Feeds

Written material saved from censor's big black pen - for now

Lords suicide debate saves the day

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Censorship of written material is off the agenda – for now: and for that we may need to thank Lord Falconer’s intense interest in suicide.

This week in the House of Lords, an amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill, put forward by Baroness O’Cathain, was withdrawn at the last minute. This amendment was designed to make possession of extreme pornographic written material an offence, in much the same way as extreme pictures are now.

It was what is known as a "christmas tree" amendment, in the sense that it did not relate directly to the text of the bill, but used the Bill as a convenient hook on which to hang. It was the third in a series of such amendments due to be debated on Tuesday night: the first two were in respect of assisted suicide abroad, proposed by Lord Falconer, and genocide.

Such was the interest in the suicide amendment that debate dragged on well past the point when their Lordships usually adjourned for their supper. House business, which usually takes place at half seven, was delayed until twenty past eight, when a stampede of hungry Lords headed for their canteen. Debate on the Coroners’ Bill did not resume until an hour later.

Sadly for the Baroness, New Labour reforms to the way parliament works means that the Lords now shut up shop at 10 pm – and debate on amendments cannot carry on between sessions without prior agreement between parties. Although not the case in this instance, the streamlining of parliamentary business through excess guillotining of debate has been bitterly resisted by opposition parties, who claim that important legislation is now passed with little or no formal scrutiny.

The Baroness’ amendment was eventually called at three minutes to ten – at which point she appears to have decided it was not worth putting, and did not stand up to propose it.

This may not be quite such good news for those worried about the possible extension of censorship to possession of written material. By withdrawing the amendment when she did, the Baroness reserves the right to bring it back to the House at Report stage in October.

Typically, peers put forward amendments of this kind to test the water. Although the Baroness did not receive formal support from her own front bench, she will have carefully noted who did lend her support, as well as the reaction her amendment received informally from the government side of the House.

El Reg managed to have a brief word with the Baroness as she was leaving the House: she expressed herself pleased with the result, and our impression was that she felt that her amendment had helped to rally support around this issue.

She would not be drawn on her plans for the future. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO
Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.