Thursday, 8 April 2010

Who's right about the DEB? #debill

So, last night I watched the third reading of the Digital Economy Bill - not impressed with it at all. Some good speeches from some rebels, but the lack of grasp of technical concepts was astounding. So, its been passed. I'm too fed up of it to write much, but there's lots of other good blog posts about it, and lots of unrest - especially from people who've never really seen our democratic process in action before. Less then 40 people in the chamber debating it, but within minutes of the division being called, 260 appeared to vote - just as their whips had instructed them to, with no regard for what had gone on in the chamber. The bars must have been busy! One can only hope that as it's so badly worded, it won't last long!

Today I've been to a RUGIT meeting - the IT Directors of the Russell Group of Universities. A number of interesting discussions, including outsourcing services to the cloud - we're not the only University considering this. We also talked about shared services - especially shared data centres, which we seem to have been discussing for years. We always have someone from JANET at the meetings which is very helpful, and today we talked about some of the misconceptions around their Acceptable Use Policy and their Connection Policy - especially around what Universes can use JANET for and what they can't. It's a common misconception for example that we can't use it for conference delegates - which we can, or for University commercial ventures - which we apparently can as well.

Finally, we all have a chance to ask the others a question - so I asked if any of them had concerns about the Digital Economy Bill. Guess what - hardly any of them did (or did they not know about it?). So, are they wrong to be unconcerned - or am I wrong for worrying about it?


Anonymous said...

Interesting - most Russell Group IT Directors no concerns about DEB. Or just not bothered? My own view is you are right to be concerned, and they should do some research - that's what the Russell Group does best isn't it? :-)

Anonymous said...

I'd second the "you're right to be concerned" comment. And then be bemused that there was only 1 IT director present who had any concerns.

Fran said...

Says a lot about IT in HE if they didn't have any worries! Did you educate them about site blocking, disconnection, release of students' information?