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UK Should Create a World Forum for the Internet 05.11.14

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05 Nov 2014
Letter in today's The Guardian sent in yesterday

Dear Sir
(Comments by Robert Haningan, Director of GCHQ front page today)
By and large the most popular internet companies like Apple, Google, Twitter, Linked In and Facebook reside in USA.

As such they are protected by the First Amendment of their constitution.
For access to their software we all did a deal. We ticked a box which gave us their services free
and in return they use our data and make an enormous financial killing from it. This cannot be right or fair.

But that's by the by.
Robert Hanningan, the new Director at GCHQ, must know that they will protect this data for fear of legal action by any of their subscribers.
The answer therefore is for the UK to take a lead by creating a world body (much as we did with the World Service and the British Council) for the internet and for starting the journey to agree some fundamental rules which cover cyber crime. child pornography, terrorism et al.
We are rather good at soft power and some of us have argued that's all we have left in foreign policy.
(They took this bit out)

I recognise I have said this before in your Letters column but sometimes these things are worth repeating.
Derek Wyatt
Founder on Sky 1995
Parliamentary Internet Group 1997
Oxford Internet Institute 2000
A Digital week for the Nation 2006

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