A petition, calling for Lord Mandelson to cancel his plans to ban individuals from the internet based on their (legal or illegal) use of P2P file sharing, has apparently convinced the current government that there is no need for such scheme.
The Guardian reported yesterday that the government will effectively backtrack from its proposal and the government posted a detailed response to the petitioners saying that they "see how this could be deemed proportionate except in the most extreme – and therefore probably criminal – cases."
550 signatures had been collected by the petition that has since been closed and another petition started by Talktalk has collected over 33,000 online signatures and is still opened.
One might argue that the government is anxious about the potential exposure and risks associated with such a controversial decision, especially as the forthcoming general elections loom.
However, the Open Rights Group says that the government will use a change in semantics to get the proposals pushed through the legislative process.
ORG said in a statement to the Guardian that the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport had already chosen to use the expression "temporary account suspension" rather than disconnection because it sounds less harsh.
The UK Government might have a very hard time trying to hide any changes in semantics if it is indeed trying to do just that. There will be hundreds of prying eyes trying to find out what the Digital Economy Bill will be hiding and what will be the consequences of applying it.