A group of MPs, lead by Liberal Democrat Julian Huppert, are lobbying the government to amend the Digital Economy Act. The act, which features measure on how to combat illegal filesharers, was passed through parliament earlier this year. However, the Act has come in for much critisicism over whether is was properly scrutinised as MPs rushed to get the legislation based before parliament was dissolved in preparation for the general election. BT and TalkTalk are among those voicing their concerns over how quickly the act was passed.
Under the 'three strikes' rule set out in the act, the account holder of IP addresses that have been used to illegally download files will be issued with warning letters and emails. Repeat offenders face legal action and even 'technical measures' that could see their internet connection slowed or even temporarily suspended.
"There's this assumption that if you have someone's IP address, you know who it is that's responsible, which is simply wrong; it falls apart in so many ways," Huppert told Broadband Genie.
Huppert, who described many clauses in the act as "deeply worrying", said the circumstances surrounding passing the act were "very odd" as "many MPs were not about to stay in London in the middle of an election to vote on something they didn't really know anything about".
He said a number of MPs were working ways the the Digital Economy Act could be improved.
"It has to go back to Parliament for approval, and in this case there has to be a vote, which is quite rare. It hasn't been scheduled yet, but there will be an opportunity for those of us who have a case to make a case against sections of the Act to do so."
Broadband Genie editor Chris Marling said it was "heartening" to know sections of the act, which had clearly been rushed through without any time being paid to them, will not be let through so easily this time. "While putting a stop to illegal filesharing is of great importance, is vitally important consumer rights are protected in the process."