Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) – New threat after SOPA & PIPA

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“Anti Censorship Trade Agreement poised to be a much bigger threat than SOPA and PIPA in the forthcoming times ”

Jan31, 2012: The Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is all set to pose even a bigger risk to internet freedom than the much talked about SOPA and PIPA.

The bill that came into existence way back in 2006 by the collaborative efforts of US and Japan in 2006 is yet again in the news for its new found supporters.

Last Thursday on Jan26, 2012, a bulk of member states from the European Union signed this controversial agreement and brought it one step closer towards global acceptance.

Some of the prominent ones among those states included the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, Poland and Sweden.

The day to day aggravating favor for this draconian treaty is not at all a good sign since it is more prone to affect the privacy of millions over the internet.Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

Surprisingly, a big part of the world’s nations have been kept bereft of such a treaty with all the tidbits being negotiated by financially strong countries and corporate lobbyists in secret.

The treaty, if imposed, could empower the corporates to drive the internet in their own stride with full right to censor the content they find inappropriate.

It holds the provision of a new Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement body that would enable the private organizations to censor almost everything you do online.

To add further, the involved censoring authorities can also compel you to bear considerable penalties including imprisonment if they are find any of your online content to be detrimental to their business.

The implementation of Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement would simply mean that you can be brought to book even for uploading a personal video that plays a copyrighted music or a newspaper article that speaks against the interest of any of the body’s members.

It could bar local farmers from accessing the necessary information about the seeds and alongside, could also restrict websites offering life saving generic drugs online.

[Read: Ways to circumvent SOPA restriction]

To top it all, the ACTA committee will also get full right to amend its own rules without any democratic intervention. All these discouraging points makes this treaty as one of the most resisted ones among the internet community.

As per U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, Many of the things in SOPA are basically implied in ACTA.” French socialist and member of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade Kader Arif also cites the agreement to be a big letdown for the citizens.

This is probably the reason why he resigned from the designation of European rapporteur for ACTA. However, to the contrary, if the words of Mr. Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Japan are to believed, ACTA aims to improve enforcement mechanisms to help its members combat IPR infringement more effectively.”

Amidst all this chaos, the fact this agreement has not yet seen the light of day could well pose a sigh of relief for millions of internet savvy people spread all across the globe, before it gets ratified by he European Parliament this year.

Though, whenever it happens, we hope that the treat would invite healthy parliamentary discussions that could make ACTA more of a user friendly agreement rather than a censorship friendly one.

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Faisal is a professional blogger at BestVPNService. A close observer of the digital world, Faisal critically monitors and reviews service providers of IT industry, particularly VPNs.

6 thoughts on “Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) – New threat after SOPA & PIPA

    • Just because SOPA and PIPA have been svehled doesn’t mean that we don’t need to remain vigilant. ACTA is the prime example right now this is a global treaty that likely has a greater chance of being passed in various countries. Also keep in mind that SOPA text can be amended to other legislation, much of which isn’t even read completely.

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