ACTA: The new threat to the net
To all Members of the EU Parliament:
As concerned global citizens, we call on you to stand for a free and open Internet and reject the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which would destroy it. The Internet is a crucial tool for people around the world to exchange ideas and promote democracy. We urge you to show true global leadership and protect our rights.
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ACTA - a global treaty - could allow corporations to censor the Internet. Negotiated in secret by a small number of rich countries and corporate powers, it would set up a shadowy new anti-counterfeiting body to allow private interests to police everything that we do online and impose massive penalties -- even prison sentences -- against people they say have harmed their business.
Europe is deciding right now whether to ratify ACTA -- and without them, this global attack on Internet freedom will collapse. We know they have opposed ACTA before, but some members of Parliament are wavering -- let's give them the push they need to reject the treaty. Sign the petition -- we'll do a spectacular delivery in Brussels when we reach 500,000 signatures.
It's outrageous -- governments of four fifths of the world’s people were excluded from the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations and unelected bureaucrats have worked closely with corporate lobbyists to craft new rules and a dangerously powerful enforcement regime. ACTA would initially cover the US, EU and 9 other countries, then be rolled out across the world. But if we can get the EU to say no now, the treaty will lose momentum and could stall for good.
The oppressively strict regulations could mean people everywhere are punished for simple acts such as sharing a newspaper article or uploading a video of a party where copyrighted music is played. Sold as a trade agreement to protect copyrights, ACTA could also ban lifesaving generic drugs and threaten local farmers' access to the seeds they need. And, amazingly, the ACTA committee will have carte blanche to change its own rules and sanctions with no democratic scrutiny.
Big corporate interests are pushing hard for this, but the EU Parliament stands in the way. Let's send a loud call to Parliamentarians to face down the lobbies and stand firm for Internet freedom. Sign now and send to everyone you know.
Last week, we saw the strength of our collective power when millions of us joined forces to stop the US from passing an Internet censorship law that would have struck at the heart of the Internet. We also showed the world how powerful our voices can be. Let's raise them again to tackle this new threat.