ACTA, or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, was a piece of multinational legislature – signed by the EU, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and of course the US – that breached many of the liberties essential to our basic digital rights.
Like SOPA on steroids, among many of its grave faults it allowed relevant authorities to monitor your personal internet activity without establishing suspicion, and all your personal data could be handed over to rights holders based on a mere claim rather than actual evidence.
If you want to get the full nitty-gritty of just how invasive this bill is, have a read of our piece: Big Brother: How ACTA Brings SOPA’s Threat to a Global Scale.
Great news if you live in the EU though: the European Parliament overwhelmingly rejected ACTA yesterday, with 478 MPs voting against while a mere 39 voted in favour and 165 abstained. What this means is that the oppressive trade agreement can’t be implemented in any of the European Union member states, naturally including the UK.
This is all thanks to you and millions of others like you, as Parliament received a petition signed by over 2.8 million people urging it to reject ACTA, and individual MPs were flooded by calls and emails.
(centre)“The more you tighten your grip […] the more star systems will slip through your fingers.” – Princess Leia to Tarkin of the Empire [Star Wars IV].(/centre)
Let’s hope that governments and rights holders organisations finally realise that breach of basic rights and undiscriminating Big Brother policies are not the way to tackle piracy and online security issues.