In the UK, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson has tabled his "Digital Economy Bill," a terrible piece of legislation that requires ISPs to police their customers on behalf of the music industry when the latter claims that its copyrights have been violated (no evidence necessary). The UK music industry blames piracy for £200 million in annual losses, and this is Mandelson's excuse for abridging human rights and fundamental justice in his witch-hunt for pirates.
But the government's own research shows that Mandelson's plans will cost the UK ISP industry £500 million to implement, and when these costs are added to each customer's bill (as they surely will be), the rise will be enough to knock an estimated 40,000 British families off the Internet.
What's more, the government's own Digital Inclusion research has shown that poor households with Internet access enjoy a substantially higher quality of life than their offline neighbours, thanks to a variety of factors, from low-cost online shopping, to savings through online utility billing, to better research tools for school-kids, job-seekers and people with health problems.
Half a billion pounds down the drain, 40,000 of Britain's most vulnerable families knocked offline, and for all that, there's no reason to believe that Mandelson's plan will do anything to reduce piracy.
Today, according to a new report, government ministers have admitted that the costs will amount to £500m ($799.2m).
Piracy Surcharge Set To Force 40,000 Households Offline
ISPs say that issuing warnings will cost every customer £1.40 ($2.24) and otherwise meddling with accounts at the behest of the music industry will add £25 ($40) total to an annual subscription.
Worryingly, ministers say that this extra cost will force 40,000 UK households offline, with BT's John Petter calling the plans "collective punishment that goes against natural justice."
Jeremy Hunt, the Shadow Culture Secretary, said that it is "grossly unfair" for the government to force all broadband customers to foot the bill, and noted that forcing tens of thousands offline will go against government targets of increasing Internet take-up among the most disadvantaged communities.
Uganda is so poor that few can afford medical care, giving it one of the lowest life-expectancies on the planet — this toxic combination made the country ripe for infiltration by Tiens, a Chinese Multi-Level-Marketing “nutritional supplements” cult whose members set up fake medical clinics that diagnose fake ailments and proscribe fake medicines, then rope […]
Yahoo’s sale to Verizon means that Yahoo’s sub-companies — Flickr, Tumblr and a host of others — are now divisions of a phone company, and as you might expect, being on the payroll of a notorious neutracidal maniac with a long history of sleazy, invasive, privacy-destroying, monopolistic, deceptive, anti-competitive, scumbag shakedowns has changed the public […]
What was last week posed as an indefinite leave of absence is now for good: Travis Kalanick, CEO of scandal-wracked rideshare company Uber, announced that he is leaving the company. “I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]