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Stephen Fry backs TalkTalk's net piracy campaign

Petition hits 8,000 signature mark after tweet

Stephen Fry has used Twitter to show his support for TalkTalk's campaign against internet privacy plans.

The Don't Disconnect Us petition was set up by TalkTalk last month after the ISP revealed it was concerned that under proposals to tackle internet piracy, many Brits could find themselves accused of illegal file-sharing and banned from the web, even if a cybercriminal hijacked their Wi-Fi connection to illegally share files.

"Dear Mandy, splendid fellow in many ways, but he is SO WRONG about copyright," Fry said in a tweet on Sunday morning aimed at UK Business Secretary Lord Mandelson who has heavily backed the proposals.

Fry, who also claims to have introduced Lord Mandelson to the internet when he showed him his first website in 1997, urged his followers to sign a petition on the No 10 website.

Within 24 hours of Fry's tweet the petition had more than 8,000 signatures.

The government officially detailed its proposals in the Digital Economy Bill, which was published last week.

TalkTalk said the bill is "a further backward step in the efforts to reduce illegal filesharing while further threatening the rights of the consumer".

"We don't support copyright infringement in any way but we live in the real world and understand that no amount of policing and censorship will solve the problem," said Charles Dunstone, CEO of TalkTalk Group.

"It doesn't matter how many websites are blocked, how many services are shut down or how many individuals are pursued, people will always find ways to access copyrighted content for free."

The ISP told its customers it would not surrender account details to rightsholders unless ordered to do so by a court. It also pledged to continue to fight the legislation and refuse to disconnect any users accussed of copyright infringement.

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See also: TalkTalk applauds new EU legislation


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