MI5, an ISP lawsuit and an e-petition: More opposition to piracy cut-off plans

MI5, an ISP lawsuit and an e-petition: More opposition to piracy cut-off plans

Summary: A major ISP, TalkTalk, the police, and even MI5 and MI6 are opposing the UK file-sharing cut-off plans laid out by the government. Will the policy fall?


There has been more controversy this week with a major Internet service provider, a petition set up to harness the power of democracy, but also the British Security Service, MI5, all opposing the cut-off laws which are being pushed through by a key figure in the British government's cabinet.

The Digital Economy Bill, which will be brought to Parliament in the next few months, began with a good intention to bring positive change to how the country's primary source of communication was run and would continue to work, such as:

"...delivering a universally available broadband in the UK by 2012 through a public fund, including funds released from the digital television switchover help scheme."

However, Peter Mandelson, the Business Secretary, is trying to use this legislation to follow through his apparent own agenda to fight illegal file-sharing in form of cutting offenders off the web for the maximum of a year.

Both intelligence services, MI5 and MI6 have "voiced their concerns" regarding the disconnection of citizens who are found to be file-sharing as it will make monitoring and surveillance far more difficult, while police and major law enforcement units in London are concerned due to the amount of evidence that will no longer be able to be collected as a result of these bans.

It is important to say that Mandelson does not see "widespread account suspension" resulting, and that the "technical measures" (cutting off the Internet to offenders) will be a "last resort".

Meanwhile, TalkTalk, a major ISP in the UK with ownership rights over Tiscali and AOL and serving over four million users, are threatening legal action against either the government for enacting the policy or even Mandelson directly.

Last month the ISP, who are massively against the three-strike plan, demonstrated how with many unsecured wireless networks still existing, how easy it would be to download illegal content or media through another connection.

With this, Andrew Heaney, TalkTalk's executive director of strategy and regulation, has taken advantage of the Government's e-petition service, asking the prime minster to:

"... abolish the proposed law that will see alleged illegal file-sharers disconnected from their broadband connections, without a fair trial."

If you have or had British citizenship, you are more than welcome to sign the petition which can be found here.

As and when news develops on this rather interesting and somewhat personal topic, you'll find it here.

Topics: Legal, Browser, Government, Government US, Hardware, Mobility, Piracy, Security, Telcos

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  • new world order is coming

    everyone should boycott any measure imposed by the goverment.

    there is no piracy - information is free by it's definition.

    there is only total control over users
  • See what can happen

    when one entity (the government) controls both the regulation and delivery of anything, be it the internet in Britain, broadcast or print media elsewhere or (the fast approaching) banking, auto and healthcare industries in the United states.
  • Strong measures

    Whilst I disapprove of your general conduct ... signing the Talk talk petition is a responsible measure.

    An even stronger measure which might be worth considering is to elect the Pirate Party (or member of an existing party) with a mandate to abolish copyright. If this were passed then it would force the rights holders to produce a new business model.

    Before embarking on this course though may I suggest you think through the consequences (indeed of all your actions). Perhaps if it resulted in a deal between M$/App?e, the telecoms suppliers, the music labels and the film studios which brought the price of operating systems, music and videos to zero ... you would not be so happy that your 'brave new world ISP' wanted $300 per month to connect you to the (free) download site at 1Mbs.

    I think readers will find this interesting

    Sorry, since I'm over 21 now I can only keep the brain coherent for so long. Must find my zimmer frame and put the cocoa on before bedtime.


    PS Shields up! Should the 3 strikes motion be passed then bloggers supporting piracy will be targetted immediately after serial distributors. Thanks from all your ZDNET senior readers for going to jail before us widespread wrinklies.
  • Criminology

    What does the science of criminology have to say about problems of this nature?
    i.e. flagrant violations of the law.
  • RE: MI5, an ISP lawsuit and an e-petition: More opposition to piracy cut-off plans

    Mr. SARKOZY might have some more work to do at home since the (very) rich do not seem to feel concerned by the law:

    GROUPAMA, a French insurer, was caught in a $200 million software PIRACY case.

    GROUPAMA argued that bank secrecy entitled it to limit the scope of Police investigations to a building that was not the place of the infraction... and the General Prosecutor of PARIS (illegally) ruled that they were right: