This means that they have the option of forcing all people who work with computer security to get a licence. Written an ipf script? Get a licence. Setup tcp_wrappers? Get a licence. Turned off file and printer sharing on a Windows machine? Get a licence. The link to the story on the register is here.
Details about the history of this bill can be found by following the links at the bottom of that page.
The gestapo^H^H^H^H^H^H^HHome Office do state that their intent is not to licence computer personel, but after vigorous lobying by the CBI, they were unprepared to amend the bill to only include physical security, not logical. After this lobying they still passed the bill with 315 votes to 111. If, after the ommition being pointed out to you, and after lobying by one trade group you still pass the bill without ammendments, then you must have plans for something!
I'm not sure if they will try and force me to get a licence. I know I won't be happy if they do. The UK already store loads of information about me, and I'm not keen to give them more. This is becoming more and more like a police state. Soon I'll have to present my papers when going for interviews. I'm not happy.
More importantly, the UK Department of Trade and industry keep complaining that there is a skills shortage in the IT industry. I still don't really agree with that, but if that is the case, why add another barrier to entry? This is just going to make it harder for people to get into this game!
Anyway, I just thought I'd point this out to everyone. If you're not from the UK, be vigilant. Make sure you try and stop your government when they try to licence you. If you are from the UK, refuse to get the licence. If everyone refuses, and they raise a fuss, it will put great stumbling blocks in the textiles minister's plans to be the world's leading e-commerce country!