Hot on the heals of the successful defeat of the move to impose SOPA / PIPA, a new even more dangerous piece of legislation seems to have just reared it’s ugly head. This follows the the recent action against one of the web’s most prominent file sharing networks MegaUpload(being taken down), showing us that though the legislation has not come into effect yet, Governments are easily able to take action in terms of the spirit of these pieces of legislation without any problems.
The Case of Kim “DotCom”, owner of MegaUploads may not be the best of examples seeing the guy was living a really lavish and unbecoming lifestyle off of the profits generated from his network. What is significant is that MegaUpload was one of the largest, accounting for almost 1% of US net traffic with a huge following.
So it comes as no surprise that an even more widespread and possibly mroe dangerous piece of legislation is being forced through not only in the US but internationally. One of the most concerning factors in this Saga is the timing of all of this, co-inciding with a wide range of other legal actions taken by governments to curtail civil liberties and to clamp down on the free spread of infomation which governments deem a threat. Wikipedia defines ACTA as -
It will become mandatory for ISP’s to enforce the legislation or become liable for it’s contravention should their user’s be found guilty.
Twitters new censorship policy of taking down content on a country by country basis surfaces at exactly the same time. No doubt these are all linked, and the decisions by these major players have been informed by their consultation with the authorities who use these tools to track sentiment and clamp down on objectors.
After witnessing clamp downs on social media and spread of information connected to the Arab spring, and the stifling of the OWS movement in the US, these pieces of legislation no doubt have more than piracy as a target.
It’s up to us, citizens of the web to organise, speak out and strategize ways to keep our world alive, free and safe so we can continue to make our voices heard, and protect ourselves from the times to come.
Check out Electronics Frontier Foundation, for the latest info and action on net privacy, activism and related issues. Sign the Avaaz Anti ACTA petition - http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_save_the_internet/