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Internet pirates may lose web access

26 August 2009

People who repeatedly download copyright-protected films and music could have their internet connection cut off, under proposed laws the British Government has unveiled to tackle illegal file-sharing.

Treasury Minister Stephen Timms said that previous plans, which would only have restricted users' broadband speed, did not go far enough.

That potential punishment remains, but is accompanied by the possibility of blocking offenders' access to download sites as well as banning them from using the internet altogether.

If the measures are passed when they come to Parliament in November, Britain would join France in attempting to cut off internet access for offenders.

The British proposal could potentially conflict with a European Parliament ruling in May prohibiting European Union governments from cutting off a user's Internet connection without a court order. A final version of that measure must still be negotiated with the European Council.

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