There has been a lot in the press recently regarding Government plans to regulate the ISP industry. ISPs have been vociferous where they consider that this regulation is unnecessary and adds cost burdens that will have to be borne by consumers.
Quite pleasingly other industries which the Government is likely to think would be the beneficiaries of the legislation have also come out against it.
For example the high profile “three strikes” approach to Music Piracy whereby persistent file-sharers have their broadband cut off is attracting a lot of opposition from the music industry itself. The BBC reports:
Feargal Sharkey’s UK Music allegedly has a war chest of up to £20 million a year to lobby Government on the subject of ISP regulation. This FAC stance seems to be clear disagreement within that industry.
The leak in the Independent this week that the Queen’s Speech currently is planned to propose mandatory blocking of consumer broadband connections for child abuse images has also created a bit of a stir.
The vast majority of consumer broadband connections already have such screening and it seems that the Government is trying to make political capital out of a subject which everyone will of course support in principle.
The issue is how much effort and money will it take to cover the last few consumers not already “protected” particularly as it is smaller ISPs who are most likely to be affected. This is particularly relevant considering that all we are not talking about stopping hard core child abusers who already know how to get around the blocking.
The Register has come out with an interview on this subject with Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), and effectively the UK’s leading investigator of online child abuse who has come out against legislation in this area.
There is potentially a lot more regulation in the pipeline. Somewhere in a Government office near you someone is plotting to gain more control ever our every day lives. It is at least nice to see that there are people out there with some common sense who are willing to stick their hands up and say “this is not right”.