File-sharing crackdown criticised for ‘lack of detail’

The government has been urged to give more details on the process that would lead to disconnection of broadband access for unlawful file-sharers, a sanction laid out in the Digital Economy Bill.

In a report published on Friday, the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) expressed concern at the "lack of detail" given by the bill regarding the process that would lead to broadband users having their connections suspended or having other technical measures imposed, saying this made it "extremely difficult" to assess the human-rights aspects of the process.

"As we have explained in the past, flexibility is not an appropriate reason for defining a power which engages individual rights without adequate precision to allow for proper parliamentary scrutiny of its proportionality," the committee wrote in the report, Legislative Scrutiny: Digital Economy Bill.

Specifically, the committee wants to know whether people could be indefinitely suspended, and whether suspended people would be barred from getting internet access from alternative services. They also want to know what standard of evidence and proof would lead to technical measures being imposed.

http://news.zdnet.co.uk/communications/0,1000000085,40025393,00.htm

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