Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

UK Government To Terminate File Sharers' Net Access

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the finally-getting-these-monsters-right-at-the-source dept.

The Internet 411

An anonymous reader writes "New plans published by the UK Govt show that they hope to terminate internet access for people suspected of breaching copyright by file sharing. Under the proposed new laws ISPs who fail to enforce the policy will face prosecution in the courts. Users falling foul of the new law will be subject to a three strike policy: First suspected instance of illegal file sharing they would receive a warning, at the second — a suspension, and at the third they will have their Internet connection terminated. It isn't clear whether users will be prevented from ever using the internet again, or whether simply subscribing to a new ISP will reset the process."

cancel ×

411 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

HA HA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391148)

The UK sucks!

Ummmm (4, Insightful)

spleen_blender (949762) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391156)

Encrypt your file sharing. Does anything else really need to be said?

Re:Ummmm (0)

rvw (755107) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391230)

Encrypt your file sharing. Does anything else really need to be said?
That sounds quite stupid. The purpose of anonymous filesharing is that the receiver can use the file. So if you encrypt it, it means you have to share the key as well. Then the government can get the key as easily as any user, and in the end the encryption (meant to hide your activities from the government) has no effect.

Re:Ummmm (2, Informative)

lorenzino (1130749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391282)

Never heard of public encryption ? You need someone public key to send them data and only them can read it. You can also sign it with your private key so that nobody else could have sent that data. (If you sent them your public key) The problem though is man in the middle. Who can you be sure the public key you've got is their public key and not GOV public key?

Re:Ummmm (2, Insightful)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391296)

Um... you encrypt the transfer, not the file itself. Ever heard of SSL? Sort of like that.

Re:Ummmm (2, Interesting)

obstalesgone (1231810) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391488)

You ISP can prove that you communicated with a bank using SSL. That's enough information to find you guilty of "suspicion of conducting financial transactions". SSL does not help in any way.

Re:Ummmm (1, Insightful)

mdozturk (973065) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391616)

Not all content is illegal to share (linux ISO's for example). So encrypted traffic between you and I can be just innocent ISOs. I don't think ISPs would terminate your connection if they aren't sure that you are doing something illegal.

Re:Ummmm (2, Insightful)

obstalesgone (1231810) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391702)

I realize what your saying. Not all cell phone calls are the mafia moving coke, not all internet connections are hackers robbing Paypal, and not all torrents are kids downloading illegal mp3s. It doesn't matter. The proposed requirement for getting cut off from the net is suspicion... not guilt.

Re:Ummmm (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391738)

It does if they can't prove that those transactions were illegal.

Note: I do not condone illegal file sharing. Well, most of the time.

Re:Ummmm (1)

rdradar (1110795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391826)

Thats also why those file upload services [tubeshare.org] that encrypt the file during transfer are great.

Re:Ummmm (1)

fluch (126140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391306)

I guess the previous post meant to encrypt the communication channel. This would probably make it much more difficult for the ISP to monitor the communication between two hosts as it needs to analyze the traffic much closer and try to catch/intervene with the key exchange... or things like this...

Re:Ummmm (1, Redundant)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391808)

and try to catch/intervene with the key exchange

Does that mean that the pirate bay will become a certificate authority? ;)

Hey, they'd prolly be better to deal with then Verislime ;)

Wait (1)

remmelt (837671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391338)

I don't think that's how it works. Not the actual file is being encrypted with a known key, but the peer to peer connection is.

If the file was being encrypted with a known key, the ISP can simply filter that data and it doesn't matter if it's encrypted or not.

If the connection between peers is encrypted, it's not obvious what is being done. Could be ftp-ing legal stuff, could be torrenting the latest blockbuster.

I think the trend is toward traffic analysis based on timing between packages or something like that. Ftp has a different footprint than bittorrent, and it doesn't matter if it's encrypted or not. Then again, the evil hackers will come up with a way to obfuscate any kind of traffic pulses.

In the end, we'll all be using Tor.

Re:Wait (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391642)

"Ftp has a different footprint than bittorrent, and it doesn't matter if it's encrypted or not."

That's lovely. But if use FTP to download TV shows, and torrents to get Ubuntu ISOs it doesn't tell them an awful lot about my position re: copyright infringement to only whine about the torrent.

Re:Ummmm (5, Insightful)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391248)

Defensive tactics are not advised. If they come for the file-sharing users now, what makes you think they will not come for the encryption users later? Better to make our stand here and now, upon this miserable connection and fall as link-dead than to run for higher obscurity against an ever rising invasion of our privacy.

Re:Ummmm (1)

lorenzino (1130749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391330)

Well, they will then need to block all ssh or ssl (any web shop with credit card, or bank account or https website) will then be not allowed. So forget about remote in from home to your work. Naaa.They can't do that. But thing is, even with encryption, you need to exchange keys and someone in the middle (MITMA) could just make you think everything you are doing is safe while they are copying data back and forth and in the meantime, why not, reading it. You need an other mean to exchange keys, and , while you can do that with friends, its quite hard with someone you know nothing about in a p2p network ..

