ (755139) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @09:42AM (#37689462)
    Well, let's see if the Lib Dems can keep at least one of their pre-election promises. Not holding my breath though.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The libs have actually done quite a lot of their pre-election promises, it's just the the mainstream media only focus on the tuition fees and other things that didn't quite go their way.

      (full disclosure: I'm actually a Tory voter)

      • by Coisiche (2000870)

        I think the "full disclosure" is a bit unnecessary when you post AC. Fair enough if you use AC to confess a BNP vote but Tory is no big deal. Well, unless you're in Scotland that is.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          People need to post AC if they have mod powers.
          If they don't, they nullify said powers for this entire article.
          At least, last I checked, I haven't bothered logging on in... oh, a long time now.

        • by Pax681 (1002592)

          but Tory is no big deal. Well, unless you're in Scotland that is.

          aye it's a hanging offence up here!....LOL

      • And in fairness, Julian Huppert (my local MP) actually voted as he promised he would on the tuition fees issue, rebelling against the official coalition policy. Perhaps that was enlightened self-interest, since his constituency is Cambridge, where there is a small university you may have heard of (and in fact a second university as well). Still, he's one of the few MPs who has a serious background in science and appears to want to see relevant evidence before forming policies. While I don't agree with him o

    • Doubtful. Nick Clegg has proven time and time again that, since forming the coalition, he is nothing but a lapdog. If the coalition are gonna hurt this bill it will need the full backing of the Tories.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Vanders (110092)
        I'm not sure what people expect from the Liberal Democrats. Some sort of Night of the Long Knives where Nick Clegg eliminates both the Conservatives and Labour and declares himself Supreme Leader?
        • yeah, that took about ten seconds on rmorf... (gawd, anyone else still use that??)

        • They expected that a party with 40% of the seats controlled by the coalition would be the dominant force in policy making,would not have to make any compromises, and would be able to do everything that they said in their manifesto that they would do if they had a majority. The fact that they haven't done this is very disappointing to a lot of people. It also doesn't help that the labour press blame the Lib Dems and Tories equally for bad things, while the Tory press blames the Lib Dems for everything bad
          • by Vanders (110092) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @10:29AM (#37689982) Homepage

            not have to make any compromises

            Wait: you seriously expect a party that is part of a coalition to not make compromises?

            would be able to do everything that they said in their manifesto that they would do if they had a majority

            Why in the world would anyone with half a brain expect such a thing? They have 40% of the votes in the coalition. They have 9% of the seats in the House of Commons. How, precisely, do you expect the Liberal Democrats to do this without support from either the Conservatives or Labour? Bearing in mind that apparently they're also not allowed to compromise.

            People expect magic. It's the same mind set of people who blame the President of the United States for absolutely everything but never question what the Senate or HoR are doing.

            • by digitig (1056110)

              not have to make any compromises

              Wait: you seriously expect a party that is part of a coalition to not make compromises?

              would be able to do everything that they said in their manifesto that they would do if they had a majority

              Why in the world would anyone with half a brain expect such a thing? They have 40% of the votes in the coalition. They have 9% of the seats in the House of Commons. How, precisely, do you expect the Liberal Democrats to do this without support from either the Conservatives or Labour? Bearing in mind that apparently they're also not allowed to compromise. People expect magic. It's the same mind set of people who blame the President of the United States for absolutely everything but never question what the Senate or HoR are doing.

              [Whoosh]

            • Wait: you seriously expect a party that is part of a coalition to not make compromises?

              No, but then I would expect people to read my post and the context in which it was written before posting a reply, meaning that I seem to have unreasonably high expectations...

              • by Vanders (110092)
                Subtle sarcasm doesn't carry well on the internet. If it makes you feel less pained by my post, replace "you" with "people".
            • by AmiMoJo (196126)

              Wait: you seriously expect a party that is part of a coalition to not make compromises?

              No, but the Lib Dems have a choice here. No-one forced them into a coalition and the people who voted for them have a right to expect some of their major policies to at least influence what the government is doing. The simple fact is not a single one got anywhere.

              In fact tuition fees, fairer taxes and electoral reform* swung very far in the opposite direction, demonstrating that the Lib Dems don't have any real influence what so ever. You can bet that despite Clegg saying that the Human Rights Act was here

        • by m50d (797211)
          Dropping some manifesto promises in the interests of the coalition: OK. Violating one's personal pledge never to vote for a given policy: not OK.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by expat.iain (1337021)

        I would suggest that the LibDems, like the Tories, have come into service of the nation only to discover the barren waste left by the Labour administration. It's all well and good having grand plans, but when one peers inside to find the coffers empty through abysmal mis-management, it's difficult to step forward with increased spending plans without looking completely nuts.

