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Lord Mandelson decided to reconsider the issue of suspending the broadband connections of illegal filesharers after learning that half of all UK internet traffic is taken up by unlawful sharing of copyrighted data.

Writing in the Times, the secretary of state for business, innovation and reform claimed that the government's new stance on piracy was a result of the simple belief that "taking something for nothing is wrong".

He also noted that creative business drives a large part of the UK economy and needs a regulatory environment in which it can operate without being undermined by illegal filesharing.

Mr Mandelson wrote: "If technical solutions can discourage piracy, then as a government we are obliged to consider them."

He called for more joint services between content providers and broadband suppliers, such as the new music download service being spearheaded by Virgin Media and Universal.

Attempting to allay the fears which digital rights groups have expressed this past week, he added that temporary broadband account suspensions will only follow a series of warnings and clear evidence of wrongdoing.

"I made clear to the content industry that we would consider legislation that includes temporary account suspension only if it was seen as the sanction of last resort," the business secretary wrote in the Times.

Meanwhile, the Digital Britain Forum website has been updated with replies to some of the most popular arguments against the government's new touch stance.

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