Digital Britain – illegal file sharing

An introduction to illegal file sharing and government plans to legislate against it.


The Government has attempted to legislate against illegal file sharing and downloading as part of the Digital Economy Bill. The Bill proposed to grant Ofcom (the Office of Communications) the powers to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to target or block alleged illegal file sharing via “technical measures”.

Unfortunately the bill was hurried through Parliament with some of the key questions around detecting and addressing illegal file sharing left to Ofcom to determine a workable process and code of conduct. These have yet to be finalised. The IET reiterates that such an approach will prove futile and potentially infringe data privacy.