Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Digital Economy Bill: The Reply

After waiting five days for a reply to my last email, I forwarded it to Stewart Hosie's main email address, as well as the SNP HQ email address.

Within a couple of hours, I'd recieved this reply from Kevin, the same assistant who'd replied to my previous missives. The yellow highighting around "PEGI" is his, not mine; I'm still not 100% sure why it's there.
Dear Paul

Further to our recent correspondence, Stewart has advised that, whilst he agrees there was a lack of scrutiny to the bill, he believed that the need for PEGI to become the classification system for video games overcame his concerns regarding scrutiny and the other sections of the bill.

He appreciates that you may be personally disappointed but his decision was one he did give careful consideration to.



This rang hollow to me; after all, the BBFC and PEGI already rate pretty much every game released in the UK, and rushing through a bill with the kind of security and civil rights implications of the #debill just to formalise that situation seems extreme to me, so I sent this short message back - and have yet to recieve a reply.

Thanks for the reply - I was just hoping to get a little bit more information from you about Stewart's decision.

Given that video games are already certified by the BBFC in some cases and PEGI in all others, what benefit does rushing through the Digital Economy Bill have? I don't see how waiting a couple of months with the system we have - which is perfectly functional and enforcable - is such a terrible prospect that the civil liberties of voters need to be put at risk from legislation that has not been given proper scrutiny and consideration.

I don't understand how the serious concerns about the bill expressed by internet companies, security agencies and your constituents are deemed less important by Stewart than the rushed official implementation of a ratings system that is actually already more or less in place.

I'm looking forward to your reply.



Hopefully I'll get a reply, but honestly I'm not expecting much.

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