Update: 13 April 2012 - GREAT NEWS! Following our 2.5 million strong campaign against the ACTA attack on our Internet freedom, the politician in charge of pushing the bill through Europe's Parliament has called for its rejection! Let's keep the pressure up -- sign and share now!
28 February 2012 - Amazing! Parliament received 2.4 million petition signatures against ACTA! A petition calling "to stand for a free and open Internet and reject the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)" was received by the European Parliament on Tuesday. The petition had been signed by almost 2.5 million people from all over the world.
"Receiving a petition supported by more than 2 million people places an even bigger responsibility on us to listen to the European people and offer them a place to express their views to the European institutions", said Petitions Committee chair Erminia Mazzoni (EPP, IT), after the petition was presented.
The European Parliament has only just begun to consider the proposed ACTA deal. It will need to examine it carefully, taking all concerns into account, making a reasoned assessment of the facts and weighing Internet freedom on the one hand and the fight against counterfeiting on the other. The Petitions Committee will decide in the coming weeks how the petition is to be followed up.
The petition was presented by Alex Wilks, Pascal Vollenweider and Anne Agius, on behalf of Avaaz, an organisation which uses the Internet to campaign on various issues. It calls on the European Parliament "to stand for a free and open Internet and reject the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which would destroy it".
12 February 2012 - Anti-ACTA Day: Thousands protest across Europe
Anonymous bring an urgent update on ACTA. Seems like that the death of PIPA & SOPA bring a greater threat to our internet freedom.
As cyberspace turns its attention to the SOPA and PIPA bills in the US, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, has been quietly signed or ratified by most of the developed world and is arguably the biggest threat to Internet freedom yet.
ACTA has – officially – been in the works since 2008, and was signed by the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea in 2011. All negotiations were held behind closed doors, and it is mostly thanks to Internet hacktivist groups like Anonymous that news of the potential damage ACTA could cause has spread.
Most recently, Anonymous turned their attention to Poland, where officials announced that they will sign the controversial treaty on January 26. A number of government website attacks has left them paralyzed for two days, and several Polish websites have since announced they will go dark in protest at the treaty, echoing recent unprecedented actions by Wikipedia, Redditt, BoingBoing and many others.
However, Polish officials have said they will sign the agreement as planned. Government minister Michal Boni said "The ACTA agreement in no way changes Polish laws or the rights of Internet users and Internet usage,” after a meeting with Prime Minister Donald Tusk. The irony of that statement is that ACTA will do exactly that. It will surpass the sovereign laws of participating nations, especially in the matter of ISP monitoring.
ACTA's reach is far more global, with countries like the US, Switzerland, Japan and all European Union members in its grasp. It is allegedly being introduced "to create new legal standards of intellectual property enforcement, as well as increased international cooperation, an example of which would be an increase in information sharing between signatory countries' law enforcement agencies." But in reality, the measures that have been worked on by behind-the-scenes politicians and media industry moguls are just shy of draconian.
Under this new treaty, Internet Service Providers will police all data passing through them, making them legally responsible for what their users do online. And should you do something considered "breach of copyright" like, for instance, getting a tattoo of a brand logo, taking a photo and posting it somewhere, you may be disconnected from the Internet, fined or even jailed.
This, of course, threatens the entire founding idea of the Internet – the free sharing of information. But ACTA doesn't stop there. It goes beyond the Internet, bearing down on generic drugs and food patents. If passed, ACTA will enforce a global standard for seed patenting, which would wipe out independent, local farmers and make the world completely dependent on the patent owners (read "big corporations") for supplies.
The agreement states that it must be signed and ratified by 2013, but the seemingly late deadline is no cause for celebration. And if the secrecy surrounding this latest censor tool continues to hold, it may be put into effect without anyone noticing.
The newest threat to Internet freedom.
- Google, Anonymous and European MPs join forces for a Free and Open Internet — UN's upcomming Conference to change the Internet as we know it
- Mozilla joins Anonymous against Congress & CISPA
- US government using copyright infringement to take over the Internet?
- Anonymous targets CISPA Supporters: Facebook, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, U.S. Telecom, TechAmerica
- CISPA Explained by Anonymous. Sign the Petition to STOP CISPA!
- EU suspends ACTA! - European Court of Justice to decide
- Anonymous warns the EU - ANTI-ACTA protests accross Europe!
- INTERNET FREEDOM: The Past, Present and Future of Internet Censorship
- 7000 Websites to Strike January 18th against SOPA bill in Congress