ACTA: Be Aware, Fight it


If you haven’t heard about the ACTA, prepare for a surprise. The G8 countries, amongst which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States are planning on voting the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement on the 34th G8 summit which is planned for mid-July in Japan.

This act is downright outrageous. In an effort to pull the plug on piracy, the act plans to enforce copyright laws even more strictly, by giving border officials the ability to check digital devices for illegal data to intercept pirates at the border, without a warrant. The act would also force ISPs to fork over their customer’s info to law enforcement groups, also without a warrant, and outlaw certain privacy tools that pirates are using to secure their stuff, PeerGuardian, SafePeer and other tools of the like from what I understand.

Practically, this may mean that your laptop may be searched by a border agent for illegal files, which includes legally ripped music and movies, the same way they search people for drugs. Having ripped files included in the act means that any MP3 player could be considered illegal at the border, no matter what you have on it. Fines and jail are waiting for those who dare crossing borders with copy-written content.

Not only is this blatantly offending the freedom that we Westerners enjoy, but it also means that somewhere and somehow, anti-piracy movements are stuffing the pockets of important politicians to in turn fill theirs. This war on piracy is becoming a real joke: we should give away our means of anonymity online, our privacy at the borders and at the terminal to help protect big industries? No we shouldn’t, and in fact we have to fight back.

The New Freedom calls it the biggest digital rights issue yet, politicians are calling it disgraceful, and now you too have to do something about it. Get the word going, make your opinion known, heck, mail your opinion to the media if you have to. The tricky thing is that this act is going to be created and signed at the G8 by a very limited group of people, so there’s nothing your local help can do to help concretely, but let him know how you feel, link for articles, be concerned. This act is a direct violation of our rights, and has to be stopped, and putting the pressure is our job.