Forget SOPA, Europe is about to ratify its bigger brother ACTA

Just as the SOPA and PIPA debate winds down in the US, the European Union is later this week set to work on ratifying a global intellectual property enforcement treat: the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

European countries, including Ireland, will later this week join the US, Australia, Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emerates and Canada in supporting ACTA.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), ostensibly the agreement deals primarily with counterfeit physical goods such as medicine.

However, it will in actual fact have broader scope an in particular will deal with new tools targeting “internet distribution and information technology.”


According to the EFF it contains several features that raise concerns for consumers’ privacy and civil liberties, as well as legitimate commerce, innovation and the free flow of information.

Also: After SOPA/PIPA in the US, ACTA Makes Its Way to the EU Parliament

And: ACTA Worse than SOPA and Classified as National Security by Obama and Bush

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  • BBC, January 25

    More than 10,000 people have taken to Poland’s streets to protest the signing of an international treaty activists say amounts to internet censorship.

    Prime Minister Donald Tusk says his government will on Thursday sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

    The treaty, known as Acta, aims to establish international standards to enforce intellectual property rights.

    But critics say it could curb freedom of expression, and government websites have been hacked in protest.

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