Broadband News

ISPs, comedians, free speech campaigners criticise Digital Economy Bill

The Digital Economy Bill has received significant criticism from service providers and users alike with ISP TalkTalk being one of the most vocal. This morning, the Financial Times has published a letter which argues that the plans to suspend Internet access for those who illegally download content are unfair.

The letter specifically targets criticism at the amendment passed last week in the House of Lords with the backing of the Liberal Democrat and Conservative peers. Internet Service Providers had already raised concerns about provisions requiring them to block access to certain sites pursuant to court orders.

"blocking access as envisaged by this clause would both widely disrupt the internet in the UK and elsewhere and threaten freedom of speech and the open internet, without reducing copyright infringement as intended. To rush through such a controversial proposal at the tail end of a parliament, without any kind of consultation with consumers or industry, is very poor lawmaking."

Letter to the Financial Times

The letter was signed on behalf of Orange, Facebook, Virgin Media, Google UK & Ireland, TalkTalk, ISPA UK, Consumer Focus, Open Rights Group, eBay UK, BT Group, Yahoo! UK & Ireland, Shooting People independent film makers, as well as academics from the University of Leicester, Queen Mary (University of London) and finally Tom Watson MP and Stephen Fry.

The BBC also reports that Chief Executive of BT Ian Livingstone has called for fines instead of disconnections which an individual could decide to defend in court if necessary.

Comments

The whole bill is a shambles. The dark lord should be ashamed of making us a laughing stock. He cannot control the internet, only break it. Remind me - did we elect him to run the country?

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 7 years ago

Of course, it won't be due to money lost if people are kicked off the intrawebs...

  • MrTAToad2
  • over 7 years ago

Mandelscum why should any oner listen to that tosser!? And no it wasn't elected,infact I'm pretty sure he got thrown out not that long back for something,
Block me and i vote with my dosh, contract or no contract, and i wont be the only one, i pay for internet access not a censored internet, that some scumbags think is ok for me to see /download. nanny state needs stopping

  • tommy45
  • over 7 years ago

quote"The BBC also reports that Chief Executive of BT Ian Livingstone has called for fines instead of disconnections which an individual could decide to defend in court if necessary."

Trust that organisation and person to spot another way to milk money out of people rather than concentrate of the issue at hand which is freedom of information the internet is used for. Obviously looking for a bigger bonus than then quarter of a million or whatever stupid amount it was in prior years.

Hopefully even our brainless government may take note after some of the names that have signed that letter.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 7 years ago

This is a great example of how the top 3 parties all work together on stuff that actually has a major effect on us (usually a bad one).

Really just a dictatorship with a choice of colour...blue, red or yellow.

  • otester
  • over 7 years ago

Carpet at least Livingstone's way you would have to be found guilty in a court and since we still have innocent until proven guilty the onus would be on the court to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were guilty.

  • kamelion
  • over 7 years ago

quote"Carpet at least Livingstone's way you would have to be found guilty in a court and since we still have innocent until proven guilty the onus would be on the court to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were guilty."

Errr no it wouldnt, people would be fined. The person would have to challenge the fine in court, hardly innocent until proven guilty. Also if this was made a criminal offence some would actually be allowed legal aid to challenge their fine so it could also in theory cost the tax payer even more. Livingstones idea is dumb, random fining of people solves nothing.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 7 years ago

Further more he even hints that BT would like a share of money generated by fines and states...
"He said the money generated by fines could be used to compensate the creative industries or even to support the rollout of broadband across the UK"
How many more individuals do the BT borg want to help them with costs? As isaid another way to pump the BT milking machine.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 7 years ago

The only reasson he doesnt want people just cut off is because that equals lost money they collect each month from millions upon millions of broadband users and as they are the biggest they have the most users to lose to cut offs.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 7 years ago

In the business world we call people like that a vulture..... No guts to state exactly what cut throat actions you want in which to make money and instead wait to peck at others prey. Ive been in business years and avoid the not 100% honest like him all i can. They make my blood boil and my skin crawl. Nasty, cowardly, slimey individuals (Just my opinion of course).
Maybe he could help fund broadband for all with the thousands in bonuses his vulture claws have grasped over the past few years.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 7 years ago

Of course he could, but greedy people like him won't,BT should of been taking the upgrading of their networks seriously years before now, they certainly have had the funding pass through their slimey fingers! there would be no 2mb broadband for all needed as if would be a thing of the past,but the uk seems to always be behind other countries on stuff like this

  • tommy45
  • over 7 years ago

The very same creative industries such as EMI who are in the process of sacking their CEO because hes out of touch with the industry. They're scum, nothing but, trying to out do china over censorship. Isn't this the same bill that would make open wifi illegal? I remember seeing something on slashdot the other day about UK Gov wanting something to outlaw it to stop people "hijacking" it.

  • Firefalcon
  • over 7 years ago

CB - is this the BT the government stopped rolling out fibre once?

CB - anything sensible to say?

  • Somerset
  • over 7 years ago

Open wi-fi would still be possible, but without any tracking of who is using it, then the runner of the network would be liable for the actions of those downloading across it.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 7 years ago

quote"CB - is this the BT the government stopped rolling out fibre once?"

