David Wilshire

David Wilshire MP (Conservative). Former MP for Spelthorne first elected in 1987. Prior to becoming an MP, he served as a Town, District and County Councillor for eleven years and was a Council leader for six years. He also served on several NHS bodies. He has been a teacher, run his own businesses, worked for Members of the European Parliament, and was Co-Director of the Political Management Programme at Brunel University for six years.

In 1988 Members were discussing in the Commons chamber their concerns about Parliament's failure to embrace new technologies. Questioning why electronic mail had not yet been introduced in Westminster, allowing him to communicate with staff in his constituency office, David Wilshire MP stated that 'the technological revolution of which we are so proud in Britain seems to have passed Westminster by'


Digital Economy Bill

Spoken to by at least one ORG supporter.

One letter has been written to David Wiltshire regarding the Digital Economy Bill, this was the response:

Thank you for getting in touch. I will of course, do all I can to help.
As this particular bill had rather dropped off my radar screen, I think the best thing I can do is send your letter to the appropriate government minister and ask for his comments. The Bill will have to back to the Commons before it can come in to law, so it would be sensible to check out what is support and what elements are being added and not yet approved.

I will get in touch as a matter of urgency, and let you know the reply as soon as it is received.
With all good wishes,
David Wiltshire MP

Second reply:

I have now received a reply to the enquiries I made on your behalf with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.
I am enclosing a copy of the letter for your information and hope that it will be of help to you. It is quite detailed and included a web address for access to the full report of the Bill, which I hope you find of interest.
With best wishes,
David Wiltshire MP

The following is the letter from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) attached to David's response. Written by the Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP:

Thank you for your letter of 4 December, enclosing correspondence from your constituent, about the possible Government action to prevent unlawful downloading from the Internet.
The Government wants as many as people as possible to enjoy all the benefits that broadband internet can bring. New technology has changed the way people want to use and access media content, in some cases faster than products and services commercially on offer have developed. We are also clear that the benefits of the internet must include economic benefits for our creative industries and artists. We therefore take extremely seriously the problem of on-line copyright infringement, and have been working closely with rights holders, media companies and internet firms to develop practical solutions to reduce and prevent this.
Whilst all parties would prefer a voluntary solution, rather than regulatory, it is clear that such a commercial solution is very difficult to achieve. We recognise that one problem is the need for a level playing field and therefore acknowledge the need for a regulatory baseline.
The Digital Economy Bill, published on 20 November, sets out in detail our proposed legislation to tackle on-line copyright infringement, including unlawful peer to peer file-sharing. The Bill will implement many of the key recommendations in the Government's Digital Britain Report (June 2009). The Report can be found at: http://www.dcms.gov.uk/what_we_do/broadcasting/5631.aspx. The details on the Bill can be found at: http://interactive.bis.gov.uk/digitalbritain/digital-economy-bill/.
The Bill would require ISPs to write to their customers whose accounts had been identified by a rights holder as having been used for illegal downloading of their material. In the cases of the most serious infringers, if a rights holder obtains a court order, the ISP would have to provide information so that the rights holder can take targeted court action.
We hope these arrangements on their own will secure the 70% reduction in illegal peer to peer file sharing which is our aim. If that proves not to be the case, the Bill provides reserve power obliging an ISP to apply 'technical measures' to a customer's internet account to restrict or prevent illegal sharing. Technical measures might be a band width restriction, a daily downloading limit or, as a last resort, temporary account suspension. A proper independent appeal would be available against application of technical measures.
More widely we also include a reserve power to amend the Copyright Design and Patent Act. This will allow us to tackle quickly any misuse of emerging technologies for copyright infringement and provide an element of future proofing. These measures were adopted following two consultations on file-sharing and extensive meetings with all stakeholders. Both consulations, the representations made and the Government's responses can be found at: http://www.bis.gov.uk/consultations.
We also recognise the need to ensure proper education of consumers, for new attractive legal sources of content as well as a system of notifications. Notifications will play significant part in that education role, but it is vital that there are attractive legal offers available so that the unlawful behaviour is no longer the "default" for many seeking content on-line. Rights holders need business models that work in the new digital environment. That is why we welcomed announcements such as the Virgin Media and Universal agreement, the development of Spotify and the music offers announced by Vodafone and Sky. These are the types of agreement which will play a critical role in moving the great majority of people away from piracy.
Thanks for taking the time to raise these issues with us.
Yours sincerely, Stephen Timms

Reply sent 31st January 2010. Awaiting response.

Electronic Voting

Pushed successfully to have Council of Europe officials look into the UK to assess whether it is necessary to officially monitor the UK's voting procedures. David Wilshire MP said the government had failed to put its "house in order" to prevent fraudulent voting. He accused the government of "systematically ignoring" pleas from the Electoral Commission. "If the British government won't put its own house in order, you mustn't be surprised if there are some of us who will try to find someone else who will make them put their house in order," he told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme.

Put forward the following Clause

'No pilot may include any use of voting electronically by computer, mobile telephone, SMS, text or any other form of e-voting.'.

Tried to ammend the law so that

making arrangements for the
inspection of ballot papers or electronic voting to ascertain whether there if evidence (even where no allegation has been made to that effect) of personation or other electoral offences or malpractice.'.

David has served as an official Election Observer in Angola, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia and South Africa.

Identity cards

Signed Early Day Motion 263 Identity Cards 06 June 2005

That this House believes that a convincing case for the introduction of compulsory biometric identity cards and a national database has not been made, that the risks involved far outweigh any discernible benefit, that the introduction of identity cards will fundamentally change the relationship between the citizen and the state, diminish personal privacy and threaten civil liberties, that the present proposals do not provide properly costed, proportionate or effective solutions to the problems they are claimed to solve; and calls upon the Government to shelve plans for their introduction.

Freedom of Information

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.

DNA database

Signed Early Day Motion 1697 Use of the DNA database 27 Febuary 2006

That this House expresses its concern about the retention of DNA data taken from children aged 10 to 18 years who have never been charged or cautioned with any offence; notes large regional differences in retention policy between various police forces; and believes that this imbalance is being further exacerbated by the Government's unwillingness to issue clear guidelines to chief constables about the removal of innocent children from the National Police DNA Database.



2006-11-13 - IFES - British MPs Slam Nigerian Colleagues On Poor Accountability
Summary: Visiting British Parliamentarians in the country have slammed their Nigerian colleagues for distancing themselves from their constituencies even as they urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use an updated version of the 2003 voters' register for the 2007 elections. The six-member group ... David Wilshire MP, Conservative; ... was in the country on a fact-finding mission.
2006-10-18 - The Times - Britain accused of breaching human rights over voting
Author: Dominic Kennedy
Summary: David Wilshire, a Tory MP on the council’s assembly, persuaded centre-Right and liberal parliamentarians from across Europe to demand an inquiry. In a motion they complained of “the growing body of evidence that widespread absent vote fraud is taking place in the UK”. Such cheating would breach the European Convention on Human Rights, which requires nations to “hold free elections . . . which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature”. Mr Wilshire, a former Home Office ministerial aide, said yesterday: “As we spend a lot of time telling other people they have to keep the conventions, it is important we should do so as well. It would be quite something if the UK found itself in the company of places like Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Ukraine, which have been severely criticised.”
2006-10-18 - BBC - UK post vote fraud claims probed
Summary: Britain is to be investigated for possible human rights breaches, over concerns about postal vote fraud. Two Council of Europe officials will visit London in December, to assess whether it is necessary to officially monitor the UK's voting procedures. Tory MP David Wilshire, who pushed for the resolution, said the government had failed to put its "house in order" to prevent fraudulent voting.