Michael Weir MP (Scottish National Party) for Angus. Also known as Mike Weir. Member of the All Party Internet Group.
To the best of ORG's knowledge, this MP has not yet been spoken to about the Digital Economy Bill.
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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.
SNP Westminster Consumer Affairs spokesperson, Mike Weir MP, has published details of property lost or stolen from UK Government departments, after parliamentary questions by the Angus MP revealed an extraordinary tally of missing assets. Mr Weir’s parliamentary questions revealed that almost 600 laptops, and more than 400 mobile phones, had been lost or stolen. Unusual missing items ranged from a wall clock to an official car, lost by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, and a motorcycle lost by the International Development Department. 30th March 2008 Mr Weir said:
- "Its not just public confidence that this Labour administration is loosing, it's a fortune in government property as well."
- "These figures reveal a shocking lack of security across UK government departments. Clearly the loss of the child tax credit data was just the latest in a long line of reckless disregard for computer security."
- "To loose one laptop might be careless, but to loose 600 is simply unbelievable."
- "Of course, from time to time items may be lost or stolen, but these figures are just mind-boggling. The cost to the taxpayer is just horrendous, but I suppose we should be glad that the falling cost of computers has reduced the annual cost!"
- "It is not just the scale or cost of the losses that is disturbing, but also, in terms of IT equipment, there are serious questions about the security of the information they contain."
- "Indeed, these figures do not tell us if personal information – such as the twenty-five million child records lost by the government last year – relating to members of the public have also been lost. I have asked specifically what action was taken after these losses but government departments are hiding behind regulations that only require them now to disclose information in their annual reports."
- "The question must be asked why, with this level of loss, action was not taken years ago to improve security and, perhaps, avoid the fiasco of the child data loss. It is worth remembering that these disks have never been found. Government ministers must have known about this problem for years yet took no effective action. That is a terrible indictment of the incompetence of this Labour administration."
- "We must have a top level review of how government assets and data are handled. This should also sound the death knell of the government’s ill fated ID card scheme. If security it this lax why on earth should anyone trust them with yet more information."
Turning to the Ministry of Defence, who responded to the Angus MP’s questioning on lost or stolen property by saying:
- "Other than the cases already in the public domain, as a result of the recent data loss, the information requested is not held centrally and only be provided at disproportionate cost", Mr Weir said:
- "What is particularly worrying is the attitude of the Ministry of Defence, for example, who cannot answer the question as to whether confidential or personal information has been compromised since 'the information is not held centrally'.
- "Do we take it from this that Ministers have not been told, or have not sought to find out the extent of any problem. This a disturbing and unfathomable response from the department responsible for our armed forces"