Digital Britain
New Government measures could see people who illegally download music and videos cut off from the internet

Anyone who illegally downloads films and music in the UK risks being cut off from the internet under new proposals put forward by the Government.

Under an amendment to the Digital Britain report, industry regulator Ofcom would be given greater powers to tackle pirates.

According to the BBC, the new measures are likely to include suspending the internet accounts of "hardcore copying pirates". It is believed that Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has intervened personally to beef up the policy, says the BBC.

The original Digital Britain report gave Ofcom until 2012 to consider whether technical measures were needed to help catch online pirates, but the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills now says that timeframe is "too long to wait".

A disproportionate response?Stephen Timms, minister for Digital Britain, explains: "We've been listening carefully to responses to the consultation this far, and it's become clear there are widespread concerns that the plans as they stand could delay action, impacting unfairly on rights holders."

More after the break

However, internet service providers (ISPs) have repeatedly argued that it's not their job to police the web.

The Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) says it is "disappointed by the proposal to force ISPs to suspend users' accounts".

"ISPA and consumer groups consider disconnection of users to be a disproportionate response, a view that was recently supported by the European Parliament," it says in a statement.

Let us know what you think. Has the Government gone too far?

For more background on this story, see our previous News coverage.