Agreeing that the controversial clause 35 in the Police and Justice Bill has now been improved by amendments, Spy blog nevertheless disapproves of the process of tagging clauses like barnacles to yet another a crime bill, illustrating a complete misunderstanding of the need to update the Computer Misuse Act for the internet age.
"Kudos to Unity at Talk Politics and the Liberty Central website for bringing some small measure of sense to the attention of the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Lynne Feathersone, who tabled an Amendment during the Commons Committee stage consideration of the controversial Clause 35 of the Police and Justice Bill, which seeks to amend the obsolete, pre-internet Computer Misuse Act 1990.
This Amendment in turn prompted a very late Government Amendenent by Hazel Blears, the Home Office Minister, which has improved the "catch all" nature of the orginal wording, which threatened to criminilise almost every competent IT systems adminsitrator, penetration tester and security or network utilty software programmer in the UK, and, given the global reach of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, the rest of the world as well...
Unfortunately, as we predicted earlier the other inadequate amendments to the Computer Misuse Act went through "on the nod" with no debate. There should be a whole Bill devoted to Computer and Telecomms security, not just these three amendments tagged on to the much larger Police and Justice Bill."