Cable: Website blocking plans are 'unworkable'

Business secretary to outline Digital Economy actions

Vince Cable, the UK business secretary, is set to brand government-backed website blocking plans as 'unworkable' in a speech on Wednesday.

Speaking at the British Library, he is also expected to announce his support for the legalisation of 'format shifting' (copying CDs and DVDs to a computer or media player), as recommended by the Hargreaves Report.

Another recommendation from the report was an online copyright exchange system to make it easier to access content licenses; Cable is expected to announce a "scoping review" into the plans, but without any firm support.

Not the answer

Cable's likely rejection of the website blocking plans will come in spite of a court ruling earlier this week, that saw BT ordered to block Newzbin2, a site known for sharing pirated music and movies.

The plans to introduce website blocking have been the matter of some controversy, from culture minister Ed Vaizey's seemingly closed-door meetings on the matter, to ex-business secretary Peter Mandelson's disregard for public consultation regarding the plans.

Both consumer groups and ISPs have expressed concerns over the Digital Economy Act's plans for web censorship; TalkTalk and BT challenged the act in High Court, only to be ruled against.

From the FT and the Guardian


News Editor (UK)

It's a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she's constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. And having been immersed in the world of tech and tech rumours for more than six years, she can spot a photoshopped iPhone 8 image from 20 paces.