Tom Brake MP (Liberal Democrat) MP for Carshalton & Wallington. Shadow Minister for London and the Olympics, Shadow Minister for Local Government and Community Cohesion. He has a degree in physics from Imperial College London. Worked as a Information Technology consultant before becoming an MP.
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House of Commons debate Freedom of Information Amendment 12 June 2007
- I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the Freedom of Information Act 2000; to remove the provisions permitting Ministers to overrule decisions of the Information Commissioner and Information Tribunal; to limit the time allowed for public authorities to respond to requests involving consideration of the public interest; to amend the definition of public authorities; and for connected purposes.
- It will strengthen freedom of information powers in three key areas: it will remove the ministerial veto; it will limit the time allowed for public authorities to respond to requests involving consideration of the public interest; and it will extend the range of bodies covered by freedom of information legislation.
Bill ordered to be brought in by Tom Brake, Norman Baker, Mr. Paul Burstow, Mr. Nick Clegg, Tim Farron, Lynne Featherstone, Mr. David Heath, Simon Hughes, Mr. Dan Rogerson, Mr. Richard Shepherd, [[Andrew Stunell MP|Andrew Stunell] and Mr. Phil Willis.
House of Commons debate, Constitutional Affairs Electoral Fraud 17 April 2007
- ...I am sure that the Minister agrees that the introduction of postal voting damaged public confidence in the voting system because of the increased risk of fraud. What specific parallel measures has her Department introduced to ensure that the internet, telephone and advance voting pilot projects, too, are not subject to fraud?
Tom Brake told The Independent in Now 'Big Brother' targets Facebook
- "I accept this is an extremely difficult area. The interface between retaining data, private security and all such issues of privacy is extremely important. It is absolutely right to point out the difficulty of ensuring we maintain a capability and a capacity to deal with crime and issues of national security – and where that butts up against issues of privacy."
- "Plans to monitor our phone and email records threaten to be the most expensive snooper's charter in history. It is deeply worrying that they now intend to monitor social networking sites which contain very sensitive data like sexual orientation, religious beliefs and political views. Given the Government's disastrous record with large IT projects and data security, it is likely that data will leak out of every memory stick, port and disk drive when they start monitoring Facebook, Bebo and MySpace."
Signed Early Day Motion 2699 Freedom of Information 10 December 2006
- That this House welcomes the finding of the Constitutional Affairs Committee (HC991) that the Freedom of Information Act has `already brought about the release of significant new information and....this information is being used in a constructive and positive way' and the committee's conclusion that it sees `no need to change' the Act's charging arrangements; views with concern reports that the Government is considering changing these arrangements to permit an application fee to be charged for all requests or to allow authorities to refuse, on cost grounds, a significant proportion of requests which they currently must answer; and considers that such changes could undermine the Act's benefits of increased openness, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities.
Signed Early Day Motion 263 Identity Cards 06 June 2005
- That this House believes that a convincing case for the introduction of compulsory biometric identity cards and a national database has not been made, that the risks involved far outweigh any discernible benefit, that the introduction of identity cards will fundamentally change the relationship between the citizen and the state, diminish personal privacy and threaten civil liberties, that the present proposals do not provide properly costed, proportionate or effective solutions to the problems they are claimed to solve; and calls upon the Government to shelve plans for their introduction.
Wrote Early Day Motion 461 NET-GUIDE RNIB ACCREDITATION 11 January 2005
- That this House offers its congratulations to net-progress, an internet consultancy based in Carshalton, Surrey, on the launch of net-guide.co.uk; commends net-guide for achieving See it Right accreditation from the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB); notes that the See it Right website logo is awarded to websites that have demonstrated a commitment to best practice website accessibility; further notes net-guide is an internet search engine and website directory designed to be easy to use, regardless of whether or not users are blind or partially sighted; recognises the diligent work done by net-guide in conducting independent audits on the accessibility of the websites in its database, which gives users an idea of the ease of use of the websites returned in a search or from browsing the directories; believes that two million people in the UK with a sight problem deserve fair access to electronic information; and calls on web designers to take on board the practical advice offered by the RNIB for producing websites that meet the information needs of the blind and partially sighted, a requirement enshrined in section 21 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1999.
