back to article EU block to Mandelson's filesharing laws removed

A plan by the European Parliament to restrict the power of national governments to disconnect illegal filesharers has been dumped to win agreement on new telecoms competition laws. Long-running negotiations over the EU Telecoms Package were completed last night when MEPs agreed to drop amendments that would have made internet …


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  1. ShaggyDoggy

    But How can they tell ...

    that it's copyrighted material being shared ?

    HOW ?

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    That mandelson pic.

    Could you crop it, photoshop some horns on and add it to the icon set please?

    Suggested hover text is: "Self-serving politician at work."

    No need for a "halo" version.......

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I will simply repeat the oblivious ... ahem, I mean the obvious ... although obviously obvlivious to Mr Mandelbrot.

    The work that the ISPs have to do will come at a price, and whether the customers or government have to fund it, it will still be paid for by everybody at the end of the day. This is effectively an Internet tax to be spent on another worthless and pointless government IT project that will be of no benefit to anyone, pirate or copyright holder.

    The pirates will simply switch to encryption and UDP - that will make the Internet a worse place for everyone.

    There is no way for an ISP to determine legal from illegal content. All they can do is come down hard on anyone who is, "file sharing," and that is plain stupid as there is a lot of legal file sharing going on.

    All this does is provide a reasonable suspicion that in the wake of MP's expenses being clamped down on, that Mandelbrot is a likely suspect for investigation to see if he happens to have any rare vynil in his record collection which has just, "mysteriously," appeared there overnight. (obviously, that bit is a joke, but I have to admit, given all the facts and arguments, that Mandelbrot is pressing ahead with this, does make it look suspicious.)

    I have already written to my MP and voiced my objection to being forced to cough up more dough for unnecessary stupidity. The only chance to stop this lunacy, now, is in the commons.

  4. FatBloke
    Thumb Down

    As has been said before....

    Savvy people will always find some way to 'cloak' their connection ( etc.) so it won't really have any solid effect as their findings filter through to the mainstream and everyone else eventually employs the same methods.

    Politicians really don't understand what they're dealing with or naively try to use this for political capital.

    ISPs are bearing the brunt unjustifiably and unncessarily.

    Bolt on the ensuing mess when an incorrect allegation is made and what do you have?


  5. irish donkey

    So my guess will be.......

    You have been observed downloading copyright material on the date of............... The Chief Constable of the RIAA/Movie Industry has the power to impose a minimum fine of £250.00 for each offence.

    You have the option to settle out of court for £150.00 and 3 points added to your Internet license. If you agree to settle this matter in this way please attach a cheque and return within 28 days.

    Should you wish to have you day in court just wait and we shall arrange an appearance before our kangaroo court where we will slap you with a huge fine for not paying up sooner.

    See how easy it is for a civil offence to become a criminal offence.

    Shame on NuLabour. Big business over rides everything - Even human rights

    Vote for change. If you don't vote you can't complain.

  6. theloon
    Thumb Down

    Prepare to get monitored...

    This is a huge blow to the rights of individuals to not have all their online activity monitored.

    The massive cost to the ISP of implementing very deep DPI is still a barrier to implementing this, (phew) as simply examining the IP port number does nothing, you have to go deeper.

    As networks decentralise to push IP services (like content) further out this cost rises.

    ISP's are pushing back on the cost and complexity to do this, I know as I work for one and wrote our response for P2P / DPI to the UK gov... ;)

    Circumventing all this is pretty easy using encrypted P2P, and this type of P2P will exponentially increase to combat this. So it's all just cat and mouse at some point....

    Public awareness is needed to prevent total loss of Internet privacy.

    Any suggestions on raising awareness?

    Anyone on this thread got friends at BBC?

  7. Anonymous Coward


    ...don't Mandelsohn, and his Music and Film industry lapdogs, actually concentrate on the other sort of "piracy". You know, the bloke down the car boot or the market flogging dodgy DVDs and CDs. Money from whichoften goes to support crime, and leaves people with counterfeit goods.

