While it's been in discussion for the past three years, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, commonly known as ACTA, is an international treaty in the process of being signed by the Polish government, and is essentially SOPA/PIPA on steroids.
What is ACTA?
Allow the video below to give a brief introduction:
Not going into too much detail, ACTA is a trade agreement that was written and secretly negotiated by a small "club" of like-minded countries (39 countries, including the 27 of the European Union, the United States of America, Japan, etc). If and when the treaty passes, countries which sign it will be "forced" to sign SOPA-esque bills which will allow copyright holders and distributors such as Universal (who already has a bad habit of removing YouTube videos) unrestricted access to censor the web and free speech as a whole.
But this is a new proposal, isn't it?
Nope, the treaty has been discussed secretly since 2008 by representatives you haven't even voted for, and has been signed by many countries such as the USA, Japan, and, recently, Poland.
What can you do?
The European Union has the final say on whether this agreement passes or not, and so you can help. Before you even follow these steps and sign either of these petitions, spread your awareness of ACTA. Tell your friends, spam your Twitter feed, whatever it takes to get people to realise the possible threat at hand. Remember, no matter how small any ruling may be, it's still another blow to the freedom of the internet. Smuff[The cake is a lie] 21:53, January 24, 2012 (UTC)
Pages of interest
- Petition you can go sign,
- The ACTA draft (pdf)
- ACTA's Wikipedia page
- Detailed anylisis of ACTA.
- Guide on how to act against ACTA.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation