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There is very little the government can do to clamp down on illegal filesharing, according to one broadband commentator.

Mark Jackson, editor-in-chief of, noted that the Digital Economy Act 2010 - which is currently in the implementation phase – was designed to prevent internet users from breaching artists' copyright.

However, he claimed that the legislation is "fundamentally flawed" because it relies upon "notoriously unreliable IP address-based evidence" to identify broadband users suspected of unlawful peer-to-peer filesharing activity.

At best, this approach identifies the connection owner, which could be a hotel, public Wi-Fi or shared business/home network, Mr Jackson claimed.

He said the Digital Economy Act could have a whole range of unintended consequences, largely due to the fact it was "rushed through parliament before the May 2010 general election and not given proper debate".

"It could also lead to the blocking of legitimate websites, service speed restrictions, limits on open Wi-Fi usage, account disconnection from your internet service provider or disclosure of private personal details to rights holders for legal action," Mr Jackson warned.

According to the BPI, more than 1.2 billion music tracks were illegally downloaded in the UK during 2010, with a retail value of almost £1 billion.

The organisation found that despite the new laws, 23 per cent of UK broadband subscribers aged between 16 and 54 are continuing to use filesharing services.

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