While I agree that there should be *some* measures taken to limit or punish those who use the internet to steal, I feel that the current bill is highly flawed and has removed civil liberties that should remain, even if a household is caught.
As it stands, the Digital Economy Bill is too broad. It targets the bill payer of the family instead of the individual culprits. As a family is composed of many differing age groups and incomes, all using the same wireless or wired internet, it shouldn't be right that a mother, who does not use the internet, is punished because her son downloads an album illegally.
There is also an issue that there is currently no way to go to trial over these allegations. As I understand the bill, you receive a letter from your ISP (internet service provider) saying you've been caught and either have to pay a fine or lose your connection. There seems to be no way to have a fair trial on these allegations, which is unrealistic, as many peer-to-peer sharing or torrenting CAN be used for legal practices, such as sharing large amounts of data through a business. However, they may flag up as illegal sharing and lead whole families into bankruptcy.
Instead, Government should focus on educating the youth and fair warning systems. This would allow the parents to talk to their children if their household is warned.
I also feel that there should be technological experts on hand to give fully educated guidance to government, as there has been a lack of understanding in how the Internet works from both the House of Lords and House of Commons whenever the issue of the Internet has been raised.
Why is this idea important?
I feel that it is important that every individual who is accused of internet theft should have a fair trial and hearing. This is a civil liberty that is upheld for every other crime I can think of; why not internet theft?
I also feel that it is wrong to leave a fine on an innocent parent or guardian who happen to have their internet connection under their name. With the ubiquity of wireless internet and the whole new generation being raised with the Internet, it is unfair to fine the people who were not involved.
These are important civil liberties for anyone who currently pays for and maintains an internet connection. You are under risk.
Repeal the Digital Economy Act and instead, make a bill that has expert guidance and fairness in mind.