Posted by: Clarinette | April 8, 2010

The Digital Economy Bill passed

The Bill was passed, washed up, rushed through, last night. So many wrote to their MPs; so many protested; so many of us lawyers tried to attract public attention to the danger of such regulation for our democracy. We tried to show how ‘impractical’ this law could be. What dangers it could present for our privacy. How it was against the European Convention of Human Rights. How it was stupid to spend money to encourage internet access to reduce the digital divide while now the money will be spent on disconnecting access, discouraging public Wifi and public internet access.

Nothing worked, unfortunately.

Were we wrong maybe?

We shall ask each of our MPs who disregarded our warnings to explain to us what they know that we don’t.

Dear Members of Parliament, do let us know what you know that we don’t.

Do let us know what we can do to comply with the regulation.

Do let us know what we can do and what we can’t. Can we listen to Spotify ? Can we look at YouTube? What can we ‘upload’ onto YouTube? Can I post my children’s musical play on Facebook? Can I offer you an iPod with music downloaded from iTunes?

How can we secure our home networks? Will the government provide us with secure wireless devices? How can we lock our IP addresses to be sure no one would download infringing material using them on our behalf?

What should we reply when we receive a solicitor’s letter threatening us of legal action? Should we pay the £500 or

Do we have any means of proving we did not download any infringing material? We first need the answers to the previous questions for that.

Do we know who will intercept our private communications and how personal data will be stored?

How the Deep Packet Inspection or filtering will operate to catch potential infringers? In other words, how the internet censorship will be organised?

And last but not least, you passed a law, we need to know if this law will ever reach its goal, will the heavy downloader using VPN and encryption be caught on the net?

With my best regards.



  1. Amen

  2. I agree. Each MP and Peer must be endlessly questioned about their role in last night’s activities. Were they there? How did they vote? Why? If they weren’t there, why not? Then they must be tested on the detail, as you point out. Of course, it would be an intensely disappointing series of answers… they barely have a grip on their own expenses.

  3. Hope you don’t mind, sent the letter to my MP (who wasn’t at the vote). Did I just infringe the bill?

    • My pleasure Spandex. The content of this blog is under Creative Comments and the suggested questions to MPs my personal present to democracy and freedom of expression.

  4. Good post, good idea, I am gonna send it to my MP too! Guess we are the first pirates, stealing your great ideas.

  5. Have a look, have a thought, who did vote?
    This letter by itself sums it all up: The Minister for Digital Britain doesn’t know what an ‘IP address’ is !
    Just imagine what they have voted, what they have been wanting to protect, was the Intellectual Property (IP) address

  6. […] The Digital Economy Bill passed Do we have any means of proving we did not download any infringing material? We first need the answers to the previous questions for that. […]

  7. […] the UK Government had to drop the rushed through Digital Economy Bill plans to create a ‘national firewall’, here comes a new excuse for censorship and Deep […]

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