Following the decision of the European Parliament that enables European member states to approve laws that force ISPs to disconnect individuals from the Internet, the UK is planning on enforcing its own version of the “three-strikes” law meant to discourage illegal file sharing.
According to The Guardian, Lord Peter Mandelson, the Business Secretary, announced that this law is supposed become reality in 2011. It will go through a 12 months long testing phase that will see warning letters sent to persistent offenders. If the scope of the illegal activity doesn’t drop by at least 70 percent by April 2011, three months later the practice of cutting off the Internet access will be set in motion.
There were a lot of voices raised against this plan. ISPs don’t want the responsibility – it’s bad for their public image, and also raises operational costs. The Open Rights Group sees it as an infringement of basic rights. Times Online reports that even UK’s law enforcement and intelligence services are against it. They fear that pirates will begin to use encryption and thus make their job even harder (not to mention the increase of workload and costs).
On the opposite side sit the music and movie industries. They are, of course, anxious to see the law in practice since they lose hundreds of millions of pounds every year.