        Clegg and his bunch are in a very difficult situation where they need to keep some stability in the country by not having an early elec

        • Yes, I agree it is quite a job they have taken upon themselves, and showing enough results to keep the public confidence will be difficult. However, certain things that Clegg swore he would provide, he has gone against, such as the student fees (not saying I was for or against that, just that he really went against his own word on that one). I think the general public has lost all faith in the LD, which is dangerous in turn because it took both Tory and LD votes to make the coalition, and if lost LD votes g
          • by digitig (1056110)

            Yes, I agree it is quite a job they have taken upon themselves, and showing enough results to keep the public confidence will be difficult. However, certain things that Clegg swore he would provide, he has gone against, such as the student fees

            If the LibDems had ended up with a majority he might have been able to deliver on that promise. They didn't, so it was not within their power to keep all their promises. The coalition agreement decided which promises stayed and which had to go, and once that agreement was made he was right to stick by it rather than break the coalition over something he had previously agreed to. If it wasn't tuition fees they would have to have compromised on some other promise or promises instead of comparable significance

            • by RDW (41497)

              If the LibDems had ended up with a majority he might have been able to deliver on that promise. They didn't, so it was not within their power to keep all their promises.The coalition agreement decided which promises stayed and which had to go, and once that agreement was made he was right to stick by it rather than break the coalition over something he had previously agreed to.

              Yes, much better to break the promises they made to the voters rather than those they made to their coalition 'partners'. After all, the voters are never likely to give them any significant power in their own right (especially now); only their new friends can do that. And no matter that the solemn pledge signed by every elected LibDem MP ('I pledge to vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative'), and which many voters were naive

              • by digitig (1056110)

                Yes, much better to break the promises they made to the voters rather than those they made to their coalition 'partners'.

                The choice is to fail to deliver on all of their promises (by not going into coalition) or fail to deliver on just some of them (by going into coalition). I know which I think is better (and yes, more honourable). If the voters had elected them to government then they might have been able to keep all of their promises, but the voters didn't give them that option. As somebody else has pointed out, they have managed to get over 60% of their policies into government policy with only 9% of the seats, which is a

        • by Doc Ruby (173196)

          None of that ruin you describe should be a surprise to anyone. In fact the coalition members ran on the dire nature of the ruin. Note that Labour itself used ruin and liberal views to gain and keep power for a while.

          British voters evidently recognize the ruins wrought by successive governments, are routinely alarmed, and typically elect people who are too. Usually people who offer a relatively (to their later actions) liberal response. People who then heap more ruin on the British. But of course not on all

      • Re:About bloody time (Score:5, Informative)

        by SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @10:48AM (#37690302) Homepage

        What do you expect? Lib Dems are outnumbered 6 to 1 by the Conservatives. I'm surprised at how much influence Clegg has had over the coalition when his party is a small part of the government.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, let's see if they can raise the income tax threshold, target funding towards schools with poorer pupils, set up a Green Investment Bank, scrap the National Identity Register, restore the state pensions/earnings link, etcetera.

      The BBC Politics Show reckons that about two-thirds of the Lib Dem manifesto is going forward in Government. Looks like you can breath easily...

  • ...unless, for once Britain takes notice of what International observers are saying - that this Statutory violation of privacy, with no pretext needed, is against International Law and more to the point goes against Constitutional rights to privacy.

    I would sure like to see them use such argument to keep themselves out of the papers for the wrong reasons, much as they use Constitutional privilege *now* to keep certain Parliamentary meetings behind closed doors - while at the same time claiming we in the UK *

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Britain noticed, it's just that Britain's political options make the US two-party system look like a buffet of wonder. The last election came down to a choice between two identical groups of socially conservative douchebags with indistinguishable policies, and a liberal party that hadn't won an election in decades. And then at the deciding, decisive moment, the liberal party decided to throw in with the capital-c Conservatives without consulting its voters or setting out any ground-rules. Great job, guys! I

      • by Anonymous Coward

        But the UK political options still make the US two-party system look like Stalinist Russia. There you have a choice between two extreme right wing parties, one with extra extreme.

        Here you have a choice between several moderate right parties, with the extreme rightwingnut unable to get traction.

      • I feel represented. The Liberal Democrats are largely pushing policies I agree with, although they're limited by the government being bankrupt and the Tories having 3/5 of the seats that the coalition controls. My Labour MP (who I voted against) feels he has something to prove and has been very responsive since being elected. My Plaid Cymru MEP has been working hard to return IP laws to more sane levels.
      • by digitig (1056110)

        And then at the deciding, decisive moment, the liberal party decided to throw in with the capital-c Conservatives without consulting its voters or setting out any ground-rules. Great job, guys! I really feel represented!

        No, I'm not bitter.