    Surely that sort of business hurts more people than P2P?

  8. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    A clarification...

    "The parliament's stance set up a clash with the member states that make up the EU Council, who objected to national law being dictated by the European Parliament."

    The member states object to national law being dictated by *anyone* except themselves, but can generally bulldoze a path through their own parliament and in some cases have even managed to neuter the judiciary. (Hi, Silvio!) The European Parliament, however, remains a thorn in their side. Fortunately, the electorate don't seem to have noticed this yet, so it doesn't command the public support (and scrutiny) that it merits.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Well thats scuppered that

    'proportionate and necessary within a democratic society'

    With the Nulab dictatorship no need to worry about being proportionate, just necessary, so Mandy won't be breaking any EU laws any time soon.

  10. dirgegirl

    No broadband, no citizenship

    According to a Reg article a couple of months ago ( this would mean that persistent offenders actually became unpersons courtesy of the Digital Inclusion Tzarina, Martha Lane-Fox.

    How about a crusade against illegal wife-sharers in the Westminster area?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Laptop searches at the border

    ACTA, the anti-counterfeiting treaty, seems to have been hijacked into a copyright treaty by the usual vested interests.

    Lots of nasty things, non commercial copyright infringement as a criminal offence, third party liability, i.e. make the ISPs liable for their customers infringement, legal basis for DRM, extra protection for 'phonograms' (you can tell the RIAA have been involved can't you?!)

    Penalties at *deterrent* levels. That's pretty special, normally the penalty is set to match the crime, but sometimes penalties are set higher to deter *future* crimes. This is done in cases that result in human death, because you can't bring the person back to life with monetary damages or prison time. I don't think the latest 'Westlife LP' really justifies what they're proposing, do they?.

    + New search powers for infringing material at the borders, i.e. laptop searches and MP3 player searchers.


    The idea that the West can compete just selling each other IP rights has long been show to be bunkum, so any plans to run the economy like that will just make us all into IP slaves.... e.g. you could make the British economy 10 times bigger tomorrow, just make everyone pay a copyright toll for looking at the faces of other people, i.e. assign copyright to people's faces. Then everyone pays everyone else insane amounts of money for 'face rights infringement', and the UK economy has it's next bubble to replace housing....

    Why make anything? Why export anything? The way to make money is close your eyes and try to get your face seen by more people to maximize your face earnings.

    But like all these fake value bubbles, they all collapse quickly. Your house is not worth £400,000 when a larger house with more land is only £70,000 in a similar country. Sooner or later the market discovers the true value of your assets and your economy collapses back to the real level of it's real value.

    Likewise this Lisbon IP rights agenda (the deal they made where they decided to push IP rights as a growth area by creating stronger and stronger IP rights) is doomed to failure.

    If I was an EU leader, I would recognise the problem, and instead see the real world value. ENERGY. It's ENERGY that we're running out of, and so the next real value asset is energy generation and efficiency technology. *not* Westlife's latest LP, or *Honey I shrunk the kids on BluRay'. ENERGY!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paving the way for ACTA?

    If the leaked drafts of ACTA are right it looks like 3 strikes will be a requirement for ISPs if they're not to become liable for infringement by their customers. It would have been a shame if it were illegal in Europe.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    @Michelle Knight

    "There is no way for an ISP to determine legal from illegal content. All they can do is come down hard on anyone who is, "file sharing," and that is plain stupid as there is a lot of legal file sharing going on."

    You have hit the nail on the head, the **AA's of this world are not interested if P2P can be used legally or anything like that, they want P2P removed, regardless. They can't be arsed to come with something sensible, so remove the source!

    Back in the bad old days, post BBS, we simply used USENET, IRC and locked up websites and FTP for our "warez", you needed to be a friend of a mate of a friend to get in, that's what will happen again. It will simply go back underground. The private sites will lock up tighter and insist on SSL on all transfers.