Re:Ummmm (4, Informative)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391412)

Surely they'll have to prove what is it that I'm downloading? As I've already pointed out in another post, my ISP has blocked BitTorrent. I can't download Ubuntu now without beating the crap out of the server. If I encrypt BitTorrent, then I'm able to download the free and legal software that I'm entitled to.

I can see my ISP's point, but they're making my life difficult.

Re:Ummmm (4, Insightful)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391512)

My biggest problem with this news is the vagueness of the proposal. It states several times "customers suspected of making illegal downloads." I wonder what would constitute activity suspicious enough to trigger a strike. It is no secrete that over here in the states' the *AAs are rather forceful in pursuing "suspected" illegal file-sharers, oft to the point of false accusations and approaching terror tactics (Universities that have stopped nearly all P2P traffic, for example.) Laws with disputable characteristics like this make an excellent foundation for the further legitimization of such tactics.

Re:Ummmm (3, Interesting)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391838)

It states several times "customers suspected of making illegal downloads."

I'll add some facts here ...

The way this works is like this: IFPI (or more likely some contracted-out company) will connect to "Teeney_Spears_best_of.torrent" bittorrent, and will note down the time and IP address of all the other machines in the swarm. Any which belong to a UK ISP will result in a notification being sent to the ISP who will forward it along to the customer. Three srikes etc.

The ISPs won't be monitoring connections, because (surprisingly) that is illegal interception and can only be done under carefully controlled conditions as specified in the RIP Act. Oh actually, it can be done by everyone and their dog in local government, but that is a separate issue [openrightsgroup.org] .

Encryption and suspicion don't really come into this. Plausible deniability, neighbours and visitors using your wifi connection, challenges over the chain of evidence, compromised machine, etc. are all possible, assuming any of these cases ever makes it to court. The whole point of the voluntary agreement is to avoid cases coming to court and needing solid evidence.

Rich.

Re:Ummmm (1)

lorenzino (1130749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391250)

The BitTorrent (say azureus) encryption as far as I know is not really encryption. System like freenet and ant and mute are much better but we really need to move there in masses to make them worth. At the moment, pain slow .. Something like DirectConnect, encrypted, invitation only, would kinda of work for small set of users ..at that point you want in the set someone outside UK that can freely download from all other P2P, without bothering with encryption.

Re:Ummmm (3, Interesting)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391316)

There were no specifics in the text of two articles of how they are going to detect file sharing. I bet they will just go by known services from their list, known torrent sites, etc. So, the encryption won't help.

Opening emails or data packets is illegal if you simple extend the law about snail-mail. If they stepped into this, they are making their unconstitutional (well, it's UK, so substitute whatever you have for constitution) rules, which makes it pretty much irrelevant whether you encrypt your uploads or not.

Re:Ummmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391510)

Opening emails or data packets is illegal if you simple extend the law about snail-mail. If they stepped into this, they are making their unconstitutional (well, it's UK, so substitute whatever you have for constitution) rules, which makes it pretty much irrelevant whether you encrypt your uploads or not.
The UK has no list of rules. No constitution of any kind. No equivalent.

Re:Ummmm (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391320)

Yeah, I wonder if the politicians who proposed this law were even aware of things like encryption. Perhaps they thought that there was no way for 6 million people to hide their activities online. Politicians need a lesson on computing, before they make more tubesque laws.

Re:Ummmm (1)

twoshortplanks (124523) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391378)

In the UK you have to give law enforcement officials the keys on request, by law, to decrypt anything that they have collected which they suspect may contain evidence of a crime. This is called the "RIP act".

Re:Ummmm (2, Insightful)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391776)

Encryption is illegal in Britain. That is you must surrender your keys upon request by the government. Any notions you may have about Britain not being a police state are wrong.

please dob yourself in (3, Funny)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391164)

I love how at the bottom of TFA there is this bit:

Do you download illegally or do you think it's right that illegal downloaders should be disconnected? Send us your comments by filling out the form below.

Name
Your E-mail address
Town & Country
Phone number (optional):
Comments
:)

Re:please dob yourself in (2, Insightful)

u38cg (607297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391550)

That's just the BBC being itself. They have this wierd idea that being a public service broadcaster means they have to publish the comments of every clueless fool who writes into them. Unofrtunately this just results in a list of daft comments that make Youtube posters look thoughtful.

Bittorrent already blocked (4, Informative)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391166)

My ISP, Pipex, has already blocked me from using BitTorrent. At first I thought it was just a problem with the server, but when I couldn't download a single Linux distribution I started getting suspicious.

I've fixed it now, but I'm not impressed that Pipex see BitTorrent as a cancer that needs to be cut out, and if anything innocent goes with it, then that's OK because it's for the greater good.

