Attitudes to technology are creating a digital divide in UK government
There is a divide between politicians who have embraced technology and those who are still wary of it, according to the head of the UK's Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA).
James Blessing said there is a noticeable difference between older politicians who remember a time when there was no such thing as the internet, and their younger counterparts who have known nothing but.
But the ISPA chair said he does expect attitudes to change over time, especially as the younger web-savvy generation get into politics.
Speaking to Cable.co.uk, he said: “Dealing with MPs, there are some who get it, some who understand it.
“It would be nice if we could see some more younger people who are at the age where they’ve had the internet for a long time and they can see the benefit because they’ve grown up with it.
He added: “Some of us might be of an age where we were at school and there was no internet, and the current generation have known nothing but. And when they become politicians and when they get into power I hope to see a change.
“You will see over time the change in attitude towards the way technology works."
One example of the difference in attitudes towards technology is national roaming for mobile networks, with some politicians seeing it as a positive step to improving connectivity, and others voicing concerns about possible security issues.
Culture secretary Sajid Javid included national roaming in a list of potential solutions to the problem of partial not-spots, but the suggestion has also previously sparked concerns from some politicians that it could have a negative impact on security services' access to communications data.
Mr Blessing said the "disconnect" seemed to come from differences in generations' attitudes.
“It seems to be coming from a younger part of politics saying this is a good thing, technology working everywhere is a good thing.
“But there’s the older security-minded ones saying, ‘well, yes, but we lose the ability to get hold of people quickly’.”
According to Mr Blessing, many members of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) community are distrustful of government, and aware that while one government promises one thing, that can change with the election of its successors.
He said: "Within the ISP community there are quite a few people who are distrustful of government in terms of, ‘well yeah you say you’re not going to do that but the legislation you just passed says you can’".
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