People my age will remember the old days when someone would tell you off for something, and the response would be to tut and say “it’s a free country”.
Well those days are coming to an end and there’s no worse example of why than the new Digital Economy Bill unveiled today. How do you fancy these for powers:
- Your internet can be cut off if someone in your household is suspected of filesharing. No evidence or proof is required nor formal charge need be brought
- ISPs are forced to snitch on you or face a fine of up to Â£250,000
- Accused of filesharing? Â£50,000 please – even though it might not be you that’s done it
- These rules not working? The the Business Secretary (an unelected role) can make up any new punishments and regulations as they see fit. Just for a laugh.
- Eavesdroppers funded by “rightsholders” (that’ll be our friends in the movie and music companies) who will be able to freely poke around your internet traffic, data, usage patterns and then demand that you remove files, block websites and so forth. Privacy? What privacy?
Then there’s some stuff about a rejigging of the games ratings system which actually isn’t that bad as it takes the BBFC out of the loop. This means, hopefully, that games may be more evenly rated and unlikely to be banned.
What’s amusing is that this whole mess is the brainchild of one Peter Mandelson. Mandie came up with this great idea after a free holiday in Corfu paid for by Geffen. Who happen to be one of the aforementioned rightsholders. Of course, he’s saying this is coincidence.
We are being told to behave ourselves and to follow rules and not steal stuff by a man who was forced to step down from government not once but twice due to his inability not to be a sleazy little dick.
This whole bill is a travesty. It’s the digital equivalent – worse, even – than speed cameras where you’re guilty until proven innocent. The only winners here are the near-sighted media corporations who are too old-fashioned to embrace a new technology and instead seek to stifle it while they continually fail to catch up.
Please, check out the articles linked below. And if you feel as I do then go to the Number10 website and sign the petition. Of course, this makes the assumption that the government we elected actually give the faintest damn about what we have to say.
Not something I think most of us believe to be the case these days.
If you at all doubt the government’s integrity or my attack on it then bear in mind that when they announced the Bill, it was with the statement that it had 99% support of British ISPs. Have a look at the man who started the petition. He’s TalkTalk‘s head of strategy and development. BT, if I recall correctly, threatened legal action if it went through. The ISP industry as a whole announced it’s “disappointment” with the wording of the Bill as it stands.
Hardly 9% support, let alone 99%.
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- UK Digital Economy Bill As Bad As Expected; Digital Britain Minister Flat Out Lies About ISP Support (techdirt.com)
- BREAKING: Leaked UK government plan to create “Pirate Finder General” with power to appoint militias, create laws (boingboing.net)
- Protests grow over digital bill (news.bbc.co.uk)
- Was the Digital Economy Bill Consultation a Whitewash? (torrentfreak.com)