Brendan Abbott

PLANS to suspend the internet accounts of “copyright pirates” who illegally download and swap films and music could breach human rights.

Broadband providers and consumer rights groups warned yesterday “persuasion not coercion” was the way to stop piracy.

Stephen Timms, minister for Digital Britain, said previous schemes, which only cut users’ broadband speed, were not enough.

Internet service providers could also be allowed to take action against pirates.

In the year to July 2008, 6.5 million Britons illegally downloaded music and films.