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In something of a policy shift, the Liberal Democrats have expressed their opposition to the filesharing and internet blocking provisions contained in the digital economy bill.

Despite support for the website blocking plans among Liberal peers, the party now says it will not support any legislative measures designed to cut consumers off from the internet.

A Lib Dem digital economy bill position letter, published by Islington South and Finsbury parliamentary candidate Bridget Fox, says that although illegal downloading is clearly damaging the creative industries, further debate on the topic is needed.

As a result of the limited consultation time on the filesharing proposals, the party says measures to address site blocking "cannot reasonably be included" in the bill.

The letter stated: "The Liberal Democrats are unconvinced of the merits of measures such as temporary account suspension or bandwidth throttling.

"We want to ensure that any measures will be subject to maximum scrutiny in parliament and that it will be possible to change them before a final decision is made."

Last week, Labour MP Tom Watson raised concerns that the digital economy bill could be rushed through parliament before the general election.

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