Government had "no data" when formulating Digital Economy Act

Ben Parfitt
Government had

The UK Government has amazingly admitted that it made no attempt to gather its own evidence when formulating its anti-piracy plans that were included in the controversial Digital Economy Bill.

Instead, the decision to implement a “three strikes” rule and demand that ISPs play a role in internet censorship was based only on information supplied by copyright holder lobbyists.

Worse still, civil servants working on the proposed legislation were not granted access to data from said lobbyists.

“It is reasonable to acknowledge that the Open Rights Group have something of a point about the evidence used  for the Digital Economy Act,” Adrian Brazier, who was formerly of the DEA team, told a hearing a hearing for the Parliamentary Select  Committee for Business, Innovation and Skills, as reported by

“It was somewhat opaqueThe impact assessment was not based on new research or evidence. We had no independent source of information. It is probably fair to say that the evidence we had, had been offered by the rights-holders, they were unwilling to lift the bonnet and let us see the engines, if you like the workings and methodology.”

Confirming that the team were not privy to any of the methodology behind the stats, Brazier added: “We were trying to make the best brick we could with what straw we could find.

“In those circumstances, I would say however, that we were always clear as to the provenance of the sources we were quoting. We never claimed they were government figures. We were clear that these were figures that were provided by the rights-holders.

“We were as transparent as we could be in those circumstances, but we could not be transparent about the workings themselves.”


Tags: government , data , copyright

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