Rushing a law or act through parliament is normally the result of some serious event and that is why eyebrows were raised when the Digital Economy Act (DEA) was rushed through parliament during the last days of the Labour government.
But now it seems that despite the act going through, implementing it is a completely different matter and to add to the delay, two internet service providers (ISP’s) BT and TalkTalk are about to challenge the bill this week in order to block the act from becoming law.
The act means that Film and Music copyright owners will be given full access to ISP’s customer details in order for them to either slow their internet connection right down or kick them off the broadband network as a result of their downloading or sharing copyrighted material.
According to a spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, “Since the DEA passed into law there has been a considerable amount of work to do to implement the mass notification system.”
“Secondary legislation setting out how the system will be paid for and how it will work has to be passed by Parliament. Ofcom also has to set up an appeals process,” they added.
However, it is not going to be all plain sailing as Julian Huppert, who is the Lib Dem MP for Cambridge, said, “This is something that Lord Mandelson rammed through the House of Commons and it’s becoming a great example of what happens when you rush legislation,”
The government have also asked Ofcom to investigate the act further, while the ISP’s are claiming that the act is not in line with the EU privacy and commercial directives.