Re:Bittorrent already blocked (1)

duguk (589689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391494)

I'm with a company who is part of part of Pipex (Freedom2Surf) and never had any problems with torrents, but have had plenty of warnings about downloading ;)

I'd love to know what problems you had.

I'm now using a server somewhere else and downloading via it. It's a lot easier, and quicker even though its indirect.

Re:Bittorrent already blocked (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391546)

Bizarrely enough, I'm on Bulldog (now a subsidiary of Pipex) and after having HTTP traffic slow to diallup speeds for the past week (I'm on an 8Mb line), I tried a couple of torrents last night. HTTP still dog slow, torrents came down at 4Mb. Go figure.

Don't do the CRIME if you can't do the TIME = (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391188)


Don't do the CRIME if you can't do the TIME = DON'T DO IT !!

No, on further thought, DO IT !! The less hogs the better for me and my law-abiding kind !!

Suck it up your arse thieves !!

Not suprising, and tbh about time (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391200)

Does anyone here REALLY think that this whole story will end any other way? There are tens of thousands of people employed making digital content, in a huge industry that pays its taxes and keeps people employed. Are governments really going to say "tough shit" and encourage people to just pirate content?
Like it or not 99% of the content on p2p services is copyrighted.
Like it or not, no business can compete with free, and still pay its staff.
People I know who work in the sector are worried about future prospects and already looking at getting out into a 'bricks and mortar' style trade where they know they will get paid and not ripped off.

I have no sympathy with anyone who gets caught with this. Everyone pirating content is just leeching off the honest people who don't mind paying for their entertainment. It's fair to nobody, and unsustainable.
And to anyone saying "it wont work 100%". No it won't. Nor does locking my door work against a determined burglar, but it will help deter casual piracy, and its the mass casual piracy that is really hurting.

FAIL (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391366)

"Does anyone here REALLY think that this whole story will end any other way?"

It has in other places, your incredulity at that fact doesn't make it untrue though. Look at Canada, Spain, Germany etc.

"Are governments really going to say "tough shit" and encourage people to just pirate content?"

Some are imposing a tax, others are investigating just completely legalising p2p. Yes, remember that democracy is about the interests of the population, not just IP "owners".

"Like it or not 99% of the content on p2p services is copyrighted."

Irrelevant

"Like it or not, no business can compete with free, and still pay its staff."

Also false. Many people both download and buy an awful lot of media. On average it has been found the "pirates" buy more media than other folks. Many use p2p as a way of sampling things before deciding. Some don't, but you also make the fallacious assumption that each download is a lost sale.

"People I know who work in the sector are worried about future prospects and already looking at getting out into a 'bricks and mortar' style trade where they know they will get paid and not ripped off."

An awful lot of what's out there at the moment is lowest-common-denominator BULLSHIT. That's why it's failing.

"I have no sympathy with anyone who gets caught with this. Everyone pirating content is just leeching off the honest people who don't mind paying for their entertainment. It's fair to nobody, and unsustainable."

What is this "fair"? It seems perfectly sustainable to me.

"And to anyone saying "it wont work 100%". No it won't. Nor does locking my door work against a determined burglar, but it will help deter casual piracy, and its the mass casual piracy that is really hurting."

And someone releases a product with the crypto built in and "mass casual" piracy is back on the air.

In summary: FAIL.

Re:Not suprising, and tbh about time (1)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391608)

So tens of thousands can dictate to hundreds of millions?

If those tens of thousands do not watch out they might find themselves without any legal protections at all. People managed without copyright laws for, oh, a good 99% of the time we've walked on the planet, didn't we?

Re:Not suprising, and tbh about time (1)

mdozturk (973065) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391742)

I disagree with the GP but the rights of many are not greater than the rights of the few.

Well, not the honest part (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391794)

"Everyone pirating content is just leeching off the honest people "

Well, perhaps they're leaching, but certainly not from honest people. Perhaps you missed this story:

    http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/02/12/0317238 [slashdot.org]

Which says amongst other things: "The Tolkien Trust says that New Line paid them only $62,500 to make 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy of films -- instead of the agreed-upon 7.5 percent of gross receipts of all film-related revenue."

Perhaps I'm judging too quickly though.

Oh wait:
    "http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/27/business/media/27movie.html?_r=1&oref=slogin"

No, I guess I'm not. Honestly is apparently not the policy at the film studios.

"Suspected" incidence (5, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391212)

First suspected instance of illegal file sharing they would receive a warning, at the second -- a suspension, and at the third they will have their Internet connection terminated

Nice to see that they're not even going for proven guilt in this case. So what happens when some poor Brit has his internet connection pulled for downloading Ubuntu ISO's or WOW updates via BitTorrent... or the media companies just screw up and finger the wrong IP as infringing.

