UK politicians seem to be treating internet freedom as a joke. Regulating the internet and monitoring the public's access is a controversial policy against which thousands of voters have protested, yet politicians have shown either that they do not understand the policy or have more important business to attend to.
The Digital Economy Bill was forced through the House of Commons yesterday with just two hours of debate and is now set to become law. The legislation was passed by 189 votes to 47.
The Bill proposes so-called three strikes plans to tackle illegal file sharing, which would see alleged culprits kicked off the internet after multiple attempts to download copyrighted material.
Parliament removed Clause 18, an even more controversial policy, which proposed to give copyright holders the right to demand that internet service providers (ISPs) restrict access to certain web sites.
During the Bill's second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday, just 40 out of the 646 MPs attended the debate.
When accepting the Bill in both readings, the MPs ignored the voices of thousands of Twitter users who tweeted during the debates, as well as the protests outside parliament a couple of weeks ago and the 20,000 letters sent by disgruntled voters to their MPs to oppose the Bill. Adverts put in newspapers opposing the legislation have also been a clear waste of money.
However, as was seen after the protests against the war in Iraq, this government does not believe in listening to protestors, especially when they are demanding freedoms.
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