Parliament & Internet Conference In the Media

Cabinet Office Minister Chloe Smith MP gave the first keynote of the Conference

This year’s Parliament & Internet Conference soared to new heights, with 2 ministerial keynotes, over 200 industry professionals and nearly two dozen parliamentarians meeting to discuss some of the hottest topics at the intersection of government policy and the Internet.

The conference was covered widely in the media. Comments from Andy Smith (PSTSA Security Manager in the Cabinet Office) in the first plenary panel on cybersecurity, sponsored by Nominet, stoked substantial debate. His remarks on using false details on social networks to mitigate the risk of identity theft and fraud were controversial, and generated discussion across the world. His views were supported by Joanna Geary at the Guardian, but opposed on BBC News by Helen Goodman MP, who was one of the MPs present, and Simon Milner of Facebook, who himself sat on an afternoon panel on skills and innovation in IT. The discussion swirled across the globe, reaching most of the national press as well as India, Italy, the US and even Thailand (as well as being spoofed in Newsthump!).

The Conference attracted over 200 delegates

This is a precisely why this conference works so well: industry members, civil servants and politicians get to hear each other’s views, and those of  less-heard (but no less valid) organisations and individuals. The conference brought together a huge range of people; lawyers and campaigners got to debate the pros and cons of the defamation bill with Lord Lester (who is leading on it) and some of the UK’s biggest tech employers and internet companies were able to applaud and critique in equal measure the government’s broadband rollout strategy. Even the golden IT legacy of the Olympics was  discussed.

The 2012 Conference was the most public and interactive to date. The dedicated hashtag #piconf12 meant people were debating online whilst in the room. Furthermore a dedicated livestream (sponsored by Livestream and operated by Dom Robinson of id3as) meant anyone could follow it live without being inside Parliament – and they were not shy about Tweeting their own opinions and adding to the lively debate.

Minister Ed Vaizey MP delivered a keynote address on a wide range of telecommunications issues, then answered questions from PICTFOR Co-Chair Chi Onwurah MP and Conference delegates.

Many thanks go to all who participated in generating the most outward-facing and exciting Parliament and Internet Conferences in recent memory.

Selected media links:

BBC story

BBC R4  (audio, skip to 24m)

Daily Mail


Guardian Comment

Computerworld UK


Law on the Web



Times of India 

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