Re:"Suspected" incidence (4, Insightful)

s!lat (975103) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391318)

It is really nice to see that we don't have to deal with that "pesky" Presumed Innocence. I wonder though, can we use this to round up parliamentarians around the world and prosecute them for accepting bribes and corruption? I think that might get the message through.

Re:"Suspected" incidence (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391336)

...or when people use the trivial hack of spoofing IP's.
I thought it was already settled that IP's are no evidence?

A passport is a proof of somebody's identiy. A post-it with a name written on it is not. An IP is more like the post-it than the passport.

Re:"Suspected" incidence (0, Flamebait)

onetwofour (977057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391358)

Let's say this all happens, black boxes sit filtering my data and media companies supply signatures to identify their content. What stops them from inserting Ubuntu iso signatures when getting a back hander from some big company in Redmond?

All suspects are guilty! (1)

xerent_sweden (1010825) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391442)

Otherwise, they wouldn't be suspects, would they?

Re:"Suspected" incidence (1)

dmsuperman (1033704) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391594)

I was just going to say that. I'm so glad I live here in the US, where we are innocent until proven guilty.

Oh wait... *curses the MAFIAA and Time Warner*

Re:"Suspected" incidence (4, Funny)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391656)

Why so cynical? To think that such established and technically competent companies as BT, Virgin and Tiscali would make such egregious errors is unthinkable. If you are a criminal, you are cut off. Therefore, if you're cut off, you're a criminal. Is it really so hard for all of you freeloading hippies to understand?

Re:"Suspected" incidence (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391670)

Indeed - the cunning thing here is that it seems to be a legal requirement for the ISP, and not a law against the individual.

If it was, then there'd be a whole load of issues, such as whether this would still be a civil issue or a criminal one (downloading is not yet a criminal offence), what level of proof would be required, and being taken to court.

Instead they simply say "ISPs must disconnect users who download". The users have no rights (since ISPs can terminate a contract). Even if copyright infringement had to be proven for the ISPs to be liable, they would still likely be extra cautious to avoid risk of prosecution.

If my reading of this is correct, then the answer to the question in TFS would be that users aren't automatically prevented from using the Internet again - that would surely require court action and that they are found guilty of copyright infringement.

We'll know more when the consultation paper is released.

Lawmakers (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391216)

I'm not up on British law, but don't you guys have a way to get rid of of bad lawmakers? You do have elections right?

Yeah, yeah I know, George Bush. But this shit would never fly over here. Surely you've heard about the hot water Comcast is in over here?

Re:Lawmakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391398)

Pseudo-democracy is what its called. You change the leader but the politic engine stays the same.Also this kind of pressure comes from the companies...and some cash may be moved to a Swiss account to get the law approved.

Posting has AC for obv.... All of the above is false i have been declared insane.

Thank you for your time.

although... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391428)

I believe the UK is even less of a democracy than the States.

Re:Lawmakers (2, Funny)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391444)

But this shit would never fly over here.
He has a point. In the US, our congress concerns itself over more important matters like steroids in baseball. You Brits could take a serious lesson in ineptitude.

Re:Lawmakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391576)

Unfortunately over here they are all alike and no one wants to make a fuss so they just live with what the gov. tell them to.

You try live here for a few years and put up with the shocking service and high prices and you will wonder how it is that so few have issues with the way things are, or at least why they do not take action.

Re:Lawmakers (4, Interesting)

ddrichardson (869910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391598)

There is no British law - Scotland has its own system, which I haven't seen made mention of yet as to how this proposal affects us.

You need to appreciate the sheer volume of ludicrous laws that have been implemented in the UK since Tony Blair's New Labour were voted into power. There are a lot of things that have been made illegal that people don't even know about. This looks to be another of those scenarios where someone has been lobbying the government who have been in discussion with industry members without any public transparency or debate and are about to introduce some sweeping, ill-conceived and ill informed draconian law.

People in the UK need to wake the fuck up and stop paying so much attention to all the bullshit that the news tries to make us focus on and face up to the real issues. Look at the effect of islamic terrorism post media coverage - the UK was subjected to terrorist attacks from Irish Republicans for over 30 years which people accepted and lived with effectively, now the media has created a focussed paranoia which is impacting settled British families of Asian decent.

This may sound extreme but there are parralels as to how many dictators have drawn attention from there real interests by blaming a group of people. In this cas the recession is the issue but we can just blame p2p users.

Re:Lawmakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391602)

Do we have elections? Is this a troll? Your entire political and legal system is based on ours.

This shit would fly just the same over there as it will here. What happened with the DMCA? Passed. Copyright extensions? Passed. We're all living under dictactorships. The "election" is just a scam to keep everyone thinking that democracy is somehow involved. Choose your dictator.

The other big scam is floating hugely unpopular and unworkable ideas such as this one, waiting for the outcry, and then withdrawing the proposal. It makes it look like they listen to the public when it matters, which they do not, and it keeps us busy on trivial matters while they rob us blind through taxation and redistribute it to themselves.

