UK File Sharers Laws Could Violate Human Rights

UK Government’s highly contentious ‘three strikes’ strategy to put a check on illicit file sharing could pose a significant threat to human rights, the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights said.

A consortium of MPs, along with the members of the House of Lords, have called for more clarity in the “technical measures” cited in the Digital Economy Bill, which could be used to disconnect the web users surmised of illegal file sharing over the web.

Andrew Dismore, MP and chair of the Committee, has said that the technical measures mentioned in the bill were inadequately defined, and the Government should elucidate these measures in detail.

Citing the same, Dismore said in a statement: “It has been difficult, even in the narrow area we have focussed on, to get a clear picture of the scope and impact of the provisions”.

He further went on to suggest that although the internet is presenting new challenges to policy-makers every now and then, but it by no means justify the use of “ill-defined or sweeping legislative responses”, particularly when “there is the possibility of restricting freedom of expression or the privacy of individual users”.

Our Comments

In addition to the rights of the web users, the Committee has also raised questions on the manner in which the illegal downloaders are identified. There are bounds to be abuse on both sides though; we've already witnessed how some legal entities have already sent out warning letters to broadband users.

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