Nick Clegg reaffirms Lib Dem opposition to Digital Economy Act

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has called for the repeal of the Digital Economy Bill.

The statement didn’t come in last night’s great debate between the party leaders on television, but in a question and answer session for The Student Room, the UK student social networking site, which claims 2.8 million unique visitors.

Clegg told the site, "We did our best to prevent the Digital Economy Bill being rushed through at the last moment. It badly needed more debate and amendment, and we are extremely worried that it will now lead to completely innocent people having their internet connections cut off.

“It was far too heavily weighted in favour of the big corporations and those who are worried about too much information becoming available. It badly needs to be repealed, and the issues revisited."

The Digital Economy bill was rushed through in a vote in the House of Commons, following a debate attended by less than 40 MPs. The bill was passed through the Commons to the House of Lords with a majority of 142 votes.

One of the country's largest broadband providers, TalkTalk, has said it would rather go to court than disconnect a customer’s account for alleged copyright infringement. It has also pledged to never surrender a customer’s details to copyright holders without a court order.

Andrew Heaney, executive director of strategy and regulation at TalkTalk, wrote on the company blog: "Many draconian proposals remain [in the Act], such as the presumption that they [customers] are guilty unless they can prove themselves innocent, and, as in China, the potential for legitimate search engines and websites to be blocked."

Nick Clegg's full Q&A session can be found here.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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