I did this talk at the Social Media Cafe Manchester on 2 Feb. 2010. I provided some background information about the Digital Britain Report (released in June 2009) and the Digital Economy Bill, currently discussed at the House of Lords. I raised some common concerns about the Bill, including criminalisation of internet users, treating internet users as guilty until proven innocent (against the “presumption of innocence” principle), and against the UN’s decision to make Internet access a human right (well, one of the many unenforceable ideas from the UN).
I was surprised at the number of participants (ca. 20) and how savvy they were about the issues. One said that ISPs will be forced to monitor what users do online had the bill become law. Some have noticed the change in their neighbourhood – The Cloud launched a new marketing campaign targeting at B&B or independent cafes who provided wireless connection to customers. Many eyes are watching to see how this bill transpires at the parliament.