        Because Labour refused to enter a coalition with them, and the numbers wouldn't have added up anyway. And where do you get the idea that they didn't set down any ground rules? There's a formal coalition agreement [guardian.co.uk] setting down the ground rules.

      • And then at the deciding, decisive moment, the liberal party decided to throw in with the capital-c Conservatives without consulting its voters or setting out any ground-rules.

        You mean "without consulting" in the sense of, for example, holding a special party conference at the NEC to get approval from its party members before signing up to the coalition? If that's not consulting, I'm not sure what is.

    • by Doc Ruby (173196)

      All royal definitions of power were signed at the point of a sword, directed one way or the other. The only reason there ever has been for their validity is violent consequences.

      Or "that's the way we do it", and "we haven't changed it since we became a democratic republic". Some of the swords from history weren't even anything but imaginary, as "divine right" was enforced by pure superstition for many centuries.

      They're all invalid, except while they're accepted by the consent of the governed.

      • That's Statute, my friend - those Acts of Parliament forming Civil Law and the Criminal Code. Common Law has basis in the ancient documents such as the Code of Alfred (870), Magna Carta (1215, 1225, 1297 etc.), the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1688/9). Full executive power was granted in 1911 by the passing of the Parliament Act, to Parliament, by virtue of the fact that it did away with the requirement of a Monarch placing her Seal on an Act to pass it into Law. Thus, the House of Commons (the Lower Ho

        • by Doc Ruby (173196)

          I know all that - though the world's richest woman has a lot more influence over Parliament than does a bellhop.

          So? All of those "ancient documents" signed by various warlords were signed at the point of a sword. Whenever a sword wasn't pointed at the warlord to sign the document, the sword was pointed by the warlord as they signed the document.

          If you're going to question the validity of the Magna Carta because its agreement by the king was coerced, you have to question every other royal agreement on the sa

    • by digitig (1056110)
      Yes, we have a constitution in the UK, but where do you find a provision on privacy that would be relevant in this case? For example, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights forms part of our constitution, but that only says "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation" (my emphasis). The government argues that this is not "arbitrary".
  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @09:52AM (#37689554)
    I'm on the 4th column [parliament.uk] at the moment, and so far all I've read are "Honourable Friends" thanking "right honourable Gentlemen" for introductions, support, thanking them for the thanks, offering support for other amendments which in turn gets further thanks for the support, and reciprocal thanks for their thanks!

    Can't they just talk about sorting out these crappy laws instead of thanking each other?
  • From the Open Rights Group's Glyn Wintle who sometimes gets stories posted on /.

    ++

    They time ran out in parliament so they did not get to the digital economy act clause. So it will not make it into the bill.

    Julian tweeted "Thanks all who contacted their MP about my #deact amendment; lots of MPs talked to me about it. Sadly, we'll have no time to debate it."
    "So ... My #deact amendment wasn't reached in time, so wasn't taken. I'll keep looking for opportunities!"

    The minister did say it would be

    http://www.theyw

  • ...an amendment to a different bill which would have had the effect of repealing parts of the DEA.

    1. Law is put into effect.
    2. New law is put into effect.
    3. 'Prior fart' used to nullify 2.

    Nice, people.

    • by Megane (129182)

      3. 'Prior fart' used to nullify 2.

      Ewwwww, who prior farted?

      • 3. 'Prior fart' used to nullify 2.

        Ewwwww, who prior farted?

        Believe it or not, it was an intentional statement :)
        And no, I didn't fart prior. Don't look at me! Stop it!!

  • hu wa? (Score:5, Funny)

    by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@ y a hoo.com> on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @10:05AM (#37689692)

    The Liberal Democratic party in the U.K. are actually Liberal Democrats? The colonies have soooo much to learn.

  • The "coalition" government in a parliamentary government is a group of parties, none of which gained a majority of seats, which agree to vote their seats together when the prime minister is elected from the candidates (each a parliament member). Together they pool into a majority that elects the prime minister, who is practically always a member of only one of the coalition's parties.

    But there's no reason those parties should always vote together on every question in the parliament. In fact they should ofte

    • by digitig (1056110)

      But there's no reason those parties should always vote together on every question in the parliament. In fact they should often, even usually, vote differently. If they always agreed, why remain separate parties? Likewise, they should often introduce legislation against the position of other coalition members, if they want to get what they want.

      Partly true. But they negotiated a joint position on most matters before they entered coalition, so although they disagree the horse-trading is already done. The Tories will grit their teeth and vote for a policy they hate because the LibDems have agreed to grit their teeth and vote for a policy they hate in exchange. So they vote against each other far less than their ideologies would suggest, not because they've abandoned their ideologies but because that's what being in coalition means.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @10:49AM (#37690328)
    JulianHuppert [slashdot.org]

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