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Policy chiefs from four of the web’s leading services say one point in the UK government’s high-profile Digital Economy Bill would give Lord Mandelson carte blance to monitor internet users’ every online behaviour.
Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Facebook, Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) timed an open letter to Mandelson to cause maximum effect, hitting inboxes via a public relations agency as the bill’s first real scrutiny began in an afternoon House Of Lords debate.
They’re not opposing the most controversial part of the bill (forcing ISPs to enact “technical measures”, including account suspension, against illegal downloaders). Instead, they say: “Clause 17 … gives any future Secretary of State unprecedented and sweeping powers to amend the Copyright, Design and Patent Act