Continued Threats to the Internet

The following text by fightforthefuture.org is a nice summary of the threats that internet freedom faces from the alphabet soup collection of laws and treaties that are being created in secrecy in an atmosphere of corruption and collusion.  Very informative and worth a read.  There are also links to more useful information, and ways to protest these encroachments.  Please also put this on your facebook page to get the word out.  The mainstream media has decided to largely ignore the issue, because they are in bed with the perpetrators, so most of the public is ignorant.  Once they find out, they get mad.  But first they have to realize what is going on, so please spread the news.  Thanks.

Hi–

Together, we beat SOPA in a huge victory for internet freedom.  But this Saturday, internet freedom protests are breaking out in over 200 cities across Europe.  Why?

Because the companies behind SOPA are using international trade agreements as a backdoor to pass SOPA-style laws

SOPA’s supporters are pushing two agreements: ACTA and TPP1.  ACTA would criminalize users, encourage internet providers to spy on you, and make it easier for media companies to sue sites out of existence and jail their founders.  Sound familiar?  That’s right, ACTA is from the same playbook as SOPA, but global.  Plus it didn’t even have to pass through Congress2.

TPP goes even farther than ACTA, and the process has been even more secretive and corrupt.  Last weekend (we wish this was a joke) trade negotiators partied with MPAA (pro-SOPA) lobbyists before secret negotiations in a Hollywood hotel, while public interest groups were barred from meeting in the same building.3

Trade agreements are a gaping loophole, a secretive backdoor track that–even though it creates new laws–is miles removed from democracy.  Trade negotiators are unelected and unaccountable, so these agreements have been very hard for internet rights groups to stop.

But now the tide is turning.  Fueled by the movement to stop SOPA, anti-ACTA protests are breaking out across the EU, which hasn’t ratified ACTA.  The protests are having an impact: leaders in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia have backtracked on ACTA.4  Now a massive round of street protests in over 200 cities is planned for this Saturday February 11th.

We’re planning an online protest this Saturday to support the protests in the streets.  Why?  Because together we can drive millions of emails to key decision makers–and start tipping the scales like we did on SOPA.

Can you take part?  Click here to get the code to run on your site!

We just built an ACTA & TPP contact tool, and it’s not just a petition.   It’s code for your site that figures out the visitor’s country and lets them email all their Members of European Parliament–the politicians who will be voting on ACTA in June–or the trade negotiators behind TPP.  This direct contact between voters and their officials, driven by websites of all sizes, was instrumental in the fight against SOPA.  

We can use the same tactics to defeat ACTA & TPP, but we need your help!

Support the street protests with a flood of emails to the officials responsible for ACTA & TPP.  Get the code for your website!

Don’t have a website?  Tell officials in your country to scrap ACTA & TPP!   And spread the word about Saturday’s protests! 

This is going to be tough fight.  But we need to make secretive trade agreements harder to pass than US law.  If we don’t, our internet’s future belongs to the lobbyists behind SOPA.

This is just the beginning,

–Holmes Wilson, Tiffiniy Cheng, Joshua Blount & the whole Fight for the Future team.

P.S. This map of ACTA street protests in Europe is amazing. The largest has almost 50,000 RSVP’s!

Sources:

1. For more information on ACTA, read these excellent articles from Techdirt and La Quadrature du Net. For information on TPP, read this Ars Technica piece. For video, watch this.

2. Obama’s signing of ACTA may have been unconstitutional. See Anti-counterfeiting agreement raises constitutional concerns and Techdirt.

3. Hollywood gets to party with TPP negotiators, public interest groups get thrown out of the hotel.

4. Ars Technica: Czech, Slovak governments backing away from ACTA, too.

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