    I just love the way that the corps now own the internet and the ISP conduits to it, they pump shitty adverts into all sites, they brainwash kids on social networking sites, it was fun while it lasted but I suppose that's progress.

    So long and thanks...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Maybe england has helped with creating this cynical view, but i am completely failing to see where or how myself and the other 520 million people in europe have any say over anything whatsoever.

    Europe was more democratic in 1939 - 1945 !!! (at least then more than 3 people had a say over who the president should be!)

    p.s. I'm not saying that period in history was either good or should be repeated!

  15. Dom S

    Bottom line...

    ...Madelson is a crook. he doesnt belong in politics and his head is soooo far up his own a** that he still cant tell the difference between the crap that goes in the toilet and what comes out of his mouth.

    the funniest thinga bout this is that most of the politicians who are standing with Mandelson are probably just as "guilty" as everyone else. if they have kids, they should check their kids computers. if they dont, well... they should check the (home) computers of every staff member they employ, every family member etc as its probably a fair assumption that file-sharing whether legal or otherwise would be found there.

    its plain to see that they are focussing on the wrong issue here. copyright infringement (via online file-sharing) is a big issue nowadays but its been made worse/tainted (repeatedly) by rights-holders and the government abusing the system for their own gains. the REAL problem is the UPLOADERS of the content, not (necessarily) the downloaders. if they targeted the people making the copyright material available (ie the ACTUAL pirates), they would prevent the material from being made available to everyone else therefore resolving the issue and making the rich money-grabbing industry lobbyist happy (of course on the other hand it will also make everyone else rather unhappy)

    however, all of this aside. this is a battle that the government and industry lobbyists will not win. they can impose whatever measures they deem fit, but soon enough everyone will use VPN and other identity/tracking hiding measures. if these get overcome, there will be a new way created. whilst people want free media, people will find a way!

    im looking forward to the day when the entertainment industries have wasted so much money on their mission to disillusion and ultimately f*ck off their customers that they all go broke and "free" media reigns. until that day... i will join my fellow internet users/voters/taxpayers and either boycott the industry (although i pretty much already do this) and i'll hide what im doing even if its just to keep my connection for its usual purposes...

    and 2 Michelle, I think you touched on a very good point here... doesnt it seem funny that in the wake of the expenses scandal (which incidentally should have resulted in far stronger punishments ie beheadings, than having to "pay back" what they stole from the taxpayers) the MPs are focussing on making the public look like criminals... i guess they have to distract and disillusion us into ignoring the fact that they use OUR money and public resources to pay for things which their already over-inflated earnings could cover outright almost on a yearly basis.

  16. Number6


    I suspect that judicial oversight would be far cheaper than judicial hindsight. If they cut me off then I'd be filing a lawsuit as soon as I could. (I only use P2P for downloading Linux distro DVDs.)

    Seconded on the Mandleson icon.

  17. Jim Wormold

    Unsecure wifi?

    I just use my friendly neighbour's unsecured wifi connection for all my illegal file sharing needs. I hope they don't cut him off - what will I do then?

  18. Dom S


    it doesnt matter whether you vote or not!! for a start without appearing as a conspiracy-theorist/nutter... its hard not to suspect that voting whether third-world (ie afghanistan) or otherwise is fixed in some way...

    besides, in the UK all parties are just as bad as one another.



    Lib Dems...Ha hahahahahaha Ha Ha hahahahaha... Liars or at least they would be if people took them seriously

    BNP... well, lets not go there

    green/pirate/monster-raving luny whatever.... will never get into power and will never have a chance to prove that they are just as bad.

    I dont vote because none of the parties offer me policies etc that i want/need/agree with. there are obviously a handful of policies which i like but they're spread across all parties and dont really have a chance of coming into fruition because politicians/the government have their own agenda and rarely follow through with positive change.

    as far as im concerned i pay taxes (far too much i might add) so my opinion counts as much as the next tax-payers/benefit-thieves/super-rich individuals. My taxes go towards their income and funding the joke campaigns and policies which seem rife in todays political agenda.

