Bob Spink

Bob Spink, former Conservative MP for Castle Point, 1992-2010. AKA Robert Spink. Former member of the All Party Internet Group, EURIM and the Parliamentary Information Technology Committee. He is a former Director, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (1993-97) and the Science & Technology Committee, which delivered a report critical of the ID cards programme in August 2006. He has a B.Sc., M.Sc. Industrial Engineering and Administration, Cranfield and PhD Economics and Management from Cranfield.

Before entering Parliament Bob worked in several different jobs:

  • 63-64 Mill Labourer Keighley
  • 64-66 RAF Cosford Basic Training; Uxbridge (invalided - 'Distinguished' record)
  • 66-77 EMI Electronics Hayes Middlesex A time-served engineer, became EMI Graduate of the Year, rising through manufacturing to management.
  • 77-80 Management Consultant, Harold Whitehead and Partners
  • 80-84 Director and Co-Owner Seafarer (electronics manufacturing)
  • 84-93 Management Consultant
  • 89-92 Director, Bournemouth International Airport (non-executive)
  • 97-01 Director and Management Consultant, Harold Whitehead and Partners

Digital Economy Bill

Not yet contacted about the DEB.

Surgeries

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Identity cards

Bob is a member of the Parliamentary Science Committee and helped produce a report which questions the Government’s ID card strategy. Bob Spink said 4 August 2006

"We must improve the UK’s security and stop benefit cheats and illegal immigration, while protecting the liberty of individuals. The problem is that the Governments’ ID card policy does not do these things."
"It has lost its way on its ID card policy. Home Office Minister, Joan Ryan, who is responsible told me a month ago that she aims to launch ID cards in 2008, but she does not even know what technical systems will be use, if they work or what they will cost. This is hardly surprising as the Government keeps changing its mind on what the cards are supposed to do."
"A national ID card scheme, covering the delivery of various public services, benefits, police and boarder controls, will need one of the most sophisticated IT systems ever devised, but this has not even been specified yet and the Government’s record on new IT systems must raise serious doubts."
"Our report does not challenge the political judgement on ID Cards, that is another debate, it simply asks if it can work, and what it will cost. The answers suggest we are a very long way from a transparent and workable policy or a reliable system."

Children's Digital Rights

MP Bob Spink raised a number of parliamentary questions on fingerprinting school children.

Bob Spink said in a Press Releases 12 January 2007

"I am delighted the Liberals have joined me in seeking clarification and parental understanding of the fingerprinting of very young children."

Written question Pupils: Fingerprints 5 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools in Essex fingerprint pupils; and if he will make a statement.

Written question Fingerprinting 16 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools have commenced and subsequently withdrawn schemes for fingerprinting children in the last three years.

Written question Fingerprinting 16 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which schools in Castle Point (a) fingerprint and (b) have previously fingerprinted school children for administrative purposes.

Written question Fingerprinting 19 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which schools fingerprint children for administrative purposes, broken down by education authority; and if he will make a statement.

Written question Fingerprinting 19 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what advice his Department gives to schools on consultation of parents on fingerprinting children at school for administrative purposes.

Written question Fingerprinting 19 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of school children who are fingerprinted by schools for administrative purposes.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000/Part III

Part 3 of RIP Act gives the police powers to order the disclosure of encryption keys, or force suspects to decrypt encrypted data. Anyone who refuses to hand over a key to the police would face up to two years' imprisonment. Under current anti-terrorism legislation, terrorist suspects now face up to five years for withholding keys.

Bob Spink MP brought forward a motion to increasing the sentence up to ten years for suspected paedophiles because for a paedophile the alternative penalty, if the information was turned over, would often be five years or more and, frequently, having to go on the sex offenders list. The government said they liked the idea and that it was time to activate Part 3 of the act but that there should be a consultation first, Bob Spink agreed and withdrew the motion.

DNA database

Written question DNA Database 13 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) males and (b) females aged (i) under 14, (ii) 15 to 24, (iii) 25 to 34, (iv) 35 to 44, (v) 45 to 54, (vi) 55 to 64 and (vii) over 65 years in each of the ethnic appearance categories were registered on the National DNA Database in each period for which figures are available.

Written question DNA Database 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people registered on the National DNA Database were subsequently (a) convicted, (b) charged but not convicted and (c) not convicted in relation to the events leading to the DNA sample being taken, broken down by (i) gender, (ii) age group and (iii) ethnicity.

Written question Identity Databases 2 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of people in each ethnic group who will be registered on the national DNA database by January 2007.