- 2009-03-25 - The Independent - Now 'Big Brother' targets Facebook
- Author: Nigel Morris
- Summary: Millions of Britons who use social networking sites such as Facebook could soon have their every move monitored by the Government and saved on a "Big Brother" database. The idea to police MySpace, Bebo and Facebook comes on top of plans to store information about every phone call, email and internet visit made by everyone in the United Kingdom. ... the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Tom Brake, he insisted: "I accept this is an extremely difficult area. The interface between retaining data, private security and all such issues of privacy is extremely important. It is absolutely right to point out the difficulty of ensuring we maintain a capability and a capacity to deal with crime and issues of national security – and where that butts up against issues of privacy."
- 2008-11-17 - ZDNet - Public rejects high-street enrolment for ID cards
- Summary: Less than 30 percent of the UK public wants to enrol for ID cards at private-sector retailers, despite the home secretary's promotion of such locations. ... Liberal Democrats home affairs spokesperson Tom Brake told GC News: "Signing up for an ID card isn't like buying a lottery ticket. It's clear ministers are desperate to find any means to get people to sign up for an ID card. This is just their latest half-baked attempt."
- 2008-09-10 - Financial Times - Contract ended over prisoner data loss
- Author: Jimmy Burns
- Summary: The Home Office on Wednesday terminated its contract with a private company that lost the details of thousands of criminals, in a decision that cast doubt over the company’s continuing advice to government about its identity cards scheme. Jacqui Smith, home secretary, said on Wednesday PA Consulting would lose a £1.5m three-year deal with the Home Office after an employee mislaid a computer memory stick that contained confidential data on up to 130,000 offenders and prisoners. Ms Smith said all PA Consultancy’s contracts with the Home Office - worth an estimated £8m per annum – were being reviewed, as well as those signed with other companies... Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, accused ministers of "making scapegoats out of private companies" to cover up "incompetence at the heart of government".
- 2007-07-29 - The Independent - Electronic smog linked to respiratory disease, study shows
- Author: Geoffrey Lean
- Summary: MPs are to consider the health effects of the masts and Wi-Fi systems in an adjournment debate called by the Liberal Democrats' local government spokesman, Tom Brake, in October. ... The scientists found that the electrical fields given off by a wide variety of household items, including compu-ters, televisions, cookers, lamps and even wiring, charge minuscule particles in the air such as viruses, bacteria, allergens and highly toxic pollutants. Because they are so tiny – less than 80 times the thickness of a human hair – they are constantly airborne and so are being breathed in all the time. The electrical charge makes them stick to the tissue of the lungs and respiratory tract, causing infection and increasing the impact on the body.
- 2007-06-13 - The Guardian - Yesterday in parliament - FoI Act
- Summary: Liberal Democrat front bencher Tom Brake urged MPs to repair the "damage" caused to their reputation by their backing of a bid to exempt parliament from the FoI Act. He appealed to them to help boost transparency laws by supporting his freedom of information (amendment)(no 2) bill, which would remove ministers' power to veto information commissioner rulings and limit the time for public bodies to respond to FoI requests involving public interest considerations. It gained its first reading but stands little chance of becoming law.
- 2007-06-12 - BBC News - Brake interrupted
- Author: Martin Rosenbaum
- Summary: The Freedom of Information (Amendment) (No 2) Bill would extend access to government information by, for example, tightening up the time limits on public authorities when they respond to FOI requests. It was introduced by the LibDem MP Tom Brake and, lacking government support, has no chance of getting anywhere.
- 2007-06-12 - Kable - MP proposes stronger FoI
- Summary: A ten minute rule bill will press for tougher Freedom of Information legislation. The Freedom of Information (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, to be introduced on 12 June 2007, will seek to remove the veto which permits ministers to overrule decisions of the Information Commissioner's Office and Information Tribunal. The bill will aim to limit the time allowed for public authorities to respond to requests involving consideration of the public interest and to amend the definition of public authorities. It will also try to bring school academies and large private contractors working for public authorities within the scope of the legislation. Led by Tom Brake MP, the Liberal Democrat local government spokesperson ...