  19. Tom Chiverton 1

    BBC spins it as a good thing though...

  20. The Original Ash


    VPN out of the country it is.

    I don't even use file sharing networks any more, I just disagree with being watched just in case.

  21. Jon 66

    @Dom S

    "Madelson is a crook. he doesnt belong in politics"

    surely this statement is ironic?

  22. Subban

    Re: But How can they tell ... by Shaggydog

    The UK equivilant would join the swarm and log IP's in the same way as the *AA's have been doing.... then download the torrent data and check what it was... Then all those IP's that sent chunks get nabbed. The software used has never been peer reviewed, its accuracy is unknown but certainly has been shown to NOT be error free... Legal threats to a network printer and such.

    They don't just randomly look who has a large amount of bittorrent traffic... yet.

    Three strikes sucks very, very hard. Penalising an entire household for the actions of one individual is wrong. If one member of a household drives to quickly through a "safety" camera and gains an SP30, should the entire household also get points on the license and even ultimately all be banned from driving?

    If one person shoplifts, should the entire household face the judge and punishment?

    Punish the individuals, in a manner proportionate to the crime and there really wouldn't be all this brouhaha

  23. codemonkey

    @irish donkey

    "Shame on NuLabour. Big business over rides everything - Even human rights"

    How right you are. Profit before people, at *every* turn.

    "Vote for change. If you don't vote you can't complain."

    How totally mistaken you are. Voting and "believing" in this system is what has gotten us here in the first place. Bush(snr),Clinton(Bill),Bush(jnr),Clinton(Hilary): two ruling class names since 1989, is a prime example of "democracy". If you think the colour of the tie around the politicians neck makes them "any different" and "suddenly pro-human and anti-profit", you've a lot of learning yet to do.

    Stick with it dude, you'll get there. It's not rocket science:) Check out the Zeitgeist Movement and Reality Info. And welcome from your slumber :)


  24. The BigYin

    Mandy is a moron

    Thieves use cars. BAN ALL CARS!

    Rapists wear clothes. BAN ALL CLOTHES!

    All paedophiles are addicted to hydric acid. BAN HYDRIC ACID!

    The failure of the record industry to monetise file-sharing is squarely the fault of said records industry. The porn industry seems to have found way to rake it in using various means (and rather radical ones from a business viewpoint).

    Just because a technology/device CAN be used for an illegal act does not mean it IS being used for an illegal act in all cases. If someone is doing something illegal; gather the evidence, go to court, prove your case. Job done.

    Ah, wait. This is Labour. I forgot. They are moving to presumption of guilt and you have to foot the costs of proving your innocence even if you win (and no, that is not a joke; it's real, and it is happening).

  25. Dom S
    Thumb Up

    @jon 66


    my apologies... you're absolutely right!

    there is a certain irony in that statement. nevermind... now i know, its intentionally ironic :-)

  26. Stef 2

    Volunteer needed

    Hack into Mandy's WiFi and download some heavily copyrighted material.

    Rinse and repeat.

  27. Sillyfellow

    this is an open threat

    this is an open threat to the people of England from our unelected master overlords.

    so, since it's so easy for any innocent person to be framed up and accused of filesharing/downloading, (don't doubt that for a second), the message is clearly:

    be warned that if we, the unquestionable gvt, don't like what you are saying then we can easily provide falsified evidence and disconnect you. let's see if you can prove otherwise. and in the meantime you'll still be cut off.

    agree with gvt or else...

  28. Sillyfellow

    re: vote for change

    NOT. as others have pointed out, voting will solve nothing, in fact it's our support of this horribly corrupt self-serving governmental (mental) system that has landed in this predicament.

    i've never voted and never will, because i refuse to support these corrupt politicians or their system.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So tired...

