Huppert wins resounding support against Big Brother web blocking

March 17, 2010 2:06 PM

Julian HuppertJulian Huppert, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Cambridge has roused huge support for his fight to prevent a Big Brother-style web monitoring operation becoming law.

Thousands of people have given their backing on the social networking site, Facebook and at the weekend the entire Lib Dem spring conference threw its weight behind the battle.

"This proves how strongly people feel about this issue," he said. "This is a direct threat to our freedom and could lead to people spying on our internet activity and cutting off our internet connections. It must never be allowed to happen."

Julian took an emergency motion to the Lib Dem conference on Sunday in a bid to stop an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill which could see websites blocked for allegedly breaking copyright laws.

He won the right to get the motion debated and a number of key speakers impressed upon delegates and supporters how this move would be an infringement of the nation's civil liberties.

Julian urged people to join the fight through the group Lib Dems: Save the Net on Facebook and thousands of people signed up.

He believes the amendment which was passed recently in the House of Lords, would alter UK copyright law in a way which would allow courts to order the blocking of websites following legal action by rights-holders.

Julian fears the move could even be illegal under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and other EU law.

If the amendment to the Bill is allowed to stand, Internet service providers also take down or block websites to avoid facing the costs of legal action, he claims.

The motion condemns the Digital Economy Bill "for focusing on illegal file sharing rather than on nurturing creativity and innovative business models".

"This amendment has widespread implications," said Julian, who summed up on the motion at conference. "It could deny freedom of expression, competition and innovation and could lead the abuse of our civil liberty. These Big Brother tactics must be stopped."

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