UK ISP Says It Will Not Follow Digital Economy Bill Rules

from the civil-isp-disobedience dept

As anger towards the Digital Economy Bill grows, some are fighting back against the bill in a variety of ways. ISP Talk Talk, who had been vocally against the bill ever since it was first proposed, has apparently now announced that it will not follow the more draconian aspects of the law. In an official blog post by the company, it says that it will fight in court any attempt to force it to do things it feels are unwise, and will continue to fight against the law politically:
After the election we will resume highlighting the substantial dangers inherent in the proposals and that the hoped for benefits in legitimate sales will not materialise as filesharers will simply switch to other undetectable methods to get content for free.

In the meantime we stand by our pledges to our customers:
  • Unless we are served with a court order we will never surrender a customer's details to rightsholders. We are the only major ISP to have taken this stance and we will maintain it.
  • If we are instructed to disconnect an account due to alleged copyright infringement we will refuse to do so and tell the rightsholders we'll see them in court.
Who knows if it will actually help, but it is nice to see an ISP willing to not just give in at this point.

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  1. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), 9 Apr 2010 @ 8:42am

    Re:

    "they will likely change their tune when they start spending more on laywers every day."

    They can probably go before an EU court on a point by point basis. Each request that comes in go before a judge with a different violation of what ever passes for a constitution in the UK, and also how it violate EU law. Being a layman I can see 18 violation of EU and UK law, there are probably alot more.

    The new Internet Freedom Provision of the EU Telecoms Reform states.

    "Any of these measures regarding end-users’ access to or use of services and applications through electronic communications networks liable to restrict those fundamental rights or freedoms may only be imposed if they are appropriate, proportionate and necessary within a democratic society, and their implementation shall be subject to adequate procedural safeguards in conformity with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and general principles of Community law, including effective judicial protection and due process. Accordingly, these measures may only be taken with due respect for the principle of presumption of innocence and the right to privacy. A prior fair and impartial procedure shall be guaranteed, including the right to be heard of the person or persons concerned, subject to the need for appropriate conditions and procedural arrangements in duly substantiated cases of urgency in conformity with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms . The right to an effective and timely judicial review shall be guaranteed.”"

    Just read that one section and you find 7 different ways to fight this in the EU court.

    1) principle of presumption of innocence
    2) the right to privacy
    3) A prior fair and impartial procedure shall be guaranteed
    4) the right to be heard
    5) effective judicial protection
    6) due process
    7) their implementation shall be subject to adequate procedural safeguards

    Then you also have the fundamental rights issue ...

    CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
    OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (applicable sections)

    Article 8
    Protection of personal data
    1. Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her.
    2. Such data must be processed fairly for specified purposes and on the basis of the consent of the
    person concerned or some other legitimate basis laid down by law. Everyone has the right of access to
    data which has been collected concerning him or her, and the right to have it rectified.
    3. Compliance with these rules shall be subject to control by an independent authority.

    Article 11
    Freedom of expression and information
    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions
    and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless
    of frontiers.

    Article 13
    Freedom of the arts and sciences
    The arts and scientific research shall be free of constraint. Academic freedom shall be respected.

    Article 36
    Access to services of general economic interest
    The Union recognises and respects access to services of general economic interest as provided for in national laws and practices, in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community, in order to promote the social and territorial cohesion of the Union.

    Article 38
    Consumer protection
    Union policies shall ensure a high level of consumer protection.

    Article 41
    Right to good administration
    1. Every person has the right to have his or her affairs handled impartially, fairly and within a reasonable time by the institutions and bodies of the Union.
    2. This right includes:
    — the right of every person to be heard, before any individual measure which would affect him or her
    adversely is taken;
    — the right of every person to have access to his or her file, while respecting the legitimate interests of confidentiality and of professional and business secrecy;
    — the obligation of the administration to give reasons for its decisions.
    3.Every person has the right to have the Community make good any damage caused by its institutions or by its servants in the performance of their duties, in accordance with the general principles common to the laws of the Member States.

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