    .. and sick of hearing about this.

    Copyright infringment has been going on since the recordable audio cassette and VHS were invented.

    Who's old enough here to remember taping the chart show off the Radio when you were 12?

    Technologies change, the problem doesn't. I don't know if it's a myth or not, but I was led to

    believe blank tapes had a "copyright tax" on them that went back to the industry?

    How much money is an enforcement system of any kind going to cost? How about giving that back to the recording association and save us all the bother.

    That or just slap a copyright tax on the cost of a broadband line. End of. How difficult does this need to be?

    Yes a copyright tax is unfair on people who behave themselves, but so many costs are unfair and subsidise others, whether thats council tax, car insurance etc... Besides, the cost of ISP monitoring and enforcement will regardless be passed on to all ISP customers just the same.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    incentive to write to my MP

    Boy this subject is the first that has prompted me to write to my MP (Who is Labour).

    I file share.

    They are large files of picture of my grandkids and other family members as I belong to a global family. Members in the Carribean and NZ.

    And I object to an unelected idiot proposing that my ISP can cut me off without any legal review.

    This subject is another case (IMHO) where the "government" is ignoring the advice of it's experts.

    Now where did I put my passport so I can leave the country?

  31. Kevin 6
    Big Brother

    Next up

    is the addition of cameras in every house that will deduce if the citizen is partaking/thinking of something illegal based on their facial gestures, which will be called a thought crime.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's what happens

    When people who know nothing about music OR technology decide they want to control how we use both.

    They'll spin this in the media as a good thing, pirates being new peadophiles/terrorists and the public will lap it up, because they don't realise the whole damn thing is actually a war against their rights.

    We'll have half hour "news" reports consisting of nothing more than a young boy crying his eyes out about how he downloaded the new Eminem album "I didn't want my whole family to lose internet access, now my dad who works from home is out of a job and we live in a caravan - forgive me BPI for I have sinned" etc and they'll be able to dub sinister music over the top before they cut to a shot of the dirty family caravan.

    Then the sad violin music will start and people like Lily Allen will get to cry their eyes out about how it's no longer possible for them to get incredibly wealthy off the back of shite music Then Lord savior Mandleson can ride in atop a golden horse with his new plan to make the world a better place for everyone.

    I'm going to throw up.

  33. Anonymous Coward


    Who covers all these costs: politicians working on IP legislation, ISPs who need to enforce it etc? The consumer, of course. So not only is the consumer shafted by the **AAs, but we're even paying for the privilege of getting shafted!

    All this money and effort could be spent on more worthwhile things. Such as "think of the children" things - I'm talking here about children in parts of EU who still live in poverty and don't have proper access to education, food or even clean water. Yes, there are still places like that in EU, but I guess it's hard to see them from Brussels through tinted limousine windows.

    Or if you really want to help both the movie makers and the consumers, here's an idea: make it mandatory that every DVD and Blu-ray release to be made available online through legal services - Netflix clones for lack of a better term.

    I don't even need the physical disks by post (see, it's even better for the environment). Give me a 5 or 10 Euro/month online-only subscription (Netflix starts at 8.99 USD) and then it won't even be worthwhile for me to waste time searching illegal downloads.

    I know there are services like that in some EU countries, but the not all. And the offer is extremely limited. But I guess it brings more bonuses to the **AAs managers to push stupid legislation, pointless PR campaigns and expensive lawsuits. Doing real business where there is a real demand, that doesn't compute for them.

  34. Steve Evans

    I'm going to fetch my pitchfork.

    All these politicians, Euro our ours need to remember one thing.

    They are supposed to be public servants... They are supposed to be serving the public good... We aren't supposed to be ruled by them.

    I think we need to polish up madam guillotine and give them a reminder... Actually on second thoughts, leave it rusty!

  35. Anonymous Coward

    And there you all were.....

