Digital Economy Bill #debill

A while ago I was sent a link to a site promoting action against the proposed Digital Economy Bill.

Whilst I appreciate that the government feel the need to act on issues such as copyright infringement and Internet safety, I honestly feel that the current proposal is poorly prepared. I get the feeling that our current government are trying to rush the bill through without a thought for the damaging effects the bill could have on society.

I have a few major issues with the bill.

Firstly, allowing ISPs to penalise Internet users who third parties have linked to illegal file sharing and copyright infringement is wrong. ISPs are not a court of law and the tools used by third parties to pinpoint alleged file sharers are inaccurate at best. A lack of consistency across the world’s Internet relays means that innocent web browsers could be fingered with somebody else’s nefarious online activity.

We are already seeing cases coming to light where Internet users are being contacted by third parties demanding moneys for supposed transgressions.

Secondly, censorship of the Internet could very easily get out of hand. Courts forcing ISPs to block websites just smacks of book burning to my mind.

Finally, why should I pay 50p per month to allow greater access to people who currently don’t have access to the Internet? This and bureaucratic monitoring measures actually prevent free access to the Internet. Small businesses will be deterred from offering free wi-fi access; I have no idea how the towns and councils, who have already invested in wide ranging wi-fi infrastructure, will be effected.

So I have written to my MP, for all the difference it will make; her catch line of “working for you and the Colne Valley” really is nonsense.

Dear Kali Mountford,

I’m writing to you today because I’m growing increasingly worried that the present Government is planning to rush the Digital Economy Bill into law without a full Parliamentary debate.

This controversial law contains many measures that concern me. Controversy aside, I believe the Bill deserves proper scrutiny; please don’t let the government rush it through. Many people think it will damage schools and businesses as well as innocent people who rely on the Internet because it will allow the Government to disconnect people it suspects of copyright infringement.

Industry experts, Internet service providers (like Talk Talk and BT) and huge Internet companies like Google and Yahoo are all opposing the bill – yet the Government seems intent on forcing it through without a real debate.

As a specialist in information and communication technologies I am aware of many potential pitfalls and flaws in the current methods used by copyright infringement investigators.  I feel that should the proposed bill be passed, many innocent parties will be wrongly targeted.  Furthermore, many of these innocent parties will come from non-technical backgrounds and as such will struggle to defend themselves.

As a constituent and employee within the telecommunications sector I am writing to you today to ask you to do all you can to ensure the Government doesn’t just rush the bill through and deny us our democratic right to scrutiny and debate.

Yours Sincerely,

Ben Sugden…

i sent the letter a week ago and have so far received a response completely unrelated to the letter. Showing the lack of confidence that Kali Mountford has of being an MP in a few months, her office has written to me to let me know that my details will be destroyed when she leaves office. I have the option to write and ask her to pass these onto her replacement but by then the bill will likely have been passed.

Maybe she won’t be standing this time around, I hope not because even though I won’t be voting for her party I really wouldn’t like her to be voted in again.

If you feel as strongly as I do then why not write to your own MP?  The 38 degrees site is an easy way of doing that. You can also follow comments on the bill through the hashtag #debill on Twitter.


3 thoughts on “Digital Economy Bill #debill

  1. If your not happy with your MPs response write back to him saying what you want him to do. Because people frequently do not write thank you letters MPs assume that if you do not respond you are happy.

    The response you received probably was a form letter from the party. If you write back saying you are not happy and pointing out that the questions where not addressed in the response your MP will actually get involved in the process. 🙂

    More info here:

  2. Pingback: Pseudo-Democracy #debill « Armaitus on…

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