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[] brit. Regierung plant Strafen für unsichere Software,
Na endlich kommt so etwas mal oben an. Andy Müller-Maguhn hat das z.B.
schon länger gefordert, ähnliches gibt es ja schon lange mit den
Haftungsauflagen für Risikotechnologien wie Kraftwerke oder Raffinerien,
oder einfach mit der TÜV-pflicht bei so banalen Dingen wie Autos.

Ralf <- gespannt auf die Kommentare der IT-Leute hier auf der Liste
Wednesday 29th August 2001   0:10am 

Crackdown targets 'unsafe' systems 
Secret government paper leaked to
The UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is planning a crackdown on
'unsafe' software, in a delayed reaction to the date-change chaos of 18
months ago.

In a discussion paper obtained by, the HSE admits it has no
legal power over software packages and calls for legislation to force
suppliers to ensure that software "is safe, so far as it is reasonably
practicable, when it is being used for its intended purpose at work".

The new law would hit suppliers, consultants and contractors working in
the transport, medical and manufacturing sectors. 

The HSE hopes a criminal law will be a more effective deterrent for
integrators than the fear of being sued for damages.

But the Computer Services and Software Association believes the changes
are unnecessary and will damage business. 

Tim Conway, director of industry affairs at the CSSA, said: "Most
software companies already follow very stringent processes and quality

"If the legislation proposed promotes higher standards of duty of care
and liability, it would affect the competitiveness of the UK for these
types of systems."

The HSE proposals are a reaction to the concern over the millennium bug,
when experts warned that defence, medical and transport systems would
grind to a halt.

The paper's author, Steve Ives, writes: "This is a real issue as it was
clear from the millennium date change issue that manufacturers and
suppliers, despite knowing that there was scope for problems with
software driving safety critical applications, failed to supply safe and
suitable software."
The HSE is keen to crack down on poor documentation, upgrade faults and
the failure to keep software up to date. 

It has already contacted other EU member states and has discovered this
loophole in safety law is Europe-wide.

A spokeswoman for the HSE said: "We can't second-guess the law. We can
only act on our advice, and we need to put software producers on the
same level as manufacturers."

Conway said: "I don't see the necessity of a new piece of legislation.
It raises the spectre of placing the UK at a higher level of risk and
liability than elsewhere."

For related news, see:
Legal threat looms over data careless UK plc 
Health Executive to research call centre safety levels 
UK launches health probe into mobile computers 
UK firms to face Y2K health checks

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