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Under measures mooted by the, ahem, close personal friend of entertainment mogul David Geffen, illegal downloaders will have their broadband connections terminated with extreme prejudice after being caught transgressing three times.

Piracy

Keen to test the efficacy of the proposals, an internet security expert hoofed it to a residential street in Middlesex on behalf of TalkTalk. And after a brief survey of a single street's wireless broadband connections he found that a third were vulnerable to hijacking.

Of these 28 per cent used WEP technology, which many users think is secure but is in fact easily hackable by anyone with a laptop computer

Our man in the field then rather wittily, we think, set about using two of said connections to download the soundtrack from Peter’s Friends and the Barry Manilow tackathon Mandy.

It's fair to say that Andrew Heaney, Director of Strategy and Regulation at TalkTalk is not impressed at the findings. Dubbing Mandelson’s scheme “wrong-headed” and “naïve”, he quite rightly points out it could leave millions of innocent people at risk of being cut off.

Who’s with him? Well we are for a start. But unlike say David Geffen, who apparently talked Mandelson around to his way of thinking over a couple of canapés, we’re unlikely to be invited to put our case to the New Labour mainstay over dinner any time soon…

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