Feeds

Big brother gets Web 2.0 makeover

Information sharing for the people

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Comment "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - nothing more and nothing less". - Humpty Dumpty in Wonderland

A British web evangelist has been commissioned to consider how the government might intervene in independent web communities.

The Cabinet Office has commissioned Tom Steinberg, the web advocate who runs the Prime Minister's e-petitions website, to write a report that defines how the government might get involved in the citizen web and link it to government services.

Steinberg became an official advocate of government intervention in the web when he joined the launch of a curious offshoot of the Cabinet Office's wide-ranging policy review last month. To date, the policy review has considered how data protection law might be watered down so the Cabinet Office can implement its "Information Sharing Vision".

Yet Steinberg's appearance on the scene last month as the officially nominated representative of the web "community" was heralded by a new application of the Cabinet Office's "information sharing" moniker.

Till now, the policy review's definition of information sharing accorded with everyone else's. The government has talked of breaking down barriers between departments that cause people inconvenience by forcing them to deal with multpile departments, for example to report a death. It also concerned how the government might share information between its databases so it can create profiles of people who have the potential to cause harm and then intervene in their lives to make sure they don't. As you might expect, information sharing is quite a controversial idea.

Now the Cabinet Office is also using "information sharing" to describe the whole contemporary web phenomenon - web 2.0, the blogosphere, or whatever you want to call it; till now, the web has not needed any government to give it a label.

Last month, Steinberg and his chums at the Cabinet Office hosted a seminar of successful community web-heads like netmums who where all "hailed" by the government spin-meisters as "a new force for social progress". They were lauded for bringing "power to the people" and "democratising information".

Tell us something we don't know. But think: these people all share information - that's basically what the web is, it's communication, information sharing. Can the web lend the government's information sharing plans an innocuous veneer?

As it happens, Cabinet Office minister Hilary Armstrong announced that her policy review would be casting its net over the citizen information sharers as well.

"The issue is about enabling rather than monitoring the appetite people have for sharing information," said Armstrong in a statement. "We want people to be armed with the information that allows them to be independent and in control of their lives - driving up public service standards through their suggestions and scrutiny."

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.