Government hits back at file sharing criticism

Cut off your internet

The Government has responded to critics of its proposed new policy to deal with illegal filesharing.

In a blog post the Digital Britain team responded to a selection of criticisms in an attempt to justify the new proposals, announced by Peter Mandelson on Tuesday.

An executive director of internet service provider (ISP) Talk Talk, Andrew Heaney, said this week that he was "dismayed" by the policy, which he felt would be near impossible to enforce. He added his company planned to "strongly resist" its implementation.

The post admitted that enforcement would be tough, with innocent people possibly getting caught in the cross fire, but a tribunal system to appeal would also be brought in as part of the policy.

The Government was also accused of criminalising an entire generation who regularly fileshare, but it responded by saying it was just highlighting the unlawful act.

The post said: "Getting copyrighted material without permission or payment is already unlawful (it is a civil offence). Recognising that fact and enforcing existing rights is not criminalisation."

Other issues confronted in the report included Mandelson's alleged discussions with music industry heavyweight David Geffen it was denied that the two discussed Digital Britain issues and a move away from the original Digital Britain report.

However, the Digital Britain team denied they were leaving behind the initial guidelines of the report, but rather adding to them through consultation.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.