April 9, 2010 | By Tim Jones

U.K. Passes Internet Censorship and Disconnection Law

Late Thursday night the U.K. Parliament passed the controversial Digital Economy Bill, which grants the U.K. government sweeping new powers to control access to the Internet.

The Digital Economy Bill has been the subject of heavy entertainment industry lobbying and widespread concern amongst U.K. citizens and telecommunications companies because it included provisions that would allow the U.K. government to censor websites considered "likely to be used for or in connection with an activity that infringes copyright," and disconnect the Internet connection of any household in the U.K. with an IP address alleged to have engaged in copyright infringement. Despite the many concerns expressed with the Bill's provisions, including questions by some Members of Parliament about whether these provisions could be used to block access to the Wikileaks website, the bill was rushed through Parliament -- apparently with several amendments that we're still assessing -- after only two hours of debate in a special late-night "wash-up" session.

If you're in the U.K., we encourage you to join the Open Rights Group's campaign and express your views to your MPs now. You might also want to switch to an Internet Service Provider that understands the implications of the Digital Economy Bill and is willing to commit to protecting your civil liberties, like Talk Talk.

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