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TalkTalk will resist net piracy plans

ISP to boot customers off net only when ordered by court

UK ISP TalkTalk has revealed it will resist cutting off the internet access of customers that have been accused of illegal file-sharing.

This week Business Secretary Lord Peter Mandelson revealed that legislation to tackle internet piracy will come into force next April.

The legislation, which will be officially set out in the Digital Economy Bill expected next month, uses a 'three strikes' approach that will see those suspected of illegally downloading issued with a warning letter. If web users continue to offend they will receive a second warning letter, detailing the fact that a third offence will result in internet suspension.

Mandelson said that Ofcom will monitor the success of the warning letters in the first year and if illegal file-sharing has not been reduced by 70 percent then suspending net connections will be brought into force.

He also revealed that a "proper route of appeal" would be available for those suspended from the web.

Once notified of possible suspension, offenders will be given 20 working days to appeal to an independent body, although Ofcom has yet to appoint the body. Mandelson said the suspension would not come into force until the appeal has been heard.

However, TalkTalk, which recently launched the Don't Disconnect Us campaign in a bid to ensure Brits aren't disconnected from the web without a trial, said the proposals leave Brits "guilty until proven innocent" and infringe human rights.

Andrew Heaney, the executive director of strategy and regulation at TalkTalk, told the Guardian: "If the government moves to stage two we would consider that extra-judicial technical measures and would look to appeal the decision [to the courts] because it infringes human rights".

"TalkTalk will continue to resist any attempts to make it impose technical measures on its customers unless directed to do so by a court or recognised tribunal."

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See also: 75% of Brits against cutting off illegal downloaders

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