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The UK is to cut users off the Internet for file-sharing, in a new move directed by the Minister, Lord Peter Mandelson. The move appears to follow a dinner with Hollywood media mogul, David Geffen, who has a personal fortune worth $600 million.


According to an article in The SundayTimes today, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills,  Lord Peter Mandelson, has personally intervened in the policy-making process on peer-to-peer

file-sharing, and ordered that ISPs be mandated to cut off file-sharers who download music and film.


Lord Mandelson was dining with the Rothchild family at their  villa in Corfu, where he apparently had a free holiday, when the conversation with David Geffen is understood to have taken  place. He is then understood to have returned to the UK with the demand to ‘clampdown' on Internet filesharing.  


The Sunday Times report appears to confirm the information which I have previously reported, that Mandelson was to be given the power directly to order ‘technical measures' against Internet users. ( See my other article : Copyright industries pressure UK to filter the Net)


However, the Sunday Times article is not quite right when it suggests that prior to Lord Mandelson's involvement, peer-to-peer users were 'only' going to be throttled. The Digital Britain report, and the accompanying reports on P2P file-sharing, clearly state that ‘technical measures' which include protocol blocking, website blocking and suspension of service, are under consideration. The difference, it would seem, is that Lord Mandelson is falling for the copyright industry pressure to protect the business interests of the music and entertainment industries.


The Sunday Times reports suggests that there is a Parliamentary move to oppose Mandelson on this issue.


David Geffen is ranked by Forbes magazine in the top 400 richest people in America, with his investment in the DreamWorks SKG studio company now worth $600 million. He is also rated as being the most powerful gay man in America, by Out magazine .


It puts the bankers into perspective. The UK government has invested billions of pounds supporting the banks. In the depths of a recession, how can the government  justify an intitiative  that private companies spend further millions supporting èntertainment millionaires  like Geffen?


Relevance to the EU Telecoms Package: Mandelson's move would be a restriction on the fundamental rights of Internet users under EU law, and would therefore be  in contravention of Amendment 138 in the EU Telecoms Package - if you are unfamiliar with the issues, please see my coverage elsewhere on


Read the article in The Sunday Times on Lord  Mandelson's intervention in P2P policy 

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial-Share Alike 2.5 UK:England and Wales License. It may be used for non-commercial purposes only, and the author's name should be attributed. The correct attribution for this article is: Monica Horten (2009)UK anti-filesharing plans get the Mandelson touch , 4 May 2009.

Iptegrity in brief is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing.   I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. I am currently (from June 2022)  Policy Manager - Freedom of Expression, with the Open Rights Group. For more, see About Iptegrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

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