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Conservatives: reconsidering Digital Economy Act will lead to set-backs

David Cameron belives legislation has not been rushed into

Conservative leader David Cameron believes that rejecting or reconsidering the Digital Economy Act will lead to "an unacceptable setback for the important measures it contains."

During a question and answer session for The Student Room - a UK student social networking site which claims to have 2.8 million unique visitors - Cameron agreed that the bill had not been subject to "the scrutiny it deserved".

The controversial Digital Economy Bill became law earlier this month after being given final approval by the House of Lords.

The bill was debated in the House of Commons for just two days as MPs rushed to it law before Parliament was dissolved, in preparation for the general election, which will take place on May 6.

The act contains a 'three strikes' rule designed to tackle internet piracy, which will see those suspected of illegal downloading issued with letters from their ISP regarding their activities.

Copyright owners will be allowed to ask a court to order ISPs to reveal the name and addresses of illegal file-sharers so they can start legal action.

Finally, repeat offenders could also face technical measures including a temporary ban from the internet.

However, Cameron revealed that internet suspensions would be a final resort.

"The measures to tackle illegal peer-to-peer file sharing means that the temporary suspension of people's internet connection would only follow public consultation and repeated warnings."

He also said the Conservatives "took the decision to seek to remove those clauses of the Digital Economy Bill that we did not support or did not receive proper scrutiny".

"I'm confident that the way the legislation is drafted, thanks to Conservative amendments, means we are by no way rushing in to action."

Cameron's comments come just weeks after leader of Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg told the same social network the Act "badly needs to be repealed and the issues revisited".

Cameron also said the Conservatives were planning on developing a website to advise prospective students on employment rates from individual courses and universities.

David Cameron's full responses can be found here.

See also: Tories: Licence fee should pay for fast broadband

Poll: Where next for the Digital Economy Act?


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