Doubts cast over piracy plans

Lobbyists and soncumer groups have been quick to condemn the government’s intention to push forward with a three-strikes” policy to cut the internet connections of those accused of online piracy.

Introducing a tiered response to illegal filesharing is a good idea in theory, but only if the right people are targeted,” Which? campaigner Clare Corbett stated.

While Which? does not condone illegal filesharing, innocent people are receiving what they feel are threatening letters demanding immediate payment for supposed illegal downloading. For many people, fighting an accusation is far too costly and stressful, leaving them no option but to pay up.

The government must ensure that people who have been wrongly accused of illegal filesharing have access to a fair, free and quick independent adjudication system and that any penalties are proportionate.”

There has also been a negative reaction from ISPs, who will most likely find the burden of the legislation falling upon their shoulders later down the line.

What is being proposed is wrong in principle and won’t work in practice,” ISP TalkTalk stated, according to the BBC. The unintended consequence of Lord Mandelson’s plan will be to encourage more wi-fi and PC hi-jacking and expose more innocent people to being penalised."

In the event we are instructed to impose extra judicial technical measures we will challenge the instruction in the courts.’

TalkTalk’s sentiments have been echoed by digital rights lobbyist The Open Rights Group: Even MI5 disagree with Mr Mandelson – they are convinced we will see a rise of a ‘Dark Net’ of infringers.

Yet Mandelson seems determined to push forward with his plans for ‘three strikes’ – threatening to punish people extremely harshly, threatening their education, businesses and livelihoods for a relatively minor financial misdemeanour.”

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