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BOFHs will legally need licence to work

Legislation slips past in last week of Parliament

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The ludicrous Home Office legislation that has accidentally involved sysadmins in its aim to licence security people such as bouncers and wheel-clampers has been passed in the last week of Parliament before the election and is now law.

As we've reported before, thanks to some sloppy drafting the new law failed to include the word "physical" when talking about licensing security people, leading to the IT industry, the CBI, CSSA and FIPR realising that the law essentially requires sysadmins to have a licence.

Despite extensive lobbying by these groups and even a recognition by the government that the legislation was not intended to include IT folk, it actively prevented the clause being adjusted. The Bill has now gone through its final stages and the amendment was voted out by 315 to 111.

The government's behaviour is inexcusable and it is hard to see it as anything but spite because of the hard time the IT industry has given the Home Office in the last few years because of its misplaced legislation regarding computers and the Internet.

The minister behind the Bill, Charles Clarke was eerily enough also the man behind the RIP Act. He has assured IT people that the government has no intention of licensing them, but has completely failed to explain why he therefore left in a clause that did precisely that.

"It is our fundamental principle to ensure the Bill is targeted at those specialist providers of security services who we have indicated we want to regulate, and that we do not inadvertently catch groups that are not relevant to our policy aims," was the best he could come up with.

Whaddaya make of that then? ®

Related Stories

BOFHs to need a bouncer licence
CBI to lobby against anti-IT bill
SysAdmins to need a licence from Home Office?

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