Conservative leadership candidate backs online voting for elections

During a Twitter question and answer session, Conservative leadership candidate and current Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, said that enabling people to vote online in elections "must be possible". Responding to a question about allegations of postal vote fraud in the recent Peterborough by-election, Mr Hunt replied: "We need to crack this. But the real … Continue reading Conservative leadership candidate backs online voting for elections

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Mock e-voting trial to take place in Gateshead during local council elections

A mock trial of electronic voting is to take place in Gateshead, near Newcastle, during the 2019 local council elections. The trial is being undertaken by academics with the permission and co-operation of Gateshead Council and has been approved by the University of Warwick's ethics committee. Professor Feng Hao, from the Department of Computer Science … Continue reading Mock e-voting trial to take place in Gateshead during local council elections

A lot of good proposals in the Online Harms White Paper but a lack of focus on taxation

By Areeq Chowdhury. The Government has finally published its long-awaited white paper on 'online harms'. There are a lot of good and welcome proposals within it, however, 'tax' (which should play a central role in the fight against online harms) is mentioned just once in the entire 37,000 word document. Internet platforms, whilst having the … Continue reading A lot of good proposals in the Online Harms White Paper but a lack of focus on taxation

Judges should decide which prisoners can retain the right to vote

By Areeq Chowdhury. In 2005, the European Court of Human Rights declared that the UK's blanket ban on prisoners voting in elections was illegal and violated human rights. A 12-year stand-off ensued and the UK Government came to a compromise allowing those on temporary release and at home under curfew to vote in elections. But … Continue reading Judges should decide which prisoners can retain the right to vote

2019 will be a landmark year in the disinformation war

By Areeq Chowdhury. Fake news, Russian bots, data manipulation. If you think western democracy has been in freefall since the Trump/Brexit earthquake of 2016, brace yourself because that was just the beginning. The real nosedive will begin in 2019. Bot architects, fake news peddlers, and psychographic analysts have spent the past few years learning the … Continue reading 2019 will be a landmark year in the disinformation war

New survey finds that EU citizens support online voting and want social media transparency

A major new survey by the European Commission with 27,000 respondents has found that online voting would be the most preferred method of voting for citizens living in another EU country. 42% said they would prefer to vote in the national elections of their country of origin online compared with 27% preferring to vote an … Continue reading New survey finds that EU citizens support online voting and want social media transparency

The ‘digital services tax’ is a good idea in principle but it may be difficult to enforce

By Areeq Chowdhury. In the budget this week, Philip Hammond has announced the introduction of a new ‘digital services tax’, first hinted at in his party conference speech in Birmingham. The tax, limited to tech giants which have annual global revenues of more than £500m, will be a levy of 2% on the money made … Continue reading The ‘digital services tax’ is a good idea in principle but it may be difficult to enforce

REPORT: Tax social media giants to fund anti-discrimination campaigns

A new report, Kinder, Gentler Politics, published this week, is calling on the UK Government to introduce a 'Civil Internet Tax' on large social media platforms to fund initiatives to tackle the rise of online abuse in political debate. It calls for 25% of the revenue raised to be ring-fenced for grassroots anti-discrimination campaigns. The report, produced … Continue reading REPORT: Tax social media giants to fund anti-discrimination campaigns

Government: Disabled voters too ‘vulnerable’ to be trusted with online voting despite popular demand

The UK Government has rejected the request from a number disability charities and voters with disabilities to pilot an online voting option in elections. Following last year's consultation 'Access to Elections', the Government has published their response to how elections can be made accessible for voters with disabilities and vision impairments. The consultation notes the … Continue reading Government: Disabled voters too ‘vulnerable’ to be trusted with online voting despite popular demand

A publicly-owned Facebook? Interesting idea, but fraught with difficulty

By Areeq Chowdhury. Is it time to nationalise Facebook? Recently, social media platforms have transformed from a space to socialise, share photos, and stare at memes, to a centre of digital political warfare and the murky harvesting of personal data. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to discern fact from fiction, online abuse is rampant across comment … Continue reading A publicly-owned Facebook? Interesting idea, but fraught with difficulty