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The government has backtracked from the stance on broadband piracy that it took last year, it has been reported.

According to the Times, Ben Bradshaw has revised a pledge made by the government to cut the volume of broadband users illegally sharing files by 70 per cent between 2008 and 2010.

The newspaper reported that the target has been "quietly set back" by the Culture Secretary, who explained that the original goal had been set on the premise that measures required to fight piracy would be in place by July 2008.

Internet service providers (ISPs) have not yet made significant strides to tackle illegal filesharing among their broadband customers, something that the government is keen to address.

It cited a letter sent last month from Mr Bradshaw to Liberal Democrat Don Foster, in which the minister claimed that the target should be moved back.

He said that it would be "more constructive… to take as our starting point the time at which obligations on internet service providers take effect", referring to plans outlined in the Digital Britain report.

Published last month, the white paper recommended that ISPs be obliged to write to broadband users caught illegally sharing files and monitor their traffic so that content owners can pursue civil action.

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