Here we go again, the internet is under attack, and this time it's global. A few weeks after the SOPA and PIPA blackout and announcement that both bills had stalled and lost momentum, it has been discovered that another bill, this time internationally backed, is being voted on. The bill, called ACTA is an international trade agreement negotiated by the European Union, the United States, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Mexico, Morocco and Singapore. The main purpose of the bill is to enforce copyright and tackle counterfeited goods.
According to StopACTA: The main problem with this treaty is that all the negotiations were done secretly, keeping the public and civil organizations out of the table. All the information until 2010 relied on leaks that reveal intentional secrecy to misled the public. ACTA negotiations started on 2007 and finalized in 2010.
According to laquadrature: Negotiated instead of being democratically debated, ACTA bypasses parliaments and international organizations to dictate a repressive logic dictated by the entertainment industries. ACTA, a blueprint for laws such as SOPA and PIPA, would impose new criminal sanctions forcing Internet actors to monitor and censor online communications. It is thus a major threat to freedom of expression online and creates legal uncertainty for Internet companies. In the name of trademarks and patents, it would also hamper access to generic medicines in poor countries.
Right now ACTA is signed by Japan and United States, who crafted the treaty, together with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea, the European Commission, in charge of negotiations, together with non elected representatives from 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. Even though the treaty is signed it does not mean that it is law, it must first be ratified by the European Parliament. They will vote in June 2012 on whether to reject or ratify ACTA.