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BT and TalkTalk challenge Digital Economy Act

Mon 12 Jul, 2010 // Firstnumber Team

In a challenge to the proposed Digital Economy Act, phone line providers BT and TalkTalk have filed papers with the High Court asking for a judicial review.

MPs and companies alike believe that the Act – which aims to prevent online copyright infringement – has been rushed into law and poses a threat to the rights of citizens and businesses.

BT and TalkTalk in particular are concerned that the Act might conflict with important European rules on users' privacy and that tens of millions of pounds might be wasted trying to police laws that are unenforceable.

Gavin Pattrson, CEO of BT Retail said:

“It's disappointing that we feel the need to take action but we feel we have no choice. We have to do this for our customers who have otherwise run the risk of being treated unfairly.

“Our dispute is not with the current Government but with the way the previous administration pushed this through without due process. We need clarity about whether this legislation is compatible with important EU laws.”

Meanwhile, Charles Dunstone – chairman of TalkTalk Group – said:

“The Digital Economy Act's measures will cost the UK hundreds of millions and many people believe they are unfair, unwarranted and won't work. So it’s no surprise that in Nick Clegg’s call for laws to repeal, this Act is top of the public’s ‘wish list’.

“Innocent broadband customers will suffer and citizens will have their privacy invaded. We think the previous Government's rushed approach resulted in flawed legislation. That’s why we need a judicial review by the High Court as quickly as possible before lots of money is spent on implementation.”

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