Repost - MPs: Please do your job

This is a repost from the Open Rights Group Blog. It needs as wide an audience as possible, so I'm referring you, dear reader, to it. The original can be seen on their site.

Tomorrow, adverts in the Times, Guardian and Facebook will call on MPs to make sure the Digital Economy Bill receives full debate, rather than being rushed through ‘wash-up’.

The adverts were paid for by donations from the 20,000 people who emailed their MPs through 38 Degrees website.

As MPs eat their cornflakes, they will be asked if they are prepared to go against the wishes of thousands of voters, and pass this Bill without full debate and scrutiny.

The Bill grants powers for website blocking and disconnection of citizens for copyright infringement, which need scrutiny.

Disconnection is inappropriate and draconian. People use the internet for work, education and free speech. You cannot take that away without a very serious reason. Copyright infringement allegations are not on that scale.

The Bill needs to be fully debated and scrutinised. MPs and Parliament have duties and rights. What a way to begin an election, ramming through draconian legislation without full debate.

As I understand it, this bill doesn't require evidence of copyright infringement to be presented in a court - a large download can be good enough, and it's for the punter to show innocence rather than the accuser to demonstrate guilt.

My MP said that he shared my sympathies and said 'let me look into this and try to get back with a fuller reply once I've examined the law in question'. That was at the start of February. I've rattled his cage today.

More information can be found at the BBC website.

"A rising number of MPs, including the speaker of the House of Commons himself, are concerned about the lack of scrutiny and the future of the bill is by no means certain," said Mr Killock.