Email to Ireland’s Joint Committee on Transport and Communications

I am confused by the lack of knowledge shown in discussion in regard to the Joint Committee on Transport and Communications. It is fairly obvious that they people talking have little or no knowledge of the Web as a whole. It is a major concern in a country that pushes the idea of being a “Knowledge Economy” that these people might make decisions in relation to access to the Web.

As a researcher in this area and with SFI announcing just recently into the importance of research in the area of Big Data – which by most definitions includes online data it worries me the mixed signal Irish politicians send out regarding this. They are in favour of it when it seems like something that will get them noticed in the papers/TV, when it is a positive jobs creation story but against when it relates to bullying or copyright issues.

I really hope that this committee actually gets advice from industry leaders and academia members especially when Ireland is known for its web/computer science research (look at groups like Clarity, DERI, LERO, 4C in UCC, and smaller groups).

Blanket bans and someone suggesting passports to get online sounds like something from non-democratic countries like North Korea! If we as a country want to keep our best talent and attract the best talent to our research labs and universities we need to legislate to bring people who commit crimes to justice not grasp at crazy ideas because we do no understand the underlying technologies involved in the Web,