Apt Words from apComms

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To my shame, I'd not come across ApComms before:

The All Party Parliamentary Communications Group (apComms) was created in July 2007 when a merger was completed between The All Party Parliamentary Group on Communications, The All Party Parliamentary Mobile Group (apMobile) and The All Party Parliamentary Internet Group (APIG).

The apComms group exists to provide a discussion forum between the communications industry and Parliamentarians for the mutual benefit of both parties. Accordingly, the group considers all communication issues as they affect society informing current Parliamentary debate through meetings, informal receptions and reports. The group is open to all Parliamentarians in both the House of Commons and House of Lords.

apComms has been working on a report:

On April 22nd, apComms launched an inquiry into Internet traffic to assess regulation of ISPs and a range of Internet traffic issues from behavioural advertising and privacy to child abuse images and Internet neutrality to answer what role Government should play when it comes to Internet traffic.

That's now available [.pdf]. It's really worth reading, since it draws on the collective wisdom of the UK Internet scene, from all sides of the arguments. It then comes to some eminently sensible conclusions. Here are a few of my favourites:

We recommend that UK ISPs, through Ofcom, ISPA or another appropriate organisation, immediately start the process of agreeing a voluntary code for detection of, and effective dealing with, malware infected machines in the UK.

If this voluntary approach fails to yield results in a timely manner, then we further recommend that Ofcom unilaterally create such a code, and impose it upon the UK ISP industry on a statutory basis.

Since the vast majority of such malware is for Windows, that would imply a lot of ISPs becoming *much* more interested in alternatives.

We conclude that much of the problem with illegal sharing of copyrighted material has been caused by the rightsholders, and the music industry in particular, being far too slow in getting their act together and making popular legal alternatives available.

We do not believe that disconnecting end users is in the slightest bit consistent with policies that attempt to promote eGovernment, and we recommend that this approach to dealing with illegal file-sharing should not be further considered.

Wow, that's incredible, isn't it? - politicians really getting it.

We recommend that Ofcom keep the issue of “network neutrality” under review and include a section in each annual report that indicates whether there are any signs of change.

Although I'd prefer something a little stronger on net neutrality, the position is reasonable. And given the wonders that have preceded it, I can hardly complain. The only problem, of course, is that this group clearly represents most of the net-savvy politicians in Parliament – and not, alas, the ones with the power, who are almost uniformly not-savvy on the subject....

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