A backbench Labour MP has criticised the government's proposed Secure Electronic Commerce bill.
Speaking at ISPCON 99 taking place in London this week in London, Derek Wyatt, MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey said, "The Internet is too nimble for governments, too slippery. I am worried they don't know what's going on with ecommerce."
Wyatt urged businesses to get involved, read the proposed Secure Electronic Commerce bill and lobby against it if they disagree with any part of it.
Wyatt said that was the only way to ensure the Government will "get it right" and grant the wish of former DTI minister Peter Mandelson, to make the UK the leader in cyber trade.
"It is the only way to get ahead of Europe, the chance for the UK to shine," he said.
The Secure Electronic Commerce bill has been heavily criticised for its plans for the use of encryption. The bill proposes key escrow technology which requires users of cryptography to copy keys into a third party database for access by law enforcement.
"I'm nervous about encryption," said Wyatt who admitted he would probably vote against the bill if it infringes civil liberty and is not in keeping with the idea of 'open government'.
Wyatt also voiced strong opinions on taxation of goods bought over the Web: "I think VAT should be harmonised across Europe, to nil, and it will happen within 10 years."
Wyatt also revealed today how the Customs and Excise told him the Secure Electronic bill contains no issues directly connected to taxation. However, he expects an announcement on Internet taxation from chancellor Gordon Brown in his budget speech next week.
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