Open Rights Group: Digital Economy Bill is bad

Open internet advocates say ISP tracking is too imprecise for legal action
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The Open Rights Group has slammed the Digital Economy Bill, saying that the method of targeting specific ISP addresses will result in the wrong people being prosecuted.

In an article on Entanet’s blog, executive director of the ORG Jim Killock points out that: “it’s not possible in most cases to equate a customer’s IP address with an individual who may have infringed. The result is that current government plans will target anyone with a computer with more than one user, or a network.”

He goes on to highlight that the proposed tactics will result in substantial costs for hotels, bars or cafés that offer free internet to their customers, while in domestic cases liability will simply fall on to the account holder, ie parents.

“Many MPs have simply not understood how wide these liabilities are, or the likely consequences,” commented Killock.

“We need to stop this before it starts damaging the real digital economy and undermines respect for the law. We haven’t spent the last fifteen years building the online economy just to see it given a senseless knocking purely to give copyright holders sweeping powers to punish the innocent.”