If you were thinking you’d get to watch Game of Thrones for free this year, you should maybe think again.
The most pirated show of last year is going to be getting illegal downloaders in a lot of trouble, thanks to new laws introduced this year.
The Digital Economy Act 2017 will increase the maximum penalty for copyright infringement from two years to up to 10 years.
Those that torrent their shows rather than stream them will be most at risk from the new clampdown.
The government insists that only the most severe cases of infringement will result in the heavy penalties, but privacy groups have voiced their concerns at the introduction of the download laws.
The Act is also due to introduce an age verification requirement for porn sites, to ensure that users are over 18.
Users will have to enter credit card details to verify their identity.
However, Open Rights Group say the law would put people’s online privacy at risk.
Executive Director Jim Killock said:
Age verification could lead to porn companies building databases of the UK’s porn habits, which could be vulnerable to Ashley Madison style hacks.
The Government has repeatedly refused to ensure that there is a legal duty for age verification providers to protect the privacy of web users.
It just seems like both of these measures aren’t really addressing the roots of the problems.
In a world where internet use is becoming more and more important to everyday life, the trade-off between security and privacy becomes even more important.
At least the download laws will only focus on the high level copyright infringement, rather than going for the low level stuff like they tried to do a few years ago.
Still, I can’t help but feel a little worried every time internet freedom is decreased, no matter what the reason.
So next time you’re considering downloading the new Jason Bateman film you should probably stop to think whether it’s worth it. Though to be fair, you should’ve been doing that anyway.