This petition has been set up in response to the Government’s proposal to cut off internet access to those who are caught illegally downloading copyrighted files. We think this has one fundamental flaw, as illegal filesharers will simply hack into other peoples WiFi networks to do their dirty work. This will result in innocent people being disconnected from the internet. What's more, such a punishment should be dealt with in the proper way, in a court of law. This guilty until proven innocent approach violates basic human rights.
That statement is absolutely misleading and downright silly on so many levels.
First, they describe illegal filesharers as computer gurus who know how to hack into other people's WiFi networks; which is quite a claim really. I don't have statistics to the contrary, just anecdotal evidence, but they're the ones making the claim anyway without any basis so the burden of proof isn't on me. But I for one do not know a single person who's capable of hacking into other people's WiFi networks, all of the WiFi networks in my area are password protected, and if this law gets passed it would simultaneously encourage owners to do that. You're already responsible for what is accessed on your network (child pornography, etc.), leaving your network without a password is very stupid.
For all of the pirates I know, and I've been guilty of it from time to time myself, none of us are particularly handy computer users. I can do some minimal programming and I'm decent with setup and installation, but I am and have never been a hacker. Nearly all of my friends are guilty of some piracy; even my father does it. It's incredibly widespread, and if you believe it's wrong, then yes, it is a gigantic problem. The argument that this will result in filesharers hacking into other people's net is stupid; if they could do that now, why would the pay for their own internet to begin with? That's monumentally idiotic. This law won't stop everyone, but it will certainly reduce the problem of illegal filesharing.
Guilty until proven innocent, would mean the Government could do whatever it wanted without the burden of proof, and if you wanted to stop them from punishing you, you'd have to present evidence that you're not guilty of it. That's not at all what they're proposing. Not bringing people to a court of law isn't the same thing. And with how rampant the problem is, it probably isn't prudent to have a court case in every issue; honestly if you're a pirate you're lucky they're just disconnecting you and not prosecuting you under the current laws.
But the most ridiculous thing I've seen related to all of this is the fact that everyone's bandwagoning against it and yet I haven't seen a single copy of what the legislation actually proposes specifically. Sure, if they disconnect you when you download an Elton John MP3 you don't own for the first time, that's not fair. But what about the guy who's sharing a terrabyte of stolen PC games, DVDs, and professional software a month? The letter of the law is very important to its application, and this issue is far more complicated than people are making it out to be.
Personally I don't want this legislation to happen either; I enjoy the current state of digital freedom, but I also realize that software companies, media corporations, and television studios are being financially hurt by the way we are currently handling the situation. Yeah, people don't feel sorry for the RIAA, but it has a more tangible impact on PC gamers (who have to put up with stupid crap like SecuRom because of pirates), television stations that are struggling with poor ratings like NBC (which has lower viewership because a lot of people watch their favorite shows commercial free on streaming video sites like Megavideo), and the movie industry which often has their films leaked on or around release (and of course DVD rips that come out way after the fact).
I think scanning this thread I've seen a lot of extremist comments based on very little (and in most instances no) unbiased information on the subject.http://www.commonsleader.gov.uk/output/Page2830.asp
Here is the bill in question, I think anyway, I really suggest reading it before decrying it.