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Europe could cut off illegal file-sharers

Three-strikes rule back in the spotlight

An amendment to a European telecommunications law could see illegal file sharers disconnected from the net.

Should the Telecom Packet proposals be passed by the European Parliament in September, the 'three strikes' recommendation, which would see illegal file sharers warned about their activities and possibly even disconnected if they continue to offend, would come into force across Europe.

The move would also allow governments to decide which programs can be 'lawfully' used on the internet.

"The current fragmentation hinders investment and is detrimental to consumers and operators," says a document setting out the amendments.

Digital rights groups are unimpressed by the changes and have joined forces to fight their approval.

Christophe Espern, co-founder of French rights group La Quadrature du Net (Squaring the Net), said: "[The amendments] pave the way for the monitoring and filtering of the internet by private companies, exceptional courts and Orwellian technical measures".

However, MEP Malcolm Harbour, who has helped oversee the Telecoms Package, told the BBC it included no mention of specific anti-piracy measures, adding that "reforms to the package would likely improve rights for consumer".

See also: Ofcom ready to act on illegal file-sharing



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