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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/9/12

Act Up Against ACTA

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Act Up Against ACTA

by Stephen Lendman

ACTA's worse than SOPA and PIPA. Net Neutrality and free expression are threatened. In October 2007, negotiations began secretly. 

At issue is establishing a new intellectual property enforcement treaty - the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). If adopted, fundamental freedoms will be lost. Privatized online censorship will rule. Internet actors will be copyright enforcers. Offenders will face harsh criminal sanctions.

Transparency's entirely absent. So is major media coverage explaining an issue demanding headlines.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says we've all got a "right to be furious about ACTA." Killing it's essential.

"If there's one thing....wrong with (how) government(s now function), ACTA is it," says EFF. Washington and other dominant countries drafted it. Others are pressured to comply per America's annual Special 301 process. 

At issue is establishing new Internet rules, "bypass(ing) checks and balances of existing international IP norm-setting bodies, without any meaningful input from national parliaments, policymakers, or their citizens."

Moreover, the agreement creates a czar-like global "ACTA Committee." Unelected bureaucrats will oversee supranational interpretation and implementation. Arbitrary top-down rule will be imposed. In the process, democratic freedoms will be lost.

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