back to article Ofcom to review Digital Economy Act site-blocking measures

Communications watchdog Ofcom is to review sections of the Digital Economy Act to see if they are workable. The government said this morning that culture secretary Jeremy Hunt had asked Ofcom to consider whether the Act, which was expected to come into force this month, could work on the issue of reserve powers to enable …


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Minister's wording

“I have no problem with the principle of blocking access to websites used exclusively for facilitating illegal downloading of content"

So, if I understand this correctly, all any torrent type site has to do is host a couple of copies of some legal freeware, and they are excluded from the possibility of being blocked?

Does this mean some clerk will have to go through the entire site's catalogue before approving such a measure? I rather suspect not and think that a broad brush approach will be taken, leading to all sorts of dangers and allegations of back-door censorship.

We've already seen how "Letters before Action" can cause some ISPs to dump websites they host with no real legal cause just to avoid the hassle. Robert Maxwell would be proud.


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Hulture Secretary

HM. Gove already don't like what some of the 'OF' offices are up to . They prefer to see them as 'advisory' bodies rather than upholders of laws and statutes that the government wanted until they realised it also applies to them.

Hunt (yes, they got the name right first time) doesn't really seem to have much of a clue.



"not clear whether the site-blocking provisions in the Act could work in practice"

No, they won't. Ktnxby, now leave the internet alone.


Govt approved...



thats all


I despair

WHY do we (ie - the govt) spend stupid amounts of time and money chasing a problem that doesn't actually matter?

There are WAY more important issues and problems than some video or CD being copied on the internet? Internet piracy seems to have got itself elevated into this god-like-importance position (a bit like football on TV and in the press) to the point where it's the first thing any MP thinks about when you mention "the internet"! And all this effort is being put in to bail out some (usually) American film or record company. Who gives a stuff? I wish the same effort was put into solving real crimes that affected real people in real ways.

Big Brother


Government and media order of preference for a nice story with lots of controversy:



Illegal Downloaders

If you can combine them then extra bonus points!

Keep em scared and angry and they are easy to control.


And he seriously expects

A sensible coherent and impartial review from OFCOM? Not a snowball's.

There is already plenty of advice out there which explains why the DEAct is a crock of garbage. This exercise is a) designed so that the government can say "but our watchdog says it's ok" and b) a complete waste of time, effot and money.

Just repeal the act.


Re: Just repeal the act...

What? And risk the likes of Mandelson having to pony up for their luxury yacht holidays in Corfu instead of rich media publishers? Imagine, politicians paying for something themselves, it's absurd.


What's illegal content anyway?

iTunes sells music that contains un-cleared, unlicensed samples* - can we block that please?

*Of course many music sites do, especially ones that allow you buy to music from smaller dance labels / artists. And uncleared samples are still infringing copyright. Love how the music industry is so two faced about this issue - "We will sue our customers for anything but one of own can rip us off until the tune in question sells well enough to generate us some income is fine."

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King Canute, all over again

China and VietNam, along with some other countries, have blocked access to Facebook and, in China, many other web sites.

I would dare to say there is no computer or smartphone owning school aged child in either country, especially VietNam, who doesn't know how to circumvent blocking tactics used by ISP's.

China arguably has the most advanced Firewall/blocking around but it doesn't work that well, either.

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