"Parking-fine style Internet suspension may be proposed by the British government, as a sanction for against peer-to-peer users who are alleged to have infringed copyright...
The new element is that the users will get a final warning, telling them that a "technical measure" will be applied. The warning notice will give them opportunity to appeal before the measure is applied. The appeal will be made to a panel of adjudicators. The panel will comprise legally-trained people, but it is not envisaged that they will be judges, and it is not even clear whether it will be a formal institution or a call centre.
The "parking fine" element is that users would receive a lesser technical measure if they do not appeal, or conversely, they would risk a more severe measure - possibly a longer period of being cut off the Internet - if they do appeal and lose...
It's understood that the new proposals were drawn up by the British music industry at the request of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The request was apparently made because Amendment 138 in the EU Telecoms Package is a problem."Update: Meanwhile the Council of Ministers in negotiation with representatives of the EU parliament has proposed an addendum to the original amendment 138 to the telecoms package.
"Proposition for Article 1.3.a of the Framework directive.
"Measures taken by Member States regarding end-users' access to or use of services and applications through electronic communication networks shall respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons, including in relation to privacy, freedom of expression and access to information and due process and the right to effective judicial protection in compliance with the general principles of Community law. Any such measures shall in particular respect the principle of a fair and impartial procedure, including the right to be heard.
This paragraph is without prejudice to the competence of a Member State to determine in line with its own constitutional order and with fundamental rights appropriate procedural safeguards assuring due process. This may include requirements of a judicial decision authorising the measures to be taken and may take account of the need to adopt urgent measures in order to assure national security, defence, public security, and the prevention, investigation, detection, and prosecution of criminal offences.""It's the standard political move - declare the basic freedoms fundamental and provide a universal get out clause for governments which wish to ignore the requirements - and there's a fairly good chance the parliament reps will buy it. We'll just have to wait and see.