I attended the Open Rights Group Conference (ORGCon) this year.
We are at a weird moment where the Internet and the associated digital technologies it has spawned and supported are wreaking changes to the social, cultural and economic environment that don’t easily fit the current models of law and governance. Cory Doctorow makes this point more completely and more eloquently here (Lockdown: The coming war on general purpose computing).
As a result we are seeing law and regulation that is driven much more by lobby groups rather than politicians. The politicians that understand these changes are few and far between and made more notable for that irrespective of their party allegiance (For example Tom Watson and Francis Maude). I am heartened by the ORG as they represent the other side of the coin from the industry lobby groups.