Re:Lawmakers (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391706)

You should do the same. FTA:
"International action in the US and France, which is implementing its own three-strikes regime, has increased the pressure on British internet companies and stiffened the Governments resolve."

It's not law yet either, just a proposal.

Re:Lawmakers (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391744)

The political system here is totally ossified - Westminister is basically a little bubble universe, completley detached from the rest of the population. Most of the political class is upper class Oxbridge graduates, and because of that those that aren't are middle class ambitious social climbers who devote themselves to petty political advancement from the age of about twelve.

Both elements are completely disconnected from any and all forms of popular culture (and embarrass themselves when they pretend otherwise) and are, considering their educational advantages, remarkably limited intellectually - little grasp of political theory of any kind (they just go by what they take to be 'common sense' when not being outright self-serving), little grasp of economics (they go by what they are advised, with said advice invariably coming business interests/the city of london) and are as far away from representative of the British people as you could get.

You get the odd bright spark entering into Parliament, but it has a suffocating political culture that will quickly integrate them - you'll never see MPs reform the system themselves. Any potential change would have to come from outside Parliament (like the Chartist movement in the nineteenth century) but it's here that the media makes its contribution to the status quo: as far as it is concerned, politics stops at the Westminster gates. So-called 'extra-parliamentary' politics is all but invisible.

The result of all this is that there is no real popular input to lawmaking - rather so-called 'Public Affairs' (ie. lobby) groups, pretty much part of the political class itself, will lunch with MPs and aides who they often know socially (for example, they both went to Cambridge together) and apply persuasion and pressure that often translates quite directly into legislation favourable to the interest lobbying - for example the anti-filesharing lobby. Thus we get various acts progressively reducing what we can do with the internet.

The best comparison to this is the Enclosure movement - when various laws were passed for influential landlords that closed off common land and forcibly cleared away of peasants for nascent capitalist agriculture. Said peasants, separated from any means of subsisting themselves and thus totally dependant, were forced to become the industrial working class. A similar process is happening today - our freedom of action on the internet is progressively reduced, creating a class of dependant 'users' who must browse in the way the state and business want and only what the state and business want, or be excluded from the internet altogether.

So far (1)

vespacide2 (1235470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391236)

it's just a proposal. Anyone know the chances of it becoming law?

6 Million "Illegal Downloaders" in the UK (4, Insightful)

teslar (706653) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391246)

From TFA (BBC):

Six million people a year are estimated to download files illegally in the UK.
So, I guess that means the story headline could be changed into "UK Government to reduce ISP's customer base by 6 Million". Somehow I don't think that's gonna happen.

Re:6 Million "Illegal Downloaders" in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391376)

So, I guess that means the story headline could be changed into "UK Government to reduce ISP's customer base by 6 Million". Somehow I don't think that's gonna happen.

Alternative story headline #2: "Labour Party says: We Have 6 Million People Too Many Voting For Us, We Want Them To Vote For The Opposition".

Although admittedly, that wouldn't fit onto the front page of even the largest broadsheet. Something snappier perhaps?

As someone who never voted for these barstewards, my sense of "I told you so" scorn is tempered by the realisation that they're fscking up MY life too :-(

Re:6 Million "Illegal Downloaders" in the UK (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391414)

TFA doesn't say, but how is the UK going to define what an "ISP" is, anyway? What if I make a wireless mesh network in my neighborhood, and one of the nodes happens to have a DSL connection, would that make me and my mesh an ISP? Would I have to police that? How would a network like Fidonet factor into all this?

...and to put that into context. (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391536)

That's around 10% of the UK's population - a pretty large amount!

I think that number is even an underestimate as I recall seeing a statement that over 6million people in the UK download movies via peer to peer back in 2004, if that statement was true back then I'd imagine that figure has increased, but is also even large again when you factor in peer to peer sharing of music and other content as well as just movies.

Time to emigrate (3, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391254)

Final proof the government is working against the citizenry, doesn't trust or respect us or have any fucking idea about either technolo9gy or freedom.

Enforcing this would require constant monitoring of all communication over the net. I'm not suprised our government doesn't see any issue with this as they are totally morally bankrupt. One tenth of the population is doing this and the first thought is surveillance and punishment. Good going.

I hadn't realised how much they were in the pocket of the **AA/BPI etc though.

This is a civil matter, for civil courts that should decide a reasonable fine and that be the end of it.

Re:Time to emigrate (1)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391304)

Enforcing this would require constant monitoring of all communication over the net.

Welcome to the United Kingdom of America.

To add an important point (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391726)

It's not just the current Labour goverment. The Conservatives have made similar suggestions in the past also and are backing these current proposals.

I mention this because people need to be made aware that voting Conservatives in will change nothing, if we're going to solve this problem through elections people need to be looking for a party that really will make a difference - the Lib Dems or even the Greens!