    And there you all were, worried about too much control being passed to the EU!

  36. itbod

    Ban Pringles

    How are they gonna stop the towerblocks with their cantennas?

  37. Anonymous Coward

    For all those hero's that don't vote CONGRATULATIONS

    This is all your fault.

    If all the disillusioned people in this country voted we might be able to hold our elected representatives to account but as long as people are too lazy to get off their backsides and Vote. Why bother?

    why would they care what we think/say because we will never vote for them and are never likely to vote for anybody.

    So wear your poppies with PRIDE. Because you dishonour all the lads and lasses in Afghanistan with you I don't give a *uck attitude to democracy.

  38. David 105

    @Dom S

    "if they targeted the people making the copyright material available (ie the ACTUAL pirates)"

    They do. The actual offence (I nearly wrote crime before I realised that was just RIAAss. brainwashing) is "making copyrighted material available to others", either over the internet or at a car boot sale etc. It's not actually illegal to download or buy pirated material (otherwise that bloke from the old piracy adverts who brought a dodgy copy of "Trainspotting" would have been banged up), the crime is to make it available to others. That's how they get P2Pers, because whilst they're downloading something, it's also being made available to others. This is why Rapidshare is becoming so popular because you're not making anything available whilst you're downloading.

    You don't hear this very often, because the copyright warnings that are ostensibly to "educate" people as to the evils of copyright infringement are actually the very opposite, propoganda films that at best distort the legal postion, at the worst spread downright lies about it (downloading is theft etc). If the RIAAss and associated mobsters used less underhand methods then I might have more sympathy for them, but as it is they just come across as racketteers (in fact, I believe one woman took them to court under RICO in America, on the basis that their "We have evidence you might possible have done something wrong, give us thousands of dollars or we'll take you to court" amounted to extortion, for loads of reasons that ElReg readers are already familiar with)

    /rant, but I really can't stand these guys, their greed is singlehandedly killing the free (as in unregulated) internet, and this decision is another nail in it's coffin

  39. MinionZero

    Ok in summary...

    (1) Everyone with technical knowledge will get past the controls.

    (2) Politicians don't care about minority of technical people, because they are only interested in herding the majority of people.

    (3) Politicians will force this law through any way they can no matter what anyone else says.

    (4) Music distributors smile and throw Mandelson a big party.

    (5) Most musicians won't see a penny more. The money will go to the powerful distributors and will also fuel their powerful lobby groups even more.

    (6) In the long run it'll cost us all more for Internet access.

    (7) Profit. (But only for the few in power over the spying. Meanwhile the vast majority of us will pay them all for it).

    Result: One more stealth tax to feed to the rich and powerful in business and politics and another reason to spy on us all.

    Long term prospects: The spying will open up ever more ways to Monetize all our lives for the rich and powerful. Tax this, fine that, control this (so we can charge more for it), and sell our privacy here, sell our liberty there.

    Its like being repeatedly held down and then robbed and mugged by a greedy bulling mugger relentlessly throughout our life. Always trying to find more ways to take more of what little money we have. Meanwhile they are swimming in money and laughing at all of us.

  40. Sir Sham Cad

    Don't Download This Song

    Honestly, though, the thing that worries me the most about this is what will constitute a "strike". Will it be:

    Box A: The BPI or lawyers working for them present the ISP with an IP address, list of files and date/time including proof of download and content. ISP then informs user that there has been a claim made against them and would you like to confess, if not then we'll ask the BPI/Lawyers to prove in a court of law, that the allegation against you is true. nS=nS+1.

    Box B: The BPI or lawyers working for them present the ISP with an IP address, list of files and date/time including proof of download and content. ISP, not wanting anything to do with anything that will cost them extra money, accept that as proof and you get your letter telling you that, unless you want to take it to court to prove your innocence, you are busted. nS=nS+1.

