The glorious leaders of the UK have published a "Digital Economy Bill" as part of this year's legislative program. The main thrust of it is penalties for people suspected of illegal file sharing, and the ability for more penalties and requirements for ISPs to keep and hand over information to be added later by Mr Mandleson or his successor, with no further debate.
There is also a provision for a royalty collecting organisation to collect royalties on behalf of people not their members, and, presumably, keep them. This was not clear, but I believe it is what is done in the USA.
This is a pretty chilling piece of legislation. We rely increasingly on the internet, and it does not seem to me even vaguely in line with previous traditions of UK law to impose a far reaching penalty in response to accusations for which evidence need not be provided.
In the USA, academics have rigorously demonstrated false identification of illegal file sharing for such devices as printers and routers. Although it may turn out that the majority of the people so accused will be guilty, it would not be prudent to assume that. 'Course, if you've done nothing wrong, you have notihng to fear, right?
There is a Number 10 petition to sign, and I commend to all reading this in the UK that they do so.
Here are links to more info. I particularly liked this comment from one of them:
Eroding Democracy and Constitutional Law should be a criminal offense, not a business model...