What does that have to do with slimey Livingston and his grubby mits wanting fines, from people that may be entirely innocent?

quote"CB - anything sensible to say?"
I thought picking up on his statement of wanting people fined and collecting atleast part of the cash for his company was a very sensible and serious thing to point out.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 7 years ago

the day they bring this taxation in will be the day i cancell my phone line. i am not paying for other people to use the internet at my expense. Once a tax is inplace you will never loose it.

  • steveboodeea
  • over 7 years ago

@steveboodeea

What the NHS and all the other social services you pay for?

  • otester
  • over 7 years ago

^^^ NHS is a public service, government owned, BT isnt, totally different taxes for totally different services. Everyone at some point needs medical help/care..... NOT everyone will want broadband and i cant even believe you would compare the two and think they both are as essential as each other.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 7 years ago

@CB

It still comes under the same roof as... why should I pay for your ****.

Also license fee is another example.

  • otester
  • over 7 years ago

Carpetburn - BT does not want this money. The suggestion was to set up a fund that the government could use to encourage digital industries or support areas that won't otherwise get broadband or digital inclusion. Seems a lot better than cutting off people.

  • annapolis
  • over 7 years ago

quote"@CB

It still comes under the same roof as... why should I pay for your ****.

Also license fee is another example."

No it doesnt, and the TV license again is an optional thing. If you dont want to pay it dont own a TV. If you dont want broadband but only a landline phone though you will still have to pay the 50p tax you refer to. Again you are wrong, why should someone that just wants a phone service fund other peoples broadband huh?

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 7 years ago

@annapolis
The story mentions fines and using the money to roll out broadband services. BT are a company that roll out services, and its the BT Chief Executive which mentions fines. If that isnt BT sniffing about for a share of money generated by fining those that are accused (NOT proven) to have downloaded illegal content i dunno what is.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 7 years ago

@CB

I don't support the 50p tax.

  • otester
  • over 7 years ago

quote"@CB

I don't support the 50p tax."

Well we agree then, i thought you were trying to defend it by your last 2 posts, sorry IF i was wrong.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 7 years ago

This whole subject reminds me of the way the use of CCTV has been diverted from pure crime prevention and detection to that of money-making. Most local authorities abuse the system to make money from parking infringements, I know, I was involved in implementing the system in Haringey in 1990's, and many of us never envisaged it being used as it is now.

I have no sympathy for the music and software industry, who should have taken advantage of the technology that exists to protect their precious wares. Microsoft managed to protect their goods - I think that call it product activation.

  • Compbck
  • over 7 years ago

Didn't a pre-war government bring in a tax for new roads and repairs, they called it a Road Fund Licence.
That money disappears into the bottomless pit that is the Treasury and only a minute fraction ever reappears to fund new roads etc.
How long will it remain at 50p and how much will be used to provide high speed broadband.
I live in a part of the country that if I am lucky I can get 1.0Gb/sec download speed.
At my age I doubt if I will ever see true high speed broadband in my village.

  • stclares
  • over 7 years ago

@CB

I don't believe in socialism unless it is not financed by the taxpayer.

  • otester
  • over 7 years ago

"I live in a part of the country that if I am lucky I can get 1.0Gb/sec download speed."
Would the country you live in be Japan or Korea, or did you mean 1.0Mb/sec?

  • Mr_Fluffy
  • over 7 years ago

what sort of a society do we have when to get any sort of common sense we need to listen to a comedian?
maybe the solution to all our problems would be to get rid of all professional politicians and select rulers from comedians, actors, et al.
be honest, do you really think they could make things any worse than the two majors parties have done for the last 30+ yrs?

  • Marvin1
  • over 7 years ago

Stephen Fry isn't merely a comedian though. He is highly intelligent, intellectual even, and a technogeek into the bargain.
On subjects like this MPs would do well to listen to him and take notes

  • Mr_Fluffy
  • over 7 years ago

Let's face it, most MPs would be beaten by Alan Davies in the field of knowledge and understanding

  • Mr_Fluffy
  • over 7 years ago

^^^ LOL if people watched the recent programme Tower block of commons, they would know you have hit the nail on the head, not only do they not have comprehension of real life but they dont even know what things like a pint of milk, teabags and other things cost let alone what it would cost to wire the country up with fibre.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 7 years ago

Ah yes, but they know how to fiddle expenses for moat cleaning, how to fiddle second-home allowances, and some lightweight nepotism never goes amiss as in Jacqui Smith’s husband being paid as an aide, apparently his duties included watching porn.

  • k2150
  • over 7 years ago

here we go and you thought hitler was dead...what will be next burn all the books..seriously this government and everyone who works for it should be hung and quartered. They wont be happy until they take every vestige of being human away from us but hey its all for our own good remember.

So orson wells is right after all, britain the dump of the world threatens to cut us off the internet for using pirate sites. just who the hell do these regards think they are? they will never ever get away with this.

  • sylvantos
  • over 7 years ago

Mandelscum he was thrown out of the government previouly and as now having a criminal record he could never run for premier anyway. What muppet would support this crook anyway?

  • sylvantos
  • over 7 years ago

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