Lord Mandelson asks for unlimited powers
19th November 2009 15:13 | by Andrew Robinson
Breaking news from Cory Doctorow
Lord Mandelson has asked for the most dangerous and far-reaching powers imaginable to fight his doomed battle against copyright infringement. In leaked documents he has asked for the power to amend the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988) in any way he wants, at any time, with no parliamentary vote.
It goes without saying that giving an unelected official the power to invent laws on a whim is wrong, but it's his reason for wanting this extraordinary power that should give the most cause for concern. His 3 reasons are:
1) To set his own levels of punishment for infringements, above and beyond the already proposed disconnections and £50,000 fine.
2) To allow him to 'confer rights' to third parties, allowing copyright owners whatever powers to spy on people, compel ISPs to divulge information without court orders, block websites that they want.
3) To allow him to impose duties on people or companies at his whim, such as forcing sites like YouSendIt to remove the option for their users to send files privately.
By appointing himself as 'pirate-finder general' Lord Mandelson has declared war on free speech, privacy, the presumption of innocence until proved guilty.
Labour MP Tom Watson said that he is "utterly appalled" by these proposals.
If you want to protect your freedom of speech, your privacy, your right to be considered innocent until proved guilty, then now is the time to join the Pirate Party. We need your support to field candidates that will stand up against this insanity. We must show Labour at the ballot box that we will not accept this!