GMA News Online

Europeans to protest ACTA on Feb 11

February 3, 2012 2:45pm
Following protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the United States last month, groups in Europe have set Feb. 11 as a day of protest against another controversial measure.
The protests focus on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trademark Agreement (ACTA) in Europe, according to a report on tech site The Next Web.
Access, an organization that says it is a “new global movement for digital freedom,” organized the international day against ACTA on February 11, hoping the world comes out in “an unprecedented showing of solidarity” against the treaty, the report said.
Last month, groups in the US – including major tech companies like Google and Wikipedia – protested the SOPA and PIPA by darkening their websites.
January’s protests prompted US lawmakers to shelve further progress on the controversial measures for the moment.
Last January 26, 22 European Union states and the EU itself signed the controversial treaty.
The Next Web reported the UK, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden all agreed to adopt ACTA.
ACTA is a voluntary agreement between nations that covers a wide range of counterfeit goods, both physical and digital.
“It’s feared that the agreement would make ISPs liable for copyright infringements carried out on their networks, leading to them to introduce surveillance technology to keep tabs on their customers’ online activity. A ‘Three strikes’ policy would also be forced upon Internet users, blacklisting them from ISPs after a series of warnings if they were found to have shared files illegally,” The Next Web said.
Access already seen 331,976 people sign its Anti-ACTA petition and has gone one step further to assist in notifying its website visitors of protest events in their local area.
It has begun listing Facebook events for each protest around the world, urging individuals to create their own and request for them to be added to the list. — TJD, GMA News
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