UK Law Enforcement Tells UK Gov’t: Please Don’t Kick File Sharers Offline

3strikes_uk-thumb-640xauto-343

from the didn’t-see-that-coming dept

Those who believe that kicking people off the internet based on accusations of file sharing is an affront to basic due process and civil rights have perhaps an unexpected ally: UK law enforcement and intelligence services have come out against Peter Mandelson’s “three strikes and your off the internet” plan. Of course, they’re not as concerned about due process and civil rights, as they are about making it more difficult to track down criminals online:

Law enforcement groups, which include the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and the Metropolitan Police’s e-crime unit, believe that more encryption will increase the costs and workload for those attempting to monitor internet traffic. One official said: “It will make prosecution harder because it increases the workload significantly.”

A source involved in drafting the Bill said that the intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6, had also voiced concerns about disconnection. “The spooks hate it,” the source said. “They think it is only going to make monitoring more difficult.”

Enforcement groups are also unhappy that the Government’s change of plans has left them little time to draw up a response. Lord Mandelson’s intervention came two months after the Government’s Digital Britain report, published in June, failed to back disconnection.

So, the government’s own plan said no to kicking people off the internet. The police and the intelligence services are saying no to it. Why is Mandelson still supporting it?

source