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75% of Brits against cutting off illegal downloaders

Public oppose Mandelson's net piracy plan

Nearly three-quarters of Brits are against the government's plan to cut off the internet access of those suspected of illegal file-sharing, says the Open Rights Group.

Under proposals, first detailed in the government's Digital Britain report earlier this year and currently being pushed by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, Ofcom would track and warn the owners of computers being used to download content illegally.

Those that continue to offend would have their internet access slowed or blocked, while some could face fines of up to £50,000.

However, the plans face much opposition from both ISPs, including BT, which claims the measures will cost £1m a day to implement, causing ISPs to pass some of the cost on to consumers, as well as the music industry.

Now it appears the public are also opposed to the plans, with research conducted by YouGov on behalf of the the Open Rights Group revealing that only 16 percent of Brits are in favour of the automatic internet ban for those thought to be illegally downloading.

Over two-thirds said a court should consider the evidence in each case before restrictions are imposed, which would ensure those whose connections have been hijacked would not take the blame.

"Clearly business secretary Lord Mandelson is out of step with public opinion and should think again," said Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group.

"This poll shows people rely on the internet, and an overwhelming majority think that access should only ever be withdrawn as the result of court action."

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See also: BPI alerts BT to 100,000 suspected illegal downloaders

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