Don't forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391258)

that while the U.K. is enacting all sorts of draconian laws which curtail the freedoms of their citizens it is the U.S. that is actually the police state!

EVERYTHING NOT FORBIDDEN IS COMPULSORY - T.H. White

Legitimate or not? (1)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391290)

Out of interest, how is the differentiation between legitimate and bad/illegal traffic made?

As the article says, they can't check every individual packet, so how do they know what's what?

Re:Legitimate or not? (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391448)

so how do they know what's what?

Port 6881==bad.

And that's probably as sophisticated as it will get.

Vague laws (1)

onetwofour (977057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391300)

I've gotta hand it to my country, my digital rights are being trodden over very quickly. First we have the fact that my cryptography keys can be demanded to be handed over with the threat of a sentence in prison, even though this law carries many loopholes. Ie if the sentence I'm accused of has a longer prison term than 5 years then just refuse to hand my keys over. Now I'm being told that my ISP will more aggressively filter my data and check for copyright material, which gives the media companies a black box on my net connection. This law will achieve nothing but to make the net more paranoid and open up new loopholes that can be exploited on this apparent 'war on terror'.

Just don't share from home (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391332)

Instead of using P2P from home, just do it from a rented server overseas and FTP the stuff from it.

Fortunately for every stupid law there's a fairly easy technical solution, and it will be this way at least until the current generation of legislators retire and is replaced with people with basic understanding of technology.

Re:Just don't share from home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391630)

For what you pay for a server in a farm, you might as well buy everything you download instead. The dedicated hosts I used come in around $220/month. Unless you can find a unlimited VPS, I don't see how your solution is workable.

SUSPECTED of breaching copyright? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391344)

"New plans published by the UK Govt show that they hope to terminate internet access for people suspected of breaching copyright by file sharing."

So in the new UK police state you'll no longer need to be proven guilty of something, but merely suspected of it to be put into electronic prison?

It hardly seems worthwhile to have won the war against Germany. The police state has won anyway.

Just an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391346)

Find a neighbor you don't like too much
Discover he has an open WIFI AP
??????
Entertain yourself

welcome to the latest round of whack-a-mole (1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391368)

the law thinks it can control file sharing. it can't. but they aren't smart enough to realize that they just drive the practice further underground. napster was wipe open. shut off one server, it all goes down. so progressive iterations of file sharing software became headless, obfuscated ips, etc. now we will get encryption

all of these legal efforts, all they do is drive the creation of more robust software. what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. thank you, uk government, for making file sharing software stronger

one would hope one day that the people making the laws get a clue, or at least a vaguely web savvy advisor. they probably think somebody who writes a blog is web savvy. what a joke

intellectual property is dead. the laws that people write about intellectual property is completely out of synch with the technology intellectual property exists on. the reality we live in has train cunductors writing the laws that govern the legal management of animal husbandry. what do train conductors know about animal husbandry? i don't know, but neither do the people writing the laws of ip know anything about the file sharing

Re:welcome to the latest round of whack-a-mole (4, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391466)

"intellectual property is dead"

So the movie makers, musicians, writers, software developers and game designers should all go do a basic course in plumbing and carpentry?
I don't know about you, but I need to pay the bills. You are basically saying that thanks to selfish leeches who think everyone owes them free entertainment for life, our entire collective digital industries are now dead and buried, to be pursued only by hobbyists at the weekends?
Personally, I'd rather it didn't come to that, and if that means using the law to crack down on people blatantly and repeatedly infringing copyright, then good. Someone copying a mates Cd was never the issue. Its people who leave servers on 24/7 distributing tens of thousands of files that were only released yesterday that is the problem.

go ask the aztec and incan nobility (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391834)

if technological progress is fair. go ask horseshoe blacksmiths, chimney sweeps, and steamship engineers

or, refuse to adapt to change and obsolescence, and fight bravely agains tthe dying of the light. go ahead, pass more laws against file sharing. go ahead, hire 10x more pit bull lawyers. go for it dude

as if it will actually matter

accept reality, or don't, i don't care. whatever you think is right or wrong doesn't mean reality is going to necessarily reflect that. you can't realistically enforce your beliefs. so your beliefs will not be reality. sorry, but that's the truth. there is in fact naturalistic morality, and beleiving in real moral right and wrong. i'm sorry to break this to you, but intellectual property is not naturally moral. and os it is a completely articifial construct, and, when unable to be enforced, ceases to be respected. you can't reason or argue with a teenager as to why they must pay bertelsmann $10 because they want to listen to michael jackson. there is natural, moral compelling reason for them to respect intelelctual property. it's a fucking joke

furthermore, the real losers of this game is the distributors, not the artists. they already screw the artists with hilarious contracts. go look up "monkey points" on wikipedia and tell me again about how pirates are hurting artists. they aren't hurting artists at all, they are hurting distributors. distributors are screwing you, and have been screwing you long before the internet even existed

if distributors are removed, i think maybe 1/10th of the money involved goes away. but as before artists saw only 1/1,000th of the money in play, now they will see 900% of the money in play. so artists make out better for the destruction of distributors

so pirates are good for artists, by destroying the people that really screw you

you, like many people, mistake disrespect for a defunct distribution model as disrespect for artists

wake up
 

Re:welcome to the latest round of whack-a-mole (2, Interesting)

Eukariote (881204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391554)

the law thinks it can control file sharing. it can't.

