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Mandelson web cutoff plan ‘potentially illegal’

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Richard Wray
London Guardian
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lord Mandelson’s plans to cut off the broadband connections of internet users who illegally download copyrighted music and films were attacked by privacy campaigners, internet service providers and Labour MPs yesterday as unworkable, unnecessary and potentially illegal.

The surprise decision to reintroduce the disconnection idea, which was ruled out in the government’s own Digital Britain report in June, also sparked accusations that the business secretary has been swayed by secret meetings with senior figures from the music and film industry.

Tom Watson, the former cabinet minister who until recently was in charge of the government’s internet policy, said the plan “will lead to accusations that the government has been captured by the big lobby operations of powerful rightsholders.”

TalkTalk, Britain’s largest consumer broadband provider, warned that innocent web users could be disconnected after having their connections hijacked by pirates looking to circumvent the new rules. It added that the move “will likely breach fundamental human rights”.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 3:22 am

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