Early Day Motions

Signed Early Day Motion 845 Freedom of Information 06 Febuary 2007

That this House expresses concern that the proposed new fees regulations under the Freedom of Information Act would allow authorities to refuse on cost grounds a high proportion of requests which they are currently required to answer; notes that the Government's consultation document recognises that this will have a greater impact on journalists, hon. Members, campaign groups and researchers than on private individuals; considers that such changes would undermine the Act's contribution to increased discussion of public affairs, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities; and calls on the Government not to proceed with the proposals.

Signed Early Day Motion 2699 Freedom of Information 10 December 2006

That this House welcomes the finding of the Constitutional Affairs Committee (HC991) that the Freedom of Information Act has `already brought about the release of significant new information and....this information is being used in a constructive and positive way' and the committee's conclusion that it sees `no need to change' the Act's charging arrangements; views with concern reports that the Government is considering changing these arrangements to permit an application fee to be charged for all requests or to allow authorities to refuse, on cost grounds, a significant proportion of requests which they currently must answer; and considers that such changes could undermine the Act's benefits of increased openness, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities.

Signed the Early Day Motion Spam E-Mails 16 November 2003

That this House commends the House of Commons Library Standard note on Unsolicited Electronic Mail (SN/SC/1280); notes that according to computer experts the amount of spam increased from 3.2 per cent. of total communication in 2002 to an astonishing 55 per cent. in March 2003 and that 90 per cent. of spam, most of which is pornographic in content, can be identified as emanating from 150 sources, 40 of which are located in Florida; believes that the electronic mail system is likely to collapse if the volume of spam is not reduced; commends the EU for introducing legislative measures that should stifle the operations of bulk commercial e-mailers by the end of this year by ensuring that only those opting in would receive spam messages; regrets that this legislation will not cover spam originating from the US and other off shore distribution points; expresses its concern at the Bush Administration's plans to offer only an opt out option for those wishing to block unsolicited mail; calls on the US Administration to adopt legislation based on the EU model; and calls on the Government to make urgent representations on behalf of its 20 million citizens now on-line.

Wrote Early Day Motion 1135 Self-Regulation of Computer Games Industry 29 November 2005

That this House recognises the size and importance of the computer games industry and the popularity of computer games and welcomes the contribution the industry makes to the United Kingdom's economy; notes, however, that retailers and parents often do not strictly adhere to the age guidance on the games packaging and that the guidance does not properly inform parents about what content to expect; and therefore urges the industry to adopt a self-regulatory uniform system, based on that established for the DVD industry, showing the levels of, for instance, swearing, violence, sex and nudity, as for example, strong, frequent, graphic, moderate, etc. so that parents are better informed and can make better purchasing decisions and improve control of the use of computer games by children.

Signed Early Day Motion 820 Real data services, Romford 04 March 2003

That this House expresses its deep concern at the availability of child pornography on the internet; congratulates the Romford-based internet service provider, Real Data Services, for blocking users from being able to access websites containing child pornography; and further calls upon other internet providers to follow suit, in order to track down the perpetrators of this obscene crime against children.

Links

News

2007-01-12 - Bob Spink - FINGERPRINTS: New guidance for schools
Author: Bob Spink MP
Summary: MP Bob Spink raised a number of parliamentary questions on this matter two months ago and he believes this has helped (along with other pressures brought by the liberals) to make the Government think carefully about it. Bob did this to raise its profile and ensure parents are aware of what is going on. A number of local schools are fingerprinting pupils largely for library book control purposes. Bob says: "I am delighted the Liberals have joind me in seeking clarification and parental understanding of the fingerprinting of very young children."
2006-08-04 - Bob Spink - ID Cards: Spink Challenges Government's Failed strategy
Author: Bob Spink MP
Summary: Local MP Dr Bob Spink is making his position as one of the few science based MPs count in Parliament. ... Bob is a member of the Parliamentary Science Committee and has now helped produce a report (published today) which questions the Government’s ID card strategy.
2006-03-23 - The Register - MPs pick at ID threads
Summary: A Commons committee has expressed doubts that existing technology can handle the government's national identity card scheme. ... Bob Spink MP asked why no large scale trial of the technology had yet taken place. Programme director Katherine Courtney said the trials would take place during the procurement phase. Spink asked what will be tested and when, and what is the budget for the process, to which Courtney replied that would all be dependent on royal assent for the legislation.

This page was last edited on 30 January 2013, at 15:46.

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