ORG parliamentary and policy update/2014-w34

< ORG parliamentary and policy update

Top Stories:

  • Metropolitan police issues warning about watching and sharing graphic video of journalist's execution
  • David Cameron announces age rating pilot scheme for YouTube and Vevo music videos
  • Germany accused of spying on US officials and Turkey, one month after expelling CIA station chief over double agents

This is ORG's Parliamentary and Policy Update for the week beginning 18/08/2014

If you are reading this online, you can also subscribe to the email version.

Official Meetings

There have been no official meetings this week.

Consultations and departments

A full list of open consultations and Parliamentary events can be found on our Events

New pilot scheme for age verification on online videos to start in October

See our website for a comment by ORG's Communications Director.

David Cameron announced new measures to protect children from viewing inappropriate music videos online. In October, for a three-month pilot period, YouTube and Vevo's music videos will be given a rating by the British Board of Film Classification, which will be displayed when the videos are uploaded online. Mr Cameron said the measure was meant to bring online content in line with offline media (

Scotland Yard issues warning about watching, sharing and downloading video of journalist being beheaded

The Metropolitan police has issued a statement warning the public about sharing and watching a graphic video displaying the execution of captured American journalist James Foley.

They said

"The MPS Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) is investigating the contents of the video that was posted online in relation to the alleged murder of James Foley.
We would like to remind the public that viewing, downloading or disseminating extremist material within the UK may constitute an offence under terrorism legislation." (The Guardian)

Speaker's Commission on Digital Democracy to hold meeting on electronic voting

The Commission on Digital Democracy, will hold a meeting on Wednesday 3rd September to discuss electronic voting. The session will include contributions from Natascha Engel MP, Professor Bob Watts, Katie Ghose and Andrew Colve.

The last 30 minutes of the session will invite questions from the audience and participants via Twitter, using the handle #DDCEngage.

The commission was set up by John Bercow MP to invest in 'digital opportunities' which encourage parliamentary democracy in the UK.

You can view more details of the event online.

International Developments

Germany accused of spying on Turkey and conversations of US top officials

German news agency Süddeutsche Zeitung, is reporting that Germany, from their listening station in Bad Aibling, have inadvertently 'picked up' telephone conversations of US officials made by satellite phones from airplanes. The main purpose of the listening station is to monitor the 'terrorist Islamist scene' and all accidental 'by-catch' recordings are ordered to be deleted immediately. Zeitung is reporting that Germany accidentally recorded conversations of John Kerry and Hilary Clinton when she was Secretary of State.

Der Spiegel is reporting further that Turkey is a listed target of Germany's foreign intelligence service (BND). The BND maintains an order list which determines the agency's focus every four years. Turkey has been a stated target on the list which was prepared in 2009. (Der Spiegel)

European Union

EU Justice Commissioner criticises right to be forgotten implementation

The EU's caretaker Justice Commissioner, Martine Reicherts, criticised the implementation of The Right To Be Forgotten. She said "Just as work on the data protection reform has picked up speed and urgency, detractors are attempting to throw a new spanner in the works. They are trying to use the recent ruling by the European Court of Justice on the right to be forgotten to undermine our reform."

She went on to add "This ruling does not give the all-clear for people or organisations to have content removed from the web simply because they find it inconvenient. Far from it. It calls for a balance between the legitimate interests of internet users and citizens' fundamental rights." (Europa)

You can read the speech in full on the European Commission's website.

Commercial Stakeholders

'Internet of things' consortium awarded £1.6 million to create common set of IoT standards

The government's innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, has awarded HyperCat consortium with money to aid in their mission of creating a universal specification for the Internet of Things. HyperCat is a consortium of 40 companies whose main goal is to "create a solution that lets devices connecting to the internet interact and share data, irrespective of their location, manufacturer or format." (V3)

Microsoft among those who join Digital Enterprise Award scheme

Microsoft, Mozilla and Salesforce have joined Barclays, Telefonica, KPMG, Silicon Valley Bank and the University of Huddersfield to support the Digital Enterprise Award scheme, launched by the Duke of York earlier in the year.

The award scheme is aimed at helping bridge the digital skills gap to assist 1 million people aged between 14 and 25 become more employable.

The companies offer their assistance by providing funding, office space, mentorship, software and work experience (Wired).

ORG Media coverage

See ORG Press Coverage for full details.

ORG contact details

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