The Digital Economy Bill could breach the human rights of Internet users according to the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights. The committee has raised concerns over the technical measures that are intended to be implemented which could either disconnect or severely limit the speed of users who fall foul of the "three strikes rule" used for illegal file-sharing.
"The concern we have with this Bill is that it lacks detail. It has been difficult, even in the narrow area we have focussed on, to get a clear picture of the scope and impact of the provisions."Andrew Dismore MP, (Chairman) Joint Committee on Human Rights
The committee is seeking further information on the way these technical measures to limit usage of users will be used.
Readers may remember that similar concerns were raised in France where the French Constitutional Council blocked the HADOPI law which was being pushed through by President Sarkozy and backed by the entertainment industry. Concerns there were that it would block the right for people to exercise freedom of expression and communication, part of the founding principles of a democracy.
The government should be ready for a fight about this, as the changes being proposed are a drastic change in how things have worked so far on the Internet. A blanket right for government to rewrite copyright law on a whim has drawn serious concern from many large voices including the likes of Google and Yahoo. Any changes that are to be implemented need to be well defined, clear and concise, the detail which so far seems to be distinctly lacking from the Digital Economy Bill.