The U.K. government's Digital Economy Bill, which had a muddled passage through the House of Lords, may be rushed through the House of Commons without full scrutiny.

Parliament is set to be dissolved in early April for a general election in May.

The Bill includes a three-strikes style system that will lead to warning letters to suspected copyright infringers, followed by possible technical measures and suspension of accounts if overall levels of file-sharing are not reduced.

Government minister Lord Young suggested March 15 that a new clause will be introduced in the Commons including measures that could result in Web sites with any copyright-infringing material being blocked.

Internet firms including Google and Facebook and Internet Service Providers voiced their concern about the potential impact of such a law, when the original amendment was tabled in the Lords. The opposition Liberal Democrat peer Lord Clement-Jones made this amendment as a replacement to an unpopular clause by the government, which would have given ministers wide-ranging powers to alter copyright law in the event of future technological piracy threats.

But Lord Clement-Jones then tried to amend his amendment following the outrage from the Internet giants and ISPs. There were concerns it could lead to the blocking of sites such as YouTube.

In the event, the government decided the amendment on blocking sites was not compatible with the EU Technical Standards Directive (TSD) and would "not be capable of being enforced."

But the Guardian reports that the Bill, including the new amendment, could be rushed through the Commons without full scrutiny as there is cross-party support. Amendments can only be made at the committee stage, but an election for May 6 would likely mean that a new clause would have to be worked out behind closed doors by party managers in the "wash up" of legislation.

There is already concern about the legislative proposals from Internet rights campaigners, but any rushed legislation could provide a headache for the next administration - as well as the music industry and ISPs - if it is later found to be heavy-handed. And the controversial Web-blocking clause could yet fall foul of EU law, which requires submission of measures that go beyond European regulations to Brussels three months before they are enacted.

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