Though it is nearly impossible to control sharing, sharing may not be the only or even the main motivation behind the law. Consider that pretty much anyone can be accused of file sharing, irrespective of whether the person actually engaged in it. How would you defend yourself? It is your word against theirs.

In short, if approved, this law provides an excuse to deny any citizen Internet access. In particular, it can be used to deny access to people engaged in exposing lies and other activities deemed to be subversive. That may the secondary or even main motivation.

Re:welcome to the latest round of whack-a-mole (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391596)

If only we could make a machine... no, many machines, thousands of machines -with the sole purpose of *copying* information and moving it around! Then we would have something! Nothing could stop the dissemination if knowledge and culture then!

Flatmates (5, Insightful)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391370)

So how do they propose that my two flatmates who do fileshare are cut off, whereas the remaing two flatmates who don't fileshare retain internet access?

Oh wait, no-one's proposing that. They just expect me (internet is in my name) to police my flatmates computers for them. Bottom-up stazi citizenry for your future police state here we come.

Encryption (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391406)

When encryption is used, the ISPs cannot directly monitor what data is coming across the network. Would they then assume that any BitTorrent connection must be something illegal? Would they have to depend on the content overlords to make claims from their own spies in the sharing?

Should the encryption be "in the stream" like HTTPS, SSL, and SSH does? Or should it be IPsec? Or both?

Re:Encryption (1)

hilather (1079603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391498)

I'm not sure ISP's should be monitoring our data at all. They are in a powerful position over us and they really shouldn't be ease dropping. Especially at the request of a third party, such as the MPAA or RIAA.

Re:Encryption (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391632)

No, they shouldn't be. But who knows what mechanisms the proposal might end up requiring if it becomes law. What encryption will do is at least cut out one such mechanism. It will still be possible for the content overlords to run their own bogus file sharing agents to see who is at least offering, or even accepting, such downloads. Or they could spy onto insecure computers. Or they could be planting rootkits. Encryption won't stop them, but it will make things harder for them.

As for the encryption practice, it needs to start now, and it needs to be done for everything. Don't give them the ability to ass-u-me that encrypted traffic to other than known bank addresses means you have something to hide.

Re:Encryption (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391588)

They have three problems

1. The ISPs will not be willing to monitor the traffic (prohibitively expensive)
2. The ISPs are not allowed by UK Law to monitor the traffic
3. The ISPs cannot tell if the traffic is copyright infringing material anyway , it might be encrypted, it might be Public domain, it might not be copyrightable material, it might be fair use, it might be creative commons, it might be with the owners consent?

This is another unenforceable law that the police and the public will ignore ...

Re:Encryption (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391778)

1. The ISPs will not be willing to monitor the traffic (prohibitively expensive)

If the proposal becomes law, and the content overlords push enforcement, they may have no choice. And this will raise everyone's internet access price.

2. The ISPs are not allowed by UK Law to monitor the traffic

The proposal could make an exception for this, depending on the final form it takes if it gets that far.

3. The ISPs cannot tell if the traffic is copyright infringing material anyway , it might be encrypted, it might be Public domain, it might not be copyrightable material, it might be fair use, it might be creative commons, it might be with the owners consent?

The content overloards could provide some (probably very unreliable) software that will scan for signatures of most popular content. They will argue all fair use would not be going over the internet between different access accounts (even though in reality there are valid reasons for this to happen). Anyway, I suspect they will focus on just the major copyrighted content that makes up 90% of the revenues the content overlords think they should get.

This is another unenforceable law that the police and the public will ignore ...

Quite possibly so. But to the extent the content overlords push enforcement once they have the law, it could be hard for at least the ISPs to ignore. The police would not be involved unless it gets to the point that the executives of an ISP have to be jailed for ignoring it.

Write to your MPs (5, Insightful)

W3bbo (727049) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391424)

It's cliche, but armchair moping about it on Slashdot isn't going to affect the outcome of any vote in this legislation.

Write, phone, or email your MP. I'm doing it, are you?

Re:Write to your MPs (1)

Deb-fanboy (959444) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391532)

Write, phone, or email your MP.

Yes that is a good idea.

Also there is a petition for net neutrality up at the government site:

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Netneutrality/

Has the government not thought about the possible flaw in their plan to turn 6 million uk voters against them?

