UK government to ‘cut off’ file-sharers

Lord Mandelson is believed to have personally requested the new measures

The UK government has announced that people who continually download music and films could face being banned from the internet.

An amendment has been made to the Digital Britain report, which was originally published in June, in order to give stricter punishments to persistent illegal downloaders.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson is understood to have personally intervened to make the penalties for internet pirates more severe, reports BBC News.

Under the new measures, people who continually download illegal music and film content could have their internet connections cut off.

Initially, the report gave regulator OFCOM until 2012 to decide whether it was necessary to catch illegal downloaders. However, a statement from the Department For Business, Innovation & Skills released today (August 25) declares that the 2012 date is “too long to wait”.

The report states that it should be up to internet service providers (ISPs) to catch and take action against offenders.

However, the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) argued that it shouldn’t be within their remit to police the internet, stating that it is “disappointed by the proposal to force ISPs to suspend users’ accounts”.

A ruling in the European Parliament in May declared that cutting off someone’s internet connection could be a breach of their human rights.