Friday, 27 January 2012

ACTA Anger: Poland signs up to 'censorship' without debate


ACTA of War: Cyber attacks & street protests over 'censorship' bill

Key websites are being hijacked, on a day that thousands of internet freedom supporters marched outside in a major two-pronged protest.

It's because the country's just signed up to a global web piracy pact, covering everything from movies and music to fashion and pharmaceuticals. But its net stretches wide. 

One of the key problems seen with ACTA is that it's completely bypassed people and their governments as Polish liberty activist Katarzyna Szymielewicz has been explaining to RT.





There's swelling anger in Poland over the country signing up with others to a global anti-piracy pact.

Critics say the deal is as bad, if not worse, than America's planned laws, which were shelved when web giants like Wikipedia and Google went on a protest blackout.

RT's Alexey Yaroshevsky is in Warsaw where the fear is that big corporations now have the power to take individual internet users offline at a whim.






European Parliament Official In Charge Of ACTA Quits, And Denounces The 'Masquerade' Behind ACTA

26 January, 2012

This is interesting. Kader Arif, the "rapporteur" for ACTA, has quit that role in disgust over the process behind getting the EU to sign onto ACTA. A rapporteur is a person "appointed by a deliberative body to investigate an issue." However, it appears his investigation of ACTA didn't make him very pleased:

I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament's demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly. 
As rapporteur of this text, I have faced never-before-seen manoeuvres from the right wing of this Parliament to impose a rushed calendar before public opinion could be alerted, thus depriving the Parliament of its right to expression and of the tools at its disposal to convey citizens' legitimate demands.” 
Everyone knows the ACTA agreement is problematic, whether it is its impact on civil liberties, the way it makes Internet access providers liable, its consequences on generic drugs manufacturing, or how little protection it gives to our geographical indications. 
This agreement might have major consequences on citizens' lives, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. That is why today, as I release this report for which I was in charge, I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.
Pretty rare to find such direct honesty in political circles. That's quite a direct and clear condemnation of the entire process. In terms of process, it will be interesting to see if this has an impact. While the EU did sign on to ACTA today, it still needs to be ratified by the European Parliament (more on that in a little while). Having Arif quit makes a pretty big statement, and hopefully makes it easier for Parliament Members to speak out loudly against ACTA... Still, this is an uphill battle. The supporters of ACTA have been working to get ACTA approved for years. To them, this is basically a done deal.

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