Business Secretary Peter Mandelson confirms the state will intervene to stamp out illegal file sharing

Government will disconnect pirates

The Government has confirmed a strict new policy of cutting off persistent file sharers from the internet.

Business Secretary Lord Mandleson announced today at the C&binet creative industries conference that the worst offenders will be given two warning letters, and following that it would look to suspend that person’s account. The news confirms recent speculation that Mandelson’s department would be looking to impose such a policy.

The Labour peer said the state would be looking to work with internet service providers (ISPs) in order to curb file sharing, though ultimately it would have reserve powers to issue an order requiring them to ‘invoke technical measures’.

“It’s clear that whilst unlawful file-sharing excites a strong response from all sides, it is not a victimless act. It is a genuine threat to our creative industries. The creative sector has faced challenges to protected formats before. But the threat faced today from online infringement, particularly unlawful file-sharing, is of a different scale altogether. We cannot sit back and do nothing."

He did however insist that cutting people off would be a last resort.

“Only persistent rule breakers would be affected – and there would be an independent, clear and easy appeals process to ensure that the correct infringer is penalised.”

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