In the next few days (between January 26 and 29) at Mexico, the ACTA negociations will continue …
But what all of this is about ? …
ACTA is an acronym meaning Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
It’s an international commercial agreement where major countries are negociating. Among them we found United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and, of course, the European Union.
The aim of ACTA is to put some rules that will be voted by the countries who are negociating it (and for Europe, by the Commission and the Parliament), to fight counterfeiting worldwide.
ACTA is a large project. It goes from fake Vuinel & Chaton bags, generic drug production between developping countries, but also file and content sharing on the Internet …
Some of you asked me if we will live the worse ? The fact is that it’s far more simple : we will see nothing ! even our representative at the French Parliament or the French Government don’t know anything about it. Some of them even never heard of ACTA !!!
Indeed, negociations on this treaty were secret until now !. No draft, no intermediate text or plan of the treaty where published until now (and ACTA started in 2008 !).
So, this denial of democracy is the core of this treaty, which will, one day, be suddenly voted at the European Parliament, thanks to the European Commission !
What do we know about ACTA today?
Today, we know a little bit more about ACTA, thanks to a leaked document from one man who negociated it. This document was published in the late 2009. It explains that ACTA aim at adding a huge responsibility on technical intermediates : The Internet Access Providers will be liable on whatever data goes through their pipes ! If you make a parallel with the postal service, it’s like if the UPS will be liable for any anonymous or threat letter that is sent using its distribution network ! Or if the railway station will be liable for any illegal drug exchange on its transportation lines !
As we finally used to, the Internet, due to its apparently immaterial aspect, and because of the freedom it allows us to use, is threatened by anti-democratic behavior, and very strong one ! The fact is that these threats looks totally absurd when it comes to anything else that on the Internet …
What can we do ?
It’s time to move on : let’s explain ACTA to your representative at your local parliament or european MEP etc.
La Quadrature du Net has made a very complete website on ACTA, and each and every initiative can be centralised on a wiki page at La Quadrature du Net : Attack ACTA !
I strongly invite you to ACT NOW if you want to keep Internet a place where freedom of expression and information goes and flourish !