Information technology has played a massive role in the UK economy over the last 30-odd years, but it is often overlooked as an issue in Parliament.
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Information technology has played a massive role in the UK economy over the last 30-odd years, but it is often overlooked as an issue in Parliament.

The affairs of the IT industry – security, internet connectivity and new form factors and devices – have much wider connotations than the hobbies of a few 'tech geeks'. The way we live and work is changing at a faster rate than ever, thanks to this new technology – and the challenges associated with the trade have become increasingly hot political topics in the run up to the general election.

Finding ministers from opposing parties disagreeing at this time in the political calendar is hardly noteworthy in itself. It wouldn't seem out of place if a shadow cabinet member berated the 'sloppy, out of touch and arrogant' sandwichmaking skills of a Labour backbencher in the Houses of Parliament canteen. But there does appear to be more to the recent spats over the 'digital economy' than simple posturing.

New policies for modernising the country’s IT infrastructure are being bandied about by both main parties (see here). Though they disagree in the details, the consensus is that it is in the nation's interest to take a closer look at the technology trade. The need for international collaboration on internet security was also recently highlighted by the House of Lords – probably the political institution you'd least identify with cutting edge issues such as this.

Execs in the tech trade have been calling for this for years. But one of the loudest – Eugene Kaspersky, founder of security giant Kaspersky Lab – argues that it needs to go further (see our exclusive interview).

Whichever party gets in at the next election, policies such as getting every single citizen connected to the internet pose direct benefits for the retailers, distributors and vendors in the UK trade. They're yours to make the most out of.


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