ISPs Slam Government Anti Piracy Plans In Open Letter

The UK government’s proposed plans to disconnect the internet connections of users who illicitly download movies, music, and games are “misconceived”, and jeopardise internet users’ rights, according to the chief execs of the UK’s major ISPs.

The CEOs from various ISPs, including Charles Dunstone of TalkTalk, Tom Alexander of Orange UK, and Ian Livingston of BT, have sent a joint letter to The Times newspaper, condemning the government’s proposals to crack down on illegal file sharers.

In addition, the aforementioned letter was also signed by some of the big players in consumer groups, including Deborah Prince of Which?, Ed Mayo of Consumer Focus, and Jim Killock of Open rights Group.

“Consumers must be presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty. We must avoid an extrajudicial 'kangaroo court' process where evidence is not tested properly and accused broadband users are denied the right to defend themselves against false accusations”, reads the letter.

It further went on to claim that suspending internet connections of users would restrict their freedom to a great extent, and called for more attention in framing new policies to deal with illegal file sharing over the internet.

The authors of the letter also slammed proposals that ISPs, as well as customers, should pay for the measures, claiming this would be “grossly unfair since the vast majority of consumers do not fileshare illegally”.

Our Comments

This government has often been accused of inaction and when it does finally decide to do something, it is criticised. In this particular case however, it seems that the critics are legitimate. Broadband companies are not in the business to lose customers. Condemning all broadband consumers to pay for illegal P2P users is in essence a piracy tax in disguise.

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