Digital Economy Act sets UK gov't on the path to ever-more-punitive Internet laws

My latest Guardian column, "Why the Digital Economy Act simply won't work," warns that now that the British state has assumed responsibility for maximizing the profits of entertainment companies, it will have to take ever-more-restrictive measures against its own people:
And because once the state decides that it has a duty to police the internet to maximise the profits of a few entertainment companies (no matter what the public expense), it sets itself on a path of ever-more-restrictive measures. Once disconnection drives downloaders to make use of SSL-based proxies, watch for Big Content to inveigle their friends in parliament to enact laws prohibiting the use of virtual private networks - never mind that these are the best practice of anyone trying to safeguard a corporate or organisational network.

Once the Act drives downloaders to use SSL-encrypted services that are harder to monitor, watch for the entertainment lobby to ask for great swaths of the internet to be blocked by the Great Firewall of Britain that the Act also provides for.

Once you swallow a spider to catch a fly, you're on a course to swallow a bird to catch the spider, a cat to catch the bird, and so on until you swallow a horse - and every toddler knows that happens next.

Why the Digital Economy Act simply won't work