Douglas Carswell MP

Career

Conservative MP for Clacton (since 2005).


Issues

Made his maiden speech against ID cards.[1]


Communications Data Bill

  • Written question:"To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has made an assessment of the possible effect on competition in the internet service provider market of the Communications Capabilities Development Programme."[1]
  • Written question:"To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she plans to include non-UK based internet service providers in the Communications Capabilities Development Programme."[2]

Articles

“Conservatives need some serious thinking about the internet, and how it is going to change human social and economic affairs. Instead of asking what government needs to do to manage the internet, we ought instead ask how the internet might change what government itself does.[2]


Prior Career

Worked in commercial television and fund management.


Education

History at the University of East Anglia and King's College, London.

Digital Economy Bill

Spoken to by at least one ORG supporter.

MD1500 first emailed Carswell about his concerns on 7 December. A DEB: Conservatives' Form Letter was received in response on 12 December. MD1500 sent a follow-up email and received a response on 10 January, and a further response on 12 February. MD1500 continued to mail Carswell regarding his concerns, and received another response on 24 March.

Responses

Thank you very much for your email about the Digital Economy Bill

I am similarly concerned about the points you raise. I do think the notion of disconnecting Internet in people's homes is potentially a very dangerous one that could affect crucial basic civil rights regarding, as you mention, work and education, not to mention family relations.

The Conservative Party are aware of your concerns but I have also forwarded your letter on to the Minister for Digital Britain, Stephen Timms MP, and will be in touch as soon as I receive a response.

Warm Regards, Douglas Carswell.


Photocopy of letter to Stephen Timms attached:

I am writing on behalf on my constituent ********** about the Digital Economy Bill.

Please take a look at his letter and tell me your thoughts.

You will see that he is very concerned about Clause 11 and Clause 17. He is also worried by the notion of disconnecting internet in people's homes as this will affect crucial basic civil rights regarding work, education, family, relationships etc.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Warm Regards, Douglas Carswell.


Further to my last letter, I have now received a response from the Department for Business, Innovations and Skills, a copy of which I enclose for your information.

Please read through the letter and let me know any thoughts that you may have about this response.

If there is anything else you'd like my help with, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Warm regards, Douglas Carswell.

Photocopy of letter from Stephen Timms attached



Thank you for contacting me about the Digital Economy Bill

For nearly 12 years, the Government has neglected this crucial area of our economy. We believe a huge amount needs to be done to give the UK a modern regulatory environment for the digital and creative industries. Whilsty we welcome aspects of the bill there are other areas of great concern to us.

We want to make sure that Britain has the most favourable intellectual framework in the world for innovators, digital content creators and high tech businesses. We recognise the need to tackle digital piracy and make it posssible for people to buy and sell digital intellecutal property online. However, it is vital that any anti-piracy measures promote new business models rather than holding innovation back. This must not be about propping up existing business models but creating an environment that allows new ones to develop. That is why we were opposed to the original clause 17 and still opposed to clause 29 which props up ITV regional news with BBC licence fee money.

The Government's failure to introduce the Bill until the eleventh hours of this Parliament has given rise to considerable concern that we no longer have the time to scrutinise the many controversial and detailed measures outlined in their proposals. We fully appreciate these concerns. However in certain areas, including measures to allow website blocking in certain carefully proscribed circumstances, there has been substantial debate in the House of Lords. I also believe they should be debated in the House of Commons before we agree to them. Only if we are confident that they have been given the scrutiny they deserve will we support them.

It is also worth pointing out that many of the fears about the Bill's proposals are not entirely accurate. People won't be disconnected from the internet without due process. And it will only be a small minority of people who consistently infringe copyright who are disconnected, not the average person who happens to have done so once or twice. Even then, they may be able to reconnect using another ISP immediately and without penalty.

Please rest assured that my colleagues in the Shadow Culture, Media and Sport and Shadow Business, Innovation and Skills teams will do everything in their power to work toward legislation that strengthens our digital sector and provides the security that our businesses and consumers so desperately need.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.

Warm regards, Douglas Carswell.

Other

Claire Perry reportedly told him to “f**k off and join UKIP”.[3] He is a eurosceptic and a libertarian. He also runs a blog. [4]

Contact Information

House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA; douglas@douglascarswell.com and carswelld@parliament.uk; 020 7219 8397. Will only communicate by the postal service and refuses to use email.


Links

References

  1. Databases: Telecommunications
  2. Databases: Telecommunications