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United Kingdom Takes One More Step Towards Full-Fledged Police State

August 26, 2009

If you think the RIAA is bad, wait until Big Brother gets involved.

The British government says people who illegally download music and films could have their Internet connections cut off.

Treasury Minister Stephen Timms says the move would allow “swifter and more flexible measures” to clamp down on piracy.

The plans announced Tuesday include blocking access to download sites and temporarily suspending users’ internet accounts.

from The Associated Press

Is piracy really that great of a threat to the fabric of society that it compels us to censor the internet?  Maybe I’m being paranoid, but this seems like, in the big picture, such a low-level, industry-specific problem that basically anything could justify further censorship in the UK.

I am not very familiar with traditions of individual freedom (or lack thereof) in that country, but to me restricting the ability of its citizens without due process is a shocking disregard for liberty or even basic trust.  Your neighbor steals your Wi-Fi and downloads The Fast and the Furious?  Goodbye internet. Download mp3s of vinyl records you already own?  Looks like you are checking e-mail from the public library from now on.  Disgusting.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2009 1:44 am

    They want to do the same thing in Australia. Politicians just like to wave it around, and ignore ISPs when they patiently explain that they have no way of telling exactly what people are downloading, and no inclination to find out. It’s an unenforcable law.

    • August 26, 2009 2:49 am

      Well, its enforceable. Like dolphins in a tuna net, there is just no guarantee that the enforcers will target the appropriate enforcees. That’s not a real word, thank you red squiggly lines.

  2. Foster permalink
    August 26, 2009 9:00 am

    I guess cutting off the internet is easier than burning books.

    • August 27, 2009 12:10 am

      I really wish those things were mutually exclusive. I think you’ve just given Gordon Brown an idea dude!

  3. Cecilia Kelley permalink
    August 26, 2009 9:08 am

    Unfortunately, this type of over stepping personal freedom is not uncommon in the U.K. They enact these wide sweeping laws in the hope it will protect it’s companies and people, but in reality it just infringes on innocent people’s rights.

    Most recently the British government made it illegal for a non-British citizen under the age of 21 to marry a British citizen, so as to protect young foreign brides/grooms from forced marriages. But, the law also deports all non-British citizens who are already married and are under the age of 21 until their 21st birthdays. I know a number of people who are being forced to leave the country and be separated from their spouses, and the gov’s response is “sorry for the inconvenience. it’s for your own protection”

    Genius, right?

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