ACTA Gets Killed, Score A Partial Win For The Internet
Author: William Usher
published: 2012-05-05 22:25:36
After MegaUpload received a fatality at the hands of Homeland Security, it was looking as if SOPA and PIPA weren't needed after all to strike fear into the hearts of gamers, movie goers and music aficionados alike. Well, score another win for internet citizens as ACTA is as good as dead...in Europe that is.
A reader tipped us off to the recent news that ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement -- a multinational trade agreement that was just as vile as other copyright infringement security establishments, such as CISPA -- is dead in the water...in Europe.
The ACTA treaty would basically give undefined control and authority over the censorship and dictation on the flow of information and free speech. In other words, hide your torrents, hide your usergroups and hide your online dropboxes because the Government is out on the prowl.
According to Tech Europe, due to the uproar and protests from European citizens, Dutch politician, Neelie Kroes, a member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, mentioned in a speech that...
“We have recently seen how many thousands of people are willing to protest against rules which they see as constraining the openness and innovation of the Internet.
Of course, PR were out for damage control, highlighting that the treaty isn't officially dead just that the chance for it to officially go into effect as a legitimately ratified act is dead. In other words, it's dead. I don't like PR fluff spins anyway.
Regardless, the real scary part about ACTA as opposed to SOPA or PIPA, is that it reaches a global standard and it was trying to get passed without actually being ratified through the proper channels. But now that it's out in the public...well, gamers, movie goers and music aficionados can almost sleep well at night.
Remember that CISPA acronym at the top of the article? Yeah well that piece of horse dung is still in effect. In fact, according to Fox News (I know, of all places...I know) it has been passed as a bill by the House and it's now moving on to the Senate for approval. So what makes CISPA any better or worse than the others? It's absolutely vague language.
CISPA, or Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, basically works against the general public who enjoys all the freedoms of the interwebs by giving eligibility to the Government to share and monitor private or sensitive user information at their discretion. In other words, hide your photos, hide your webcams and hide your files because the Feds will come-a-knockin'.
That's right, CISPA gives the Federal Government power to enforce and protect digital data, copyright laws and to seek out nefarious digital criminals, but entirely at the cost of freedom. Again, this is supported by very vague language that Ben Swann from Reality Check does a good job of comparing what U.S. Republican Representative Michael Rogers and many others are trying to get passed off as just another form of cyber protection to what the reality entails with such legislation. What's worse is that CISPA is being backed by Microsoft, Facebook, AT&T (no surprise there), Intel, IBM and I'm pretty sure if we dig enough Electronic Arts might pop up on that list at some point.
Anyways, on the bright side, ACTA is out of the way...for now. On the downside, CISPA is still in the way. So I guess you can sleep half-easy tonight knowing that the internet citizens have picked up a win but still have a ways to go before the war is over.
You can learn more about CISPA and related information by visiting the Official U.S. Government Website.
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