|This article is part of UnNews||Where man always bites dog|
8 April 2010
As befits a bill that contained a clause conferring such power on the government, it was heard by a select number of only the finest minds - a handful of MPs, three cleaners who had thought the room was empty, and several mice gorging on the pie crumbs under John Prescott's seat.
The clause in question gives the government the power to block any website that it believes "has in the past, is currently, might in the future, or would possibly infringe copyright in any way, look at us funny, or spill our pints". The bill has been criticised by disciples of Joe Stalin as "not dictatorial enough", and "a poor second prize behind banning the whole wretched interweb".Of course, such wide-ranging powers must only be used responsibly, and as such can't be entrusted to anyone beholden to the whims of anything as dangerous as the public, which is why the responsibility has been passed to the office of the Secretary of State for Business, Peter Mandelson - who is safely unelected, and so can be guaranteed to make the right decisions without having to consider unimportant concepts such as "public opinion", or "public interest".
High on the list of sites likely to be affected by the bill are illegal file-sharing networks, leaked government information site Wikileaks, copyright minefields YouTube and Wikipedia, and of course, the embodiment of pernicious copyright flouting evil, Uncyclopedia. Fortunately, the new bill has to go through a "washing-up" process before the powers are formally ratified, meaning we should have some time left to ridicule the government one last time before they shut us do
- Charles Arthur "Digital economy bill rushed through wash-up in late night session". guardian.co.uk, April 08, 2010
- Katie Scott "Digital Economy Bill debate ignored by 95 percent of MPs". Wired, April 07, 2010