Encryption won't save you (4, Insightful)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391430)

Since the legal hurdle to invoke this penalty is merely "suspicion," encryption is no protection. Using an encrypted link to a suspect site or using an anonymizing service can be enough evidence in and of itself.

Re:Encryption won't save you (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391528)

This is why we need to start using more encryption ... for everything done over the internet. That includes making web sites that operate over HTTPS and redirect to the HTTPS URL if accessed via just the HTTP URL. The more we do that now the harder it will be for them to ass-u-me that encryption means you're hiding something. Use encryption by default "because it's more work to turn it on and off for different places".

So when all they they see are encypted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391432)

traffic going in and out from their DSL lines, then what?.
Horray for 800 GB of encrypted traffic.

Re:So when all they they see are encypted (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391462)

If they see encrypted traffic, they will probably ass-u-me you have something to hide. That's why what we need to do is not just do encryption, but do encryption for everything. For example, if you have your own web site, be sure it runs encrypted over HTTPS and that the non-encrypted URL always does a redirect to the encrypted URL.

Good. For everyone else. (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391438)

Now I'm sure this attack will be useless before it reaches my country.

I suppose it will be through encryption but it's not important. We all know this is not going to stop anything, just bother some British people for a short while.

Fortunately they keep applying those attacks to civilized countries first, so they become obsolete before reaching the people who lives in countries who wouldn't be able to respond so fast.

Would we tolerate this with any other utility? (4, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391458)

Imagine if the government started cutting the phone lines and electricity of anyone suspected of illicit activity, with no absolutely no due process. Would we tolerate that even for a second?

What about all the people falsely accused? Are they going to have to go to court and prove they DIDN'T do anything illegal just to get internet access back?

A sad day for the UK, and an unfortunate precedent that I'm sure the U.S. and others will soon follow.

Re:Would we tolerate this with any other utility? (2, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391604)

The MPAA and RIAA are already looking to pass legislation to turn off your power if they think you are listening to or watching unauthorized music or movies.

Those damned customers, they must be STOPPED!

Re:Would we tolerate this with any other utility? (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391714)

Well no, technically they want to stop everyone EXCEPT their customers... which, with all the crap they publish, is more and more people. Can't blame em...it would be cruel to waste such pretty blank medias on such crap... please think of the blank medias!

Re:Would we tolerate this with any other utility? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391682)

Not hardly. Comcast is facing a huge class action lawsuit for basically the same thing. Our politicos are starting to realize while Hollywood & the RIAA can give them money, they can't get them re-elected if no one will vote for them.

Sad state of affairs (1)

davotoula (938199) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391464)

What a sad state of affairs it is when corporations say "jump" and the British government asks "how high".

Real crimes are constantly on the rise but instead on focusing to fight them and making a safer environment for the citizens, the government decides to start creating new laws against fictive crimes.

What a nightmare it will be for the ISPs to start controlling there customers and in the worst case to cut them off (and thus loosing their money).

Overall a big boo from me!

Unemployment rises.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391470)

This is a nice way to make loads of network techs and customer service reps unemployed :D
It would be neat if this law would affect pass through traffic from other countries?

RIAA-MPAA Will be Banned in 10 Seconds (1)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391564)

Nobody copies more copyrighted files than those attempting to police enforcement. Every file viewed must be copied. Every file with any name must be downloaded and viewed *before* copyright can even begun to be attempted to be determined.

Not just the US is it... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391578)

All you overseas folks who slam the US when stories like this come up... looks like your government sucks too.

How's that crow taste?

Alive and Well (0)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391592)

It's not particularly well-known, but prior to World War II there were a significant number of people in England who were actually sympathetic to the Nazi cause. I guess the bastards must have produced offspring, because this story makes it pretty clear the mind-set is alive and well, and carried on by English legislators.

Neutral ISP? (1)

duguk (589689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391640)

I seem to recall an arguement implying that if an ISP filters their traffic, they're not being neutral about which data they allow, and this may cause some legal problems. I can't seem to find the article about it though, and I'm not sure what its called. What kind of problems might happen with this? Could a publisher sue a UK ISP for blocking/banning or even reducing speed (through QoS, etc) of his software because it favours other methods?

Dug

Consultation Paper (3, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391766)

According to TFAs, a consultation paper will be published (BBC says "shortly", Times says "within months"). (These are Government papers to seek out opinions, which anyone can respond to.)

Perhaps if a few thousand people respond to that as well as complaining on the Internet, it may help stop such laws (not that the Government is obliged to listen to consultation responses, but it's one possible way of opposing new laws, and makes it harder for the Government to claim there is public support).

If only they did this for compromised machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391770)

I would have liked to seen them use this kind of policy for people whose machines get hacked and then used to send spam.

Just switch to wifi (2, Insightful)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391840)

Here I have access to two municipal networks, and a bunch of unsecured networks. Who is going to disconnect me from them? Are they going to put tin foil around my apartment?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>