Talktalk Blasts Lord Mandelson's Anti Piracy Plans

Carphone Warehouse owned Talktalk has confirmed that it could take legal actions against the current government if the business secretary, Lord Mandelson, goes ahead with his plans to boot persistent illegal file sharers off the web by cutting off their web access.

The proposed legislation is set to become law as part of the Digital Economy bill which comes out next month and will be enforced as from April 2010. The three strike approach, as suggested by the French government, issues three successive warning letters to those suspected of illegally downloading content, the third letter will be followed by internet suspension.

The plans, which were announced yesterday, have been criticised by a wide spectrum of parties involved in the the telecommunications industry.

However, Talktalk, which is the second biggest consumer broadband ISP after BT and has more than four million customers, has been the most incisive and straight forward in its condemnation of Lord Mandelson's tactics.

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Andrew Heaney, executive director of strategy and regulation at Talktalk, lambasted the approach saying that it "is based on the principle of 'guilty until proven innocent' and substitutes proper judicial process for a kangaroo court, We know this approach will lead to wrongful accusations."

This, Mr Heaney, suggests, could be a violation of the user's human rights and, to some extent, would contradict the government's own projects to make broadband obligatory for all UK households like in Finland and the Culture Minister, Ben Bradshaw who said last week that court orders would be necessary to disconnect filesharers.

Talktalk went as far as creating a website called Don't disconnect us which appears to be specifically targeting Lord Mandelson, saying that his proposals are "wrong in principle and won’t work in practice".

Our Comments

Maybe rather than suspending the culprit, they should reduce his or her broadband speed to a trickle or put a download quota for a month and force him or her to pay the full price. That would be quite interesting indeed to find out what would happen afterwards.

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