The department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), headed up by Peter Mandelson and formerly known as BERR, has released a document essentially fast-tracking legislation to oblige ISPs to punish individual users who have been found to indulge in illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing.
The Digital Britain report had originally recommended the telecommunications regulator - Ofcom - take a leisurely few years before deciding what, if anything, to do about illegal file-sharing. But something has given BIS an uncharacteristic sense of urgency, perhaps it's the prospect of forcing ISPs to pay for the government to tell them what to do.
Minister for Digital Britain (yes, there is one), Stephen Timms, said: "Technology and consumer behaviour is fast-changing and it's important that Ofcom has the flexibility to respond quickly to deal with unlawful file-sharing.
"We've been listening carefully to responses to the consultation this far, and it's become clear there are widespread concerns that the plans as they stand could delay action, impacting unfairly upon rights holders. So we look forward to hearing views on our new ideas, which along with those already received, will help us determine the best way to tackle this complex challenge."
Note the emphasis on "consultation" and "hearing views", while BIS has already made it clear what it intends to do in the Government Statement. To us this seems like a not especially subtle attempt to legitimise a directive from central government by dressing it up as a democratic consensus.