Tom Watson is one of the few MPs who really seems to understand the Net. He’s standing for re-election and has posted his draft digital pledges on his blog — and also issued a Twitter request to his followers to suggest ways in which they can be improved. Here’s the draft:
1. I will support and campaign for more transparency in the public and private sector.
2. I will oppose measures that unjustly deny people’s access to the Internet.
3. Whilst noting the acknowledged limitations, I believe people have the right to free speech on the Internet.
4. I will support all measures that allow people access to their personal data held by others. I further support restoration of control over how personal data is gathered, managed and shared to the individual.
5. I will use my role as an MP to support international free expression movements.
6. The Internet shall be built and operated openly and without discrimination.
7. I will support all measures to bring non-personal public data into the public domain.
8. I will support all proposals that lead to greater numbers joining the digital world and oppose measures that reduce it.
9. I believe that copyright and software patent laws should be reformed to reflect the needs of citizens in the Internet age.
They look pretty good to me. Personally, I’d extend #9 to include a pledge that henceforth lawmaking on intellectual property will be evidence-based rather than decided by conversations on luxury yachts.