Wednesday, November 25, 2009
source: The Times, October 23, 200
Patrick Foster, Media Correspondent
MI5 comes out against cutting off internet pirates
The police and intelligence services are calling on the Government to drop plans to disconnect persistent internet pirates because they fear that this would make it harder to track criminals online.
Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, has vowed to use the Government’s forthcoming Digital Economy Bill to introduce new measures to fight illegal file-sharing of music and films. He has also proposed that persistent pirates should have their internet connections suspended temporarily.
But The Times understands that both the security services and police are concerned about the plans, believing that threatening to cut off pirates will increase the likelihood that they will escape detection by turning to encryption.
Law enforcement groups, which include the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and the Metropolitan Police’s e-crime unit, believe that more encryption will increase the costs and workload for those attempting to monitor internet traffic. One official said: “It will make prosecution harder because it increases the workload significantly.”
A source involved in drafting the Bill said that the intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6, had also voiced concerns about disconnection. “The spooks hate it,” the source said. “They think it is only going to make monitoring more difficult.”
Enforcement groups are also unhappy that the Government’s change of plans has left them little time to draw up a response. Lord Mandelson’s intervention came two months after the Government’s Digital Britain report, published in June, failed to back disconnection. Instead, it proposed giving Ofcom, the media watchdog, powers to direct internet service providers to block pirate websites or “throttle” connection speeds.
It is understood that the Digital Economy Bill will specify a list of technical measures that can be deployed against illegal file-sharers, but it is not yet clear whether account suspension will be included.
The music industry, which claims that it loses £200 million a year to piracy, is desperate for the Government to adopt the suspension plans. It has mounted a lobbying effort and believes that Lord Mandelson will follow through on his proposals.
FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article6885923.ece
source: Telegraph, 11:01AM GMT 24 Nov 2009
By Claudine Beaumont, Technology Editor
Digital Economy Bill: Ask the experts
The Digital Economy Bill, which sets out the Government's plans for safeguarding intellectual property rights and promoting innovation in the internet age, has just been introduced in the House of Lords.
While many of the measures have won wide-ranging, cross-party support, others have attracted significant criticism from industry figures and consumers alike. Plans to cut off the internet connections of illegal file sharers have been met with dismay by some organisations, with internet service providers such as Talk Talk and BT supporting court fines for repeat offenders rather than the termination of connections.
On Thursday, Telegraph.co.uk and Virgin Media are hosting a panel discussion to explore some of the key themes and issues raised by the Digital Economy Bill. Among the experts participating in the live debate will be Ed Vaizey, the shadow minister for culture, and Feargal Sharkey, chief executive of UK Music, which represents the commercial music industry. We'll also be joined by Jill Johnstone, director of Consumer Focus, and Jon James, an executive director at Virgin Media.
This is your chance to put your thoughts and questions about the Bill to the panel. Is cutting off file sharers really the best way to crack down on piracy? Will the proposed broadband tax be enough to finance the roll-out of next-generation broadband to all parts of the UK? Is the PEGI standard the right classification system for video games?
Send us your questions ahead of the live discussion. You can email us at email@example.com, post your question in the comments box below, or send us a tweet on Twitter – please use the hashtag #digidebate.
You can follow the debate live online at www.telegraph.co.uk/technology from 1.15pm on Thursday.
The purpose of this website is mainly to be an information brokering gate regarding the proposed Digital Economy Bill. Here you will find general information regarding the Bill, recent developments, and also the tools and leads in order to be democratically involved in activism, challenge and rally against it.
We believe that the proposed Bill is a threat to the pure grassroots democracy that the internet has established, and it will be a threat to human potential and creativity. Sure we can understand the concerns of the entertainment industry, but an enormous part of what is the internet today is largely because of the unregulated and unchecked information overflow.
We believe that there should be a public discussion between all stakeholders -government, enterprises and civil society- and a reconceptualization of the issues as to what is illegal online, since we are not trying to deal with an escalating digital deviance, but we are actually facing the prospect of the criminilization of a common and taken-for-granted social activity. Not to mention of course the snooping, the monitoring of the free flow of information and the impact on the freedom of speech.
photo credit: PA, from Telegraph 24 Nov 2009