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Digital Economy Bill to be debated today

MPs urged not to rush through Bill

The controversial Digital Economy Bill, which includes measures to tackle internet piracy, will be scrutinised by MPs today.

In a bid to ensure the bill is made law, it could be passed by MPs as part of a 'wash-up' of outstanding Bills before parliament is dissolved on April 12, in preparation for the May 6 General Election.

This has lead to a number of concerns that the bill, which includes a clause that could potentially lead to courts ordering websites containing copyright-infringing material, such as YouTube, to be blocked by ISPs, will not be given proper consideration.

Adverts urging MPs to thoroughly debate the bill have been placed in The Times and the Guardian newspapers as well as on Facebook today as part of a campaign being run by 38 Degrees and the Open Rights Group.

The pair also previously encouraged web users to write to their local MP in a bid to stop the bill being rushed through parliament.

Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, said: "People use the internet for work, education and free speech. You cannot take that away without a very serious reason. Copyright infringement allegations are not on that scale."

The House of Commons debate which will look at the Digital Economy Bill will start at 3:30pm and could run late into the night.

See also: Digital Economy Bill to get appeal clause

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