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Campaign against Digital Economy Bill raises £17k

Newspaper adverts planned on day bill is debated

A website urging Brits to write to their MPs in a bid to stop the Digital Economy Bill being rushed through Parliament has raised over £17,000, which will be used to further fund its campaign.

The Digital Economy Bill, which covers a wide-range of technology issues including measures to tackle internet piracy, has already been approved by the House of Lords and has now been passed to MPs.

However, to ensure the bill can become legislation after the General Election, which is expected to be held on May 6, it must be approved by the House of Commons on or before April 6.

Since it is only due to be debated by the House of Commons on that day, it's likely the bill won't get the proper scrutiny it requires.

As a result, the Stop the Digital Economy Bill campaign, which has been organised by the 38 Degrees website and the Open Rights Group, is helping web users lobby their local MP by letter to stop the bill being rushed through Parliament.

However, in a bid to ramp up the campaign, its organisers want to place adverts in the national newspapers and on prominent websites highlighting the problems of rush the bill through Parliament.

To do this, it's asking the public to donate money via a dedicated website.

"Now we need to turn the pressure up even more to encourage more MPs to rebel and derail plans to force the bill it into law," said the campaign's organisers.

"Let's place adverts in key newspapers and on key websites so everywhere MPs go they'll see how many people oppose the bill. On the day of the key vote they'll see our opposition over their cornflakes, on their way in to work and over tea in Parliament."

At time of writing the site has raised £17,231 from 975 donors. The campaign says its goal is £20,000.

"Over 18,000 people have written to their MPs in the past week and there seems to be a lot of anger that MPs aren't listening to them," John Chatterton from the campaign told PC Pro.

"When you force something into law that has huge sweeping powers people get concerned."

See also: Digital Economy Bill to get appeal clause

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