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Chi Onwurah MP - Digital Government - for the many or the few?

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Chi Onwurah MP: Digital Government – for the many or the few?

The internet specifically and technology more generally have often been hailed as forces for freedom, democracy and accountability. The internet promotes horizontal rather than hierarchal relationships, enables the widespread dissemination of information and ensures that every citizen can hold his or her MP to account with an email. Certainly, movements as diverse as the Arab Spring and the saving of UK forests from privatisation have shown the positive role technology can play in promoting accountability.

Why then is it that so many of the proposals by UK Governments to harness technology in the interests of good government are hailed as attacks on civil rights? From the identity card to the proposed Communications Data Bill and the opening up of NHS data to the private sector, Governments of all colours trip up over their technology.

What is the nature of the concord with citizen and consumer which will ensure that digital Government is open and accountable Government? And can the relationship between citizen and Government be secure in a world of interdependent cyber security? What benefits can Digital Government bring and what are the nature of the barriers? As part of the Labour Party’s policy development process Chi Onwurah Shadow Minster (Cabinet Office) will share emerging thoughts and debate policy proposals.

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This talk is part of the Centre for Science and Policy Distinguished Lecture Series series.

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