Jeremy Hunt MP

Jeremy Hunt MP (Conservative) for South West Surrey.

Digital Economy Act

Contacted by at least two ORG supporters.

  • User:Wmheath Next step: We never heard back from Lord Mandelson via Jeremy (did Jeremy write? was it ignored?).

Post DE Act update

  • Jeremy has somehow managed to be critical of the Bill (Amstrad not iPhone etc), yet to vote for it and lead the Tories into seeing it passed. He was unmovable on this all along. Plainly he takes the view that moves against illegal filesharing are essential. But we just dont know what lies behind this. Did the Tories do a "deal" with rightsholders over publicity or celebrity endorsement? Will BPI's Rchard Mollett as Labour candidate in Jeremy's constituency focus on attacking the LibDems, who are the only distant threat to Jeremy, in return for his support? Who knows. It's essential ORG keeps a good line of communication, particularly if Jeremy is to be Culture Secretary. We have to move on without bitterness. But I am baffled and disappointed. We've got far too much complex and mediocre lgislation on the books already without burdening the Internet with it.

5th Feb Meeting, Conservative Club, Farnham

  • Jeremy feels DEB is of poor quality, and the supposely "draconian" steps will take ages and prove ineffectual. Doesnt want to inherit a great flap about filesharing if/when he takes on Culture Secretary mantle, so wd rathr get this mediocre legislation through than have to strat again. That said, they oppose clause 17.
  • We touched on ACTA; Jeremy has agreed to write to Lord Mandelson asking for more clarity about this. Havent seen copy of his letter yet.

Meeting Running Order

  1. Understanding his position and priorities:
    • how important is DEB in his wider scheme of things just now
    • to what extent is he supporting the bill; what are his concerns
    • how does he see his role in balancing of the needs of legitimate (non-infringing) consumers and big business?
    • can he describe what sort of pressure business lobby has brought to bear (eg News International, Google, MPA/RIAA etc)
  1. Ourlining our concerns:
    • this is driven by patent ACTA blend of fear, greed and bullshit
    • requirement for surveillance, and likelihood of discriminatory
    • it will alienate young and tech-savvy (cf Pirate Party success)
    • lack of due process
    • inappropriate powers reserved to 2ndary legn and SoS
    • does he want to inherit a role in crossfire between News International and Google?
  1. Suggest an outcome:
    • decent licensing regime so we can share, mix and mash content
    • what a better DEB wd look like
    • Wibbi if this whole thing didnt go through before election?


[ORG briefing on services]

Earlier meetings

He first said the Tories would support what we then called "three strikes". Met him again 4 Dec and spoke about Digital Economy Bill problems: wifi, TLDs, disconnection without due process. He resisted a bit, but asked me to write to him.

Here's his reply (to my letter further) below:

:Dear William,

Thanks for coming to see me about the Digital Economy Bill and for sending me through your concerns. I thought it would be helpful if I dealt with each in turn. Firstly, on the plans for temporary internet account suspension, I certainly share your worries about the process involved. We will be pushing the Government to explain how they intend to involve the courts, what safeguards they will include to stop people with open wifi accounts being accused of something they haven't done, and to what extent it will involve monitoring by ISPs. As I understand it at the moment there will be a tribunal system set up and it will be the rights holders who highlight illegal downloading not the ISPs themselves. However, we need clarity on these.
On Nominet, my colleague Adam Afriyie has talked to them and they believe that the powers are necessary in order to help them get their members to act more responsibly. I'm very willing to hear alternative points of view though so let me know how you're inquiries go. Finally on Clause 17, the Conservative Front bench in the Lords has moved an amendment to add a 12 month sunset clause to this. It would allow updating of copyright laws for a year if the new system doesn't work, but beyond that we would need primary legislation again.
As you say there are plenty of problems with some of the drafting of the Bill and we will be using its passage through Parliament to iron these out. I do however, fundamentally think that there is a need for some sort of sanction to stop people acting illegally. We are more than happy to consider alternatives so do keep in touch.
Best wishes,


  • Friday 18 December 2009
Hindhead office, 10:30am - 12:00pm
Haslemere Tesco, 12:30pm - 13:30pm
  • Friday 22 January 2010
Hindhead office, 9:00am - 10:30am
Haslemere Tesco, 17:00am - 18:00pm

(Please call 01428 609416 to arrange an appointment for office surgeries.)

Early Day Motions

Signed Early Day Motion 179 Software in Schools 21 November 2006

That this House congratulates the Open University and other schools, colleges and universities for utilising free and open source software to deliver cost-effective educational benefit not just for their own institutions but also the wider community; and expresses concern that Becta and the Department for Education and Skills, through the use of outdated purchasing frameworks, are effectively denying schools the option of benefiting from both free and open source software and the value and experience small and medium ICT companies could bring to the schools market.