Broadband News

Lib Dem's would rewrite Digital Economy Act

Nick Clegg has been answering questions at The Student Room, a website/forum aimed at college and university students. One question posed by students was in relation to the Digital Economy Bill, which, now with Royal Assent, is an act of parliament.

"Will you reconsider the Digital Economy Bill considering the manner it was pushed through, without proper scrutiny, the lack of MPs in attendance at the Bill’s hearing and also taking into account that some ministers have demonstrated considerable lack of technical knowledge on the consequences of the proposed legislation?"

Question asked by students

"We did our best to prevent the Digital Economy Bill being rushed through at the last moment. It badly needed more debate and amendment, and we are extremely worried that it will now lead to completely innocent people having their internet connections cut off. It was far too heavily weighted in favour of the big corporations and those who are worried about too much information becoming available. It badly needs to be repealed, and the issues revisited."

Answer from Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats later qualified this statement with the Guardian, stating that they support most of the bill, but are opposed to the blocking of people's Internet connections. They would "take it off the statue book and replace it with something better." Of course, not to be in support of illegal file sharing, they also point out that file sharing still "needs to be tackled, in a fair and appropriate way".

With the Digital Economy Bill/Act gathering a large following from people who usually don't follow politics closely, particularly with the controversial way it was rushed into law, it may be that such a commitment could help the Lib Dem's win some of the vote. Even, if Nick Clegg doesn't make it into power, a hung parliament would put them in a strong position and this could be used as a bargaining chip to get Lib Dem support for the government. Answers to the questions from Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Caroline Lucas (Green Party) are expected next week.


I don't think the act can sway the election, because just like the politicians most people don't know the details. I don't think the papers have made much of it (wonder why..) and joe public still isn't aware of the damage it will do to the economy and the people of this country. It seems mad to be spending millions trying to get people online and then cutting them off when they try to do stuff. There is no doubt the bill should be repealed and written again, but if the libs cared that much they would have turned up and voted agains it first time.

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 10 years ago

It seems that when the politicians answer questions like this they are focusing on the disconnection part. That isn't the most onerous part of the bill. I am am more concerned with net censorship

  • kamelion
  • over 10 years ago

What attempting to censor the net by having powers to block any web site they like at the drop of a hat, because it is alleged to be in breech of copyright laws?
Making isp's responsible for the content that it's subscribers transfer (if it's said to infringe copyright)

It enough for me not to vote for any of them that want this debill b/s

the music and film industries need to change their greedy ways, and become less greedy, and improve the quality especially in the music industry as most is carp, and most would never buy those carpy artists dvd's ect anyway

  • tommy45
  • over 10 years ago

I would certainly be extremely concerned about the clause allowing any website to be blocked on a a whim, it would seem, ESPECIALLY the phrase "likely to be used to host infringing content". Who's to decide? Not that Mandelson fella, I hope! Could be an open door for internet censorship, unless that's what "they" want, of course!

  • davolente
  • over 10 years ago

Yes they'd love to be able to censor the web and cover up their mistakes. I think this is just a roundabout way of trying to do it.

  • RepairExpert
  • over 10 years ago

I agree net censorship is just as important an issue here.

  • chrysalis
  • over 10 years ago

I don't think people truly realise the implications of this bill yet. Only when the effects of the bill begin to be felt will people start to wake up to the consequences. By then the election will be well and truly over.

Net nanny from the nanny state, we are all the Governments children now...

  • mishminx
  • over 10 years ago

Censorship/control of the inter web's is what they ultimately crave, of course this bill is a gateway to censorship and a for of Internet dictatorship too, (as they will decide what peeps should see or not)
It's also why it was passed in parliment at the end of government (wash up) more like out,lol Yep the evil corrupt Mandelscum got his way

  • tommy45
  • over 10 years ago

P4P is the only way you can make media content available at the download speeds of next gen fiber broadband so killing P4P is a bad idea.

  • Raspyyeti
  • over 10 years ago

They're just pandering to voter's (students, no less) interests in the run up to the election. Don't you people ever learn?

  • cf492bcc
  • over 10 years ago

The Aim of all goverments is to control the internet this is the main reason for all this madness. They whant to make the world wide web much smaller place were everything is watched look at what they did to the banks the said every country need to show what and how they spend there money . form of controll nothing to do with money at all .

  • m101dream
  • over 10 years ago

My gripe is regarding proposed closedown of FM radio, which is noticeably better than DAB radio for audio quality.DAB portables in my strong signal area are useless with signal coming and going with movement of the radio's position.Stop this nonsense.

  • mugwump1200
  • over 10 years ago

Post a comment

Login Register