    Box C: Someone vaguely accuses you of downloading something, passes over the date/time and IP address. ISP have not the cash or the resources to verify said claim and assume your guilt. If nS=3 then bye bye connection.

    Hey, Mandy, want to fill us in?

  41. chr0m4t1c

    Well I'm confused.

    "It required judicial oversight of such action, which would have made it expensive and impractical."

    Given that all of the cases brought so far have claimed hundereds of pounds (or dollars) in lost revenue, how can they legitimately claim this?

    Is is possible that their claims have been a little overstated?

    Also, if I order a load of films/CDs and some of them turn out to be pirated why would the solution to the problem be to stop the post office delivering all of my post or prevent me from sending any letters?

    This all smacks more of wishful thinking than any thought out process.

  42. mmiied


    simple they download a torreent of TPB or mininova called "latest film.torrent" download it whail at the same taime taking note of all the ips doing the same check that it is a rip of "latest film" find the isp the ips' belong to send otu threating letters/cort orders to isps for customers names and addresses simple

  43. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


    "Viviane Reding, the telecoms commissioner, said: "The new internet freedom provision represents a great victory for the rights and freedoms of European citizens."

    What Ms Reding fails to mention is which European citizens, its a victory for the rights and freedoms of the MAFIAA to engage in secret back room lobbying (fancy another jolly, eh meeting in Corfu Mandy? and god alone knows what else), and to trample on the rights and freedoms of anybody they *SUSPECT* of breaking civil copyright law.

    Seems that basic human rights can be ignored in law can if some EU kleptocrat can deem it to be "expensive and impractical". Still look at the cost savings to be made, we can expand this idea and get rid of courts altogeter, and the internet can be policed by Judge Dredd "I AM THE LAW" MAFIAA characters.

    For all the gobshites in IRL that voted for Lisbon II, this is what biffo et al meant by increased democracy and transparency in the EU.

  44. Dom S

    @ anonymous outspoken coward

    "For all those hero's that don't vote CONGRATULATIONS"

    Why, thank you!

    "If all the disillusioned people in this country voted we might be able to hold our elected representatives to account but as long as people are too lazy to get off their backsides and Vote. Why bother?"

    - what has this got to do with it? i dont vote... not because im lazy... because as far as im concerned there are millions of people who DO vote and they are ignored/overruled anyway. i think you miss the point. Steve Evans above put it right... politicians are meant to be public servants... but they're not. They're self-serving, self-righteous, power-hungry, fraudsters who spend their entire time in power trying to make the public feel bad whilst lining their pockets with our taxes. i hold them to account for EVERY mistake that taints our country because they are in power... and again, millions of people DO vote and look at the government we get as a result!

    "why would they care what we think/say because we will never vote for them and are never likely to vote for anybody."

    WRONG - millions of people vote or have you not watched the press coverage showing polling stations with massive queues outside?! and they dont care what we say because they're the ones calling the shots! a minority of non-voters doesnt justify the government not listenign to the public, either way they are meant to be our representatives whether we vote for them or not.

    "So wear your poppies with PRIDE. Because you dishonour all the lads and lasses in Afghanistan with you I don't give a *uck attitude to democracy."

    i wont get into this. but to make it clear, i didnt ask anyone to go and invade another country for whatever reason the Americans want to come up with. we got involved and our people suffer. if we just left these countries to their own devices and monitored as opposed to controlled them, everyone may get along a bit better. and just think that maybe the people in afghanistan dont WANT our western democracy and instead want to adhere to their own beliefs. just a thought...

  45. Joe Burmeister

    Can't wait for these old ignorant men to die

    Wake me when the King Canute followers have died. In the mean time I'll vote for those who promise to speed it up.

  46. This post has been deleted by its author

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Corporate greed freedom

    "Viviane Reding, the telecoms commissioner, said: "The new internet freedom provision represents a great victory for the rights and freedoms of European citizens."

    When it does exactly reverse. EU comission doublespeak at it's best.

