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ACTA now

...before it's too late

Anyone following the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) development in recent weeks might have breathed a sigh of relief after a seeming success. Wednesday (18th) was marked as the largest online protest in the history of the internet day to date. Websites of all sizes were in total blackout for 24 hours in protest of proposed legislation before the US House and Senate that will alter the internet for ever and for worse. Google, Wikipedia, the Internet Archive, Tumblr and Twitter and even Facebook opposed the bills along with everyone else that uses the internet.

Now there is a new baddie in town, meet ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). The treaty already has the support of the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea. It has been called worse than SOPA and PIPA and today it is due to be signed by Poland.

“ACTA is a proposed agreement for the purpose of establishing international standards on intellectual property rights enforcement. Negotiating countries have described it as a response ‘to the increase in global trade of counterfeit goods and pirated copyright protected works’.” In a world under the ACTA I would be fined and maybe if I was a regular culprit imprisoned for that quote. The ACTA is a long and often difficult to understand piece of scripture but simply put amounts to the following.

Under ACTA, ISP, the company you pay for access to the internet, will be forced to open up and inspect every single data package you send and receive to look for copyrighted information. If you send copyrighted material several times you will be disconnected and even face charges. Under the worst interpretation of the ACTA treaty, if you send a friend an MP3 through instant messenger, upload a video of a party with played copyrighted music or quote a copyrighted newspaper article in an email, you’re gone! In the case of the newspaper article the publisher would be contacted and, based on their claims, you could be fined or sent to prison. Any sites such as Twitter and Youtube that hold content of music, videos or pictures will be greatly affected. How will they work under a law such as ACTA? Simple. They won’t. The internet as we know it faces major reconstructive surgery to the point of no recognition.

This doesn't mean that artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, software developers, researchers and journalists will benefit in any way. They also lose as they will be restricted by the same rules. Protected ideas now cannot be reused, refined or developed any further. The whole agreement only benefits a small part of the industry- media publishing companies (RIAA, MPAA) which have long tried to solve the internet problem but have failed until now. ACTA is the result of their lobbying and under the table negotiations.

This copy protection is a great tool of information suppression. Once all the internet filters and blocking techniques are in place virtually all information taken as copyright can be suppressed. This is bigger than internet censorship; it is also about the restriction on freedom of speech, the total surveillance of all online activities and punishing individuals by taking the internet away from them.

Check the Stop ACTA website. Act now and sign the online petition, keep informed and spread the word.

Hacktivist group, Anonymous is waiting to hear the result of ACTA talks that are taking place today and preparing for an attack. "Expect us!" said a tweeted message...

There are 2 comments on this story...
Added By: Anonymous - 28th January 2012 @ 10:48 AM
An absolute pisstake. Time to setup our own internet.
Added By: Anonymous - 14th February 2012 @ 3:47 PM
Its time to take the DNS monopoly away from America. We need some DNS servers in Sweden!!! We need to promote encryption especially of DNS lookups and Emails. Check out TOR project (The Onion Router "https://www.torproject.org/") for on-line anonymity. we need to support organisations like the free software foundation (http://www.fsf.org/). There will always be a way to remain anonymous, we just need to promote it.
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Twitter: @SchNEWS