The government is introducing a new clause into the Digital Economy Bill that will allow web users accused of illegal file-sharing to appeal before their net connection is slowed or temporarily suspended.

The Digital Economy Bill, which has been approved by the House of Lords and is currently being scrutinised by MPs, sets out measures to tackle internet piracy.

Under the proposals, web users will face a 'three strikes' rule that will see illegal downloaders issued with warning letters and emails alerting them that they have participated in illegal activity.

Repeat offenders will face technical measures, such as bandwidth restriction, of possibly even a temporary suspension from the web.

Financial secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Timms, said the clause would be inserted into the bill in the next two weeks

"There will be an appeals procedure available which people will be able to pursue. There will be no disconnection before the appeal", he said.

"Our hope is that we will not get into technical measures at all because the [other] measures the bill sets out, letter writing and so on, will significantly reduce the extent of unlawful downloading that's under way at the moment."

Timms added there was a need to "protect the UK creative industries, which produce so much value for the UK".

It is thought the bill will receive a second reading on or before April 6, ensuring it will go to 'wash up' before the general election, which is thought top held on May 6.

Only legislation in 'wash up' can be carried forward between Parliaments. Any bill not in 'wash-up' can not become law.

However, many believe this will mean the bill will be rushed through without proper consideration.

"I am confident we can address the concerns that have been raised. Essentially, we will require consultation before any technical measures are taken," Timms said.

See also: Digital Economy Bill causes rising tension