Digital Economy Bill
As if it hasn't already got enough problems, the Government could face a backlash against its Digital Economy Bill because of human rights issues

The Government's approach to illegal file-sharing could breach the rights of internet users, according to an influential group of MPs and peers.

The BBC today reports that the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights has said the Government's Digital Economy Bill "needs clarification".

According to the JSC, proposed technical measures – which include cutting off persistent pirates – were not "sufficiently specified".

In addition, it says it's concerned that the Bill could create "over-broad powers".

"The internet is constantly creating new challenges for policy makers but that cannot justify ill-defined or sweeping legislative responses, especially when there is the possibility of restricting freedom of expression or the privacy of indicdual users," says Andrew Dismore MP, chair of the committee.

More after the break

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), which overseas the Digital Economy Bill, says the Government "has always been clear that [its] proposals to deal with unlawful file-sharing should not contravene human rights".

Last year the European Parliament announced proposals to get tough on internet piracy by allowing member states to adopt more draconian measures to prevent it.

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