With the Internet successfully protesting both SOPA and PIPA, supported by blackouts from popular sites like Wikipedia and reddit, Europe is calling for similar aid in the fight against ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trademark Agreement. Access, an organization that believes “political participation and the realization of human rights in the 21st century is increasingly dependent on access to the internet and other forms of technology,” has been promoting February 11 as the day to protest ACTA, in the hopes that it’ll have a similar effect that the SOPA and PIPA protests had.
Though 22 countries in Europe already signed ACTA, the European Parliament has to pass it, and if they don’t, ACTA will be put to rest, so there’s still time to try to show the European Parliament how you feel about it. Don’t be fooled by the name, the “anti-counterfeiting” bit doesn’t just represent tangible objects, but will affect digital ones as well. A general concern with ACTA is that could make ISPs responsible for their users’ copyright infringements, which would lead to ISPs implement some kind of nefarious surveillance in order to protest themselves. Along with that, users could end up blacklisted from ISPs if they’re caught infringing on copyright a few times, and as we know, copyright infringement is a mucky territory to delve into, and you might be taking part in it without actually being aware you are.
Over 330,000 people have already signed Access’ ACTA petition, and Access has also started listing the places involved in ACTA protests, which you can view here. If you aren’t in Europe, don’t think ACTA doesn’t involve you; if you use the Internet, it surely does and could easily affect you regardless of which side of the world you’re on.
With SOPA and PIPA thankfully not working out, and with ACTA now lying in wait, it certainly seems like we’ll never be rid of this kind of legislation until some of it actually passes, or the Internet changes in such a drastic way that this type of legislation can’t exist anymore. Hopefully we won’t have to constantly put on our protest hats and prevent terrible legislation on a regular basis, like it seems we’ve had to do over the past couple of months.
(via The Next Web)