TalkTalk has called U2 frontman Bono "misguided" after he accused ISPs from profiting from illegal filesharing.
Bono said in an article in the New York Times ISPs were "reverse Robin Hoods" benefiting from the music industry's lost profits.
"We know from America's noble effort to stop child pornography, not to mention China's ignoble effort to suppress online dissent, that it's perfectly possible to track content," he said, suggesting that these tactics should be employed to hunt down illegal downloaders.
"ISPs generate no additional revenue or profit from customers sharing files. In fact we incur some marginal cost due to the extra bandwidth required," said Andrew Heaney, TalkTalk's executive director of strategy and regulation.
It is outrageous to equate the need to protect minors from the evils of child pornography with the need to protect copyright owners, Heaney said.
"As a society we have accepted that it is appropriate and proportionate to intrude on people's internet use by blocking access to sites that host child abuse images. To suggest that sharing a music file is every bit as evil as child abuse beggars belief."
Heaney also revealed that under the proposed Digital Economy Bill, which is set to become law later this year, it will be legal to disconnect someone for alleged copyright abuse but to disconnect them for accessing child abuse images, a court order would have to be obtained first.
"Bono obviously does not understand how simple it is to access copyright protected content without being detected," Heaney added.
"P2P filesharing can be spotted (albeit at great cost) but there are dozens of applications and tools out there which allow people to view content for free and no amount of snooping can detect it."