British Government Threatens ISPs – Start Policing Your Networks For Illegal File-Sharing, Or Else
Following the lead of the French, the British Government has issued an ultimatum to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating in the United Kingdom, stop illegal file trading on your networks, or else. The ISPs have until April 2009 to develop a solution to counter Internet piracy that will satisfy content owners, or the British government will pass a law forcing them to do so. In the meantime, the government said it will look at “statutory solutions” that could be used until a law is in place, as well as tougher penalties for copyright infringement.
The finger-wagging were delivered to the ISPs via a report from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which has been hammered by Copyright lobbying trade groups. ISPs in the UK have been in voluntary negotiations with copyright owners on ways to eradicate illegal file sharing on P2P (peer-to-peer) services that run on theri networks but so far have not reached an agreement. If no agreement is reached, “the government will equip itself to introduce legislation swiftly if suitable arrangements between ISPs and relevant sectors are not forthcoming or prove insufficient,” the report said. The legislation would mandate ISPs to police subscribers, opening a pandora’s box of privacy concerns and legal ramifications.