    Internet freedom means freedom _to the governments and *AA puppets_ to do as they please to punish citizens. What is the reality Reding lives in, like?

    Obviously there's not a single common thing to standard citizen's reality.

  48. Subban

    @Nathan Hobbs


    >IsnoHunt already offer all their pages/torrent files on SSL

    That won't help you one jot, the *AA download that torrent file and then download the movie or whatever from it. Logging all the IP's on the swarm blah blah blah.

    Using https will only help when the govt rumoured system of logging every webpage/phonecal/sms/email you send comes into effect, then it will prevent them logging what site and files you grab, but still won't protect you from the *AA tossers wanting you disconnected.

  49. david wilson

    @AC 5 Nov 12:27

    >>"Why don't Mandelsohn, and his Music and Film industry lapdogs, actually concentrate on the other sort of "piracy". You know, the bloke down the car boot or the market flogging dodgy DVDs and CDs. Money from whichoften goes to support crime, and leaves people with counterfeit goods."

    Maybe they reckon that more people get content from the internet than from car boots?

    If the music/film industry was purely money-grabbing and evil, they'd likely be concerned about all kinds of [alleged] potential losses.

    Maybe it's *currently* easier for someone to sit in an office and track filesharing than wander round car boot sales looking for dodgy content?

    If someone's doing something dodgy, whether someone else doing something differently dodgy is or isn't being pursued adequately isn't really relevant.

    And what is all this unprofitable crime that needs profitable crime in order to support it?

  50. Michael Nielsen
    Thumb Down


    What is the point of voting when your choice is.

    1. Shoot your self in the foot.

    2. Shoot your self in the hand

    3. Shoot your self in the thigh.

    There isn't any point of voting if NONE of the political parties represent anything you believe in, or won't discuss things that are important to me.

    Try to get politicians to discuss EU, Copyright laws, Civil liberties, privacy, and they'll either avoid the issue, ignore the issue, or give you a tit-for-tat talk, and completely forget it, once they get into power. They will only discuss the policies that they know people will go for, and they will hide what they really want to do, like the last election, there was unanimous agreement that EU would not be discussed in any debates, though it's a critically important element, that concerns everyone.

    I'm sorry to be so negative and cynical, however, I've spent nearly a decade fighting for the right of a sick person to support from the Danish government. I have spent days lobbying, and talking to those politicians I could get a hold of (many of whom are incidentally is in government now), they all agreed that it was terrible what was done to this sick man, in the name of uncaring laws, and dodging of responsibility by the government departments.

    So all of them gave their sympathies, all of them (including the opposition) would look into the matter, and now 3 years into the election period, nothing has been done, despite for unanimous agreement that no one should be treated that way by the system, and all of them would do what ever they can to prevent other people falling into the very same crack, and look at the problem.

    Nothing has been done.

    So give me just one reason to vote?

  51. Andy 4


    It's a sad state of affairs when someone like this (they are all guilty in some way) get t o make laws without the appropriate knowledge of the technologies involved.

    When did this country arrive at the point where unqualified people make decisions that affect the general population they are supposedly there to SERVE. If the transport minister cocks up, what do they do? .. they RE-SHUFFLE and with a wave of a wand, they are suddenly qualified to be the minister for education with no accountability for previous actions. This is not a democratic operation in the slightest.

    It wouldn't be so bad except there is no way of challenging these people... no avenue of recourse... no change request available to the public. Voting one unqualified MP into office over another does not make a choice.

    It's about time these people were not allowed to make decisions based on assumption, business back handers (a-la BSF for schools) and misinformation.

  52. lukewarmdog

    I for one

    Welcome Mr Mandelson to our democratically elected board of governing overlords.

    I figure the more he pisses people off, the more chance there is of voting Labour out. If only a tenth of the pissed off non-voters come out to vote then there's every chance we'll have some other berk in charge at the next election.

    Think I'll go for the anonymous Internet vote.

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