Gordon Brown MP

2007-12-24 - The Independent - PM in new pledge to secure databases
Author: Andrew Grice
Summary: Gordon Brown has accepted that the Government will need to bring in new safeguards to restore public confidence in the huge databases held by state-run services. ... His pledge came during a telephone conversation with Nick Clegg in the past week. The new Liberal Democrat leader raised the dangers of pressing ahead with giant databases across the public sector, warning that the Government faced a "serious backlash". He also reiterated his party's objections to a national identity card scheme. Mr Brown supports the idea, but is likely to seek extra safeguards to allay the public's doubts.
2007-09-05 - Downing Street Says - DNA Database
Summary: Asked whether the Prime Minister had submitted his DNA to the DNA database the PMS replied that he wasn’t aware that the Prime Minister had but he would double check if people were interested. Put whether the Prime Minister supported the idea, the PMS said he was very supportive of the DNA database, which had been very successful in tackling crime. The DNA database supplies the police with 3500 matches per month, but there were no plans to introduce a universal, compulsory or voluntary national DNA database. In response to the suggestion that there were only two ways to go with the system, those being universality or in a sense, dropping it altogether except for people who had committed offences, the PMS said that the purpose of the DNA database is to fight crime and that would continue to be the main focus of what was trying to be achieved. The PMS went on to say that there were civil liberty concerns that needed to be taken into account as well and reiterated that there were no plans to introduce a universal DNA database. Put that those civil liberties concerns were particularly potent on this issue, the PMS said that he would not characterise or weight those concerns as suggested, but confirmed that there were civil liberties concerns in regards to the issue. In response to the suggestion that the phrase "no plans" could be interpreted as the Prime Minister having sympathy for an idea, the PMS said that there would be huge logistical and bureaucratic issues to deal with alongside the civil liberties concerns. Asked whether the public might be more supportive in five or ten years the PMS replied that the issue was complex and there was bound to be a lengthy public debate on the subject, but the position was that there were no plans for a universal DNA database. The PMS said that the Prime Minister’s position was to look at options that would help the fight against crime. This needed to be the focus of what the Government was doing in relation to the DNA database.
2007-09-05 - BBC News - 'No plan' for DNA samples for all
Summary: There are no plans to make it compulsory for everyone in the UK to be on the national DNA database, the government has said. The Human Genetics Commission said creating such a huge database would be too expensive and prone to mistakes being made. Civil rights group, Liberty, meanwhile, attacked the proposal as "chilling" and "ripe for abuse". A spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Brown said DNA had helped tackle crime, but expanding the database would create "huge logistical and bureaucratic issues" and civil liberty concerns. He said there were no plans for a voluntary national or compulsory UK database.
2007-09-05 - The Guardian - Brown widens review of impact media violence has on children
Author: Patrick Wintour
Summary: PM rules out censorship, but wants new controls. New look at pre-watershed TV advertising urged. The impact of media violence on children will be the focus of a wider than expected government review being launched today. It may lead to new voluntary controls over excessive violence and sex on children's television and the internet and in video games.
2007-09-04 - 10 Downing Street - PM outlines consultation on children and media
Summary: Gordon Brown has promised a government consulation on the effects of the media on children, announced yesterday, will not be an exercise in censorship. Speaking at his monthly press conference in Downing Street, the Prime Minister said that parents were right to expect the Government to do "everything in its power" to protect children from "harmful material" in a multi-media age. Mr Brown added that the explosion in sources of information was "a good thing in so many different ways" and that he was "not interested in censorship at all", but rules were needed to promote appropriate use. The Prime Minister said: "The sources of information for children from a very young age now are the internet, television, commercial advertising. That is a good thing in so many different ways, but where there is pornographic or violent material, any parent is going to be concerned." "The whole purpose of this review would be to draw advice from all sources so we can look at this in a sensible way. [The review will aim] to make sure that our children, while given every opportunity to benefit from new technology and the new media, are also protected against some of the malign influences that are trying to operate through that media'. Mr Brown said that the review would also cover television and aspects such as the watershed hour and advertising. More details of the consultation are expected tomorrow
2007-09-04 - The Register - 'Happy slapping' vids prompt Brown to push net filters
Author: John Leyden
Summary: The availability of gore and violence on the internet has prompted the UK Government to consider backing a campaign to encourage wider awareness and use of net-filtering software. Gordon Brown has ordered ministers to work with ISPs and media watchdog Ofcom to devise a strategy to regulate access to smut and violence online. Early ideas include plans to educate parents about the use of net-filtering software (aka censorware). Ofcom has been asked to develop a kite-mark scheme to certify net-filtering products, The Sun reports. There will also be a review on whether new rules are needed about the marketing of some products to youngsters.