Draconian UK Digital Economy Bill passes: huge blow for digital privacy, security, freedom

The Digital Economy bill, known on Twitter as #debill, passed today. The short version is that this thing makes the DMCA look like a warmup act. Cory's traveling, but you can expect his thoughts here soon. For now, Mike Butcher sums up the danger eloquently:
During the 1960s Chairman Mao told farmers to kill crop-eating sparrows, an edict which produced a plague of the insects which the sparrows normally ate. Likewise, the Digital Economy Bill, in trying to support artists' copyright and tackle illegal file-sharing, is about to produce a new culture - in which ISPs and bewildered householders are deluged with threatening legal letters from the entertainment industry.
This matters for America and other countries, too. There is now a precedent of a partner nation disconnecting users for alleged copyright infringement. This is a terrible moment for internet privacy and freedom.