Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law

Over the last fortnight tens of thousands of people have contacted their MPs opposing the Government's plans to “fast-track” the Digital Economy Bill into law.

Our guest writer is Johnny Chatterton of 38 Degrees

A digital uprising will spill over into Parliament today. Over the last fortnight tens of thousands of people across the UK have contacted their MPs opposing the Government’s plans to “fast-track” the controversial Digital Economy Bill into law. Facebook and Twitter have been the focus of a people-powered outcry that has seen more than 22,000 letters sent to MPs and upwards of £20,000 raised to pay for newspaper and online adverts opposing the bill.

People-power is working. The Liberal Democrats caved in to this public pressure last week and withdrew support for the bill. More and more Labour and Conservative MPs are waking up to the huge public concern about the bill and raising concerns with their whips.

As Left Foot Forward has highlighted, there is plenty to be worried about in the bill. It could hand huge new powers to ministers, allow widespread internet disconnections, the blocking of entire websites, and spell the end of free, public WiFi. But the biggest worry is that politicians are planning to rush these sweeping new powers into law without a proper debate, without allowing opposition to be heard.

The bill has had its third reading in the Lords and if the Government, as expected, “fast tracks” it into law through wash-up it will be law before the general election.

Today 38 Degrees members will do all we can to make sure MPs realise just how many people think it’s a bad idea to rush sweeping new powers into law without proper debate. Thousands of us will be calling our MPs, urging them to do all they can to stop the bill being rushed into law.

The Government may be hoping that opposition to the bill gets drowned out by coverage of the General Election, but they might be wiser to remember that in a few weeks those opposing the bill will be making another big decision – who to vote for in the general election.

23 Responses to “Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law”

  1. Nick Stringer

    RT @leftfootfwd Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law: http://bit.ly/bD9Vul #fb

  2. Ross Howie

    RT @Nickedynick: RT @leftfootfwd Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law: http://bit.ly/bD9Vul #fb

  3. Catherine Neilan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law: http://bit.ly/bD9Vul

  4. Paris Gourtsoyannis

    RT @leftfootfwd: Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law: http://bit.ly/bD9Vul

  5. SocioLingo Africa

    RT @leftfootfwd: Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law http://bit.ly/bD9Vul

  6. Claire French

    RT @leftfootfwd: Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law: http://bit.ly/bD9Vul

  7. Tim Ireland

    RT @leftfootfwd: Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law: http://bit.ly/bD9Vul

  8. Martin Brown

    RT @leftfootfwd: Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law: http://bit.ly/bD9Vul

  9. PostBureaucratic Age

    Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law: http://bit.ly/bD9Vul /via @leftfootfwd

  10. Steven Nash

    RT @leftfootfwd: Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law: http://bit.ly/bD9Vul

  11. Matt Jones

    RT @leftfootfwd: Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law: http://bit.ly/bD9Vul

  12. Andy Hawthorne

    RT @leftfootfwd: Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law: http://bit.ly/bD9Vul

  13. Mr. Sensible

    I’m afraid the opponents of the bill have failed to come up with a real alternative in terms of tackling the issue of piracy.

    I agree that this bill should not be rushed, but on the actual substance of the bill I’m going to sit on the fence.

  14. Mital Joshi Goel

    Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law: http://bit.ly/bD9Vul /via @leftfootfwd @PBAge #DEBill

  15. NORTH ROOM

    Rung your MP about this? I have // Final appeal for debate on Digital Economy Bill http://bit.ly/bD9Vul #DEBill /via @MitalJoshiGoel

  16. LadyRoisin

    RT @leftfootfwd: Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law http://bit.ly/bD9Vul

  17. JoshC

    I’ve already told my MP that if this Bill goes forward without a proper debate I’ll be voting for someone else. Too many fundamental freedoms are being shredded.

    “Mr. Sensible says:
    April 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I’m afraid the opponents of the bill have failed to come up with a real alternative in terms of tackling the issue of piracy. ”

    Opponents of the bill have said all along that any pirate who are identified should be tried in a court of law as anyone else accused of a crime is. That puts the emphasis on proving guilt (as it should be) instead of proving innocence. As this bill stands, not only are you assumed to be guilty by a corporation, not a court, but you will also be punished for a crime that you did not commit if someone else uses it for piracy.

    Most of all, none of this tackles piracy in any way. Encryption, proxy servers and simple renaming of files defeats the technical anti-piracy measures. Do they think that the people involved in piracy are idiots? They tend to be the most computer-literate people on Earth. A few days after this goes through the real pirates, those who steal thousands of copyrighted files per day, will have adapted.

    The real solution to piracy, the solution the creative companies don’t want to hear, is that they change their business model to embrace the access that the Internet gives their customers to their material.

  18. Larry King

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  19. DC Web Design

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  20. Baltimore Web Design

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  21. RAHUL

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  22. Science in the Open » Blog Archive » A letter to my MP

    […] Final appeal for Digital Economy Bill not to be rushed into law (leftfootforward.org) […]

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