What is the e-commerce bill?
The Government last year published and
passed through Parliament an e-commerce bill. At the time
it was published, the PCG presented the first ever e-Petition
to Parliament calling for a rethink on IR35.
The aims of the e-commerce bill are to
help regulate the establishment of a healthy environment
for trading over the Internet in the UK. Principally it
has established the use of digital signatures. Early drafts
of the bill included controversial plans for encryption
and keys. Businesses both large and small successfully lobbied
against these. These requirements were dropped from the
eCommerce, but were resurrected later by the Home Office
in their own Regulation of Investigatory Power bill, this
was pushed through Parliament in May this to the dismay
of industry groups.
The PCG were invited earlier this year
to make a submission to the House of Lords Select Committee
on e-commerce. This was duly made and the Select Committee
are due to publish their report in July 2000.
What is the PCG doing about the e-commerce
The PCG aims to represent the interests
of the independent contractor on the premise that legislation
should not become burdensome and so costly that it will
close avenues of opportunity. There is a danger that the
Government only views the computing sector in terms of big
business only. It is a goal of the PCG to raise the profile
of the freelance sector and show how important the sector
is to the success, growth and flexibility of the economy.
Our submission can be found in the resource