The industry’s trade body, the ISPA, has spent months in discussions with music and movie companies about ways of preventing illegal filesharing, but buoyed by recent success in France, the major record labels and Hollywood studios have lobbied the government hard for faster action.
One senior internet industry executive, who did not wish to be named, said this intensive political lobbying has “given the government a completely false idea of what is possible with current technology”.
Legal experts, meanwhile, pointed out that if the government does opt for new legislation it will need not only to rip up parts of the current legislation and amend data protection laws, but its plans could fall foul of wider human rights laws that entitle people to a degree of privacy in their communications.
“Technically speaking, it’s near impossible to do. The sheer volume of traffic means it just cannot be done fast enough. And this is a technical problem, not a legal problem. What is going to stop people stealing content is not the law — these people already know it is illegal; what will stop people is a technical solution that adequately protects both people’s rights and copyrighted material. But we do not have one.” [cut]
The fact that something will probably not work, is hardly likely to prevent this government from pursuing it. Labour is dazzled and easily seduced by technology, despite knowing nothing about it.