Internet: ACTA non grata
24 January 2012
Several days of internet user and web hacker protests against the ACTA agreement, which obliges its 39 signatory states to actively prosecute web piracy, “have had no effect”, writes Gazeta Wyborcza. Warsaw is to sign the document later this week. Fearing ACTA will restrict online freedom of speech, internet users and numerous organisations supporting them have for several days been blocking government websites.
On Saturday January 21, the Anonymous group carried out a successful denial-of-access attack on several major state websites and on Monday January 23 a movement calling itself the “Polish Underground” hacked the Prime Minister’s website to post a film of a video blogger known as “Baśka”, dressed up to resemble General Jaruzelski declaring martial law.
The anti-ACTA protesters accuse the government of having failed to consult the public on the agreement and are demanding an open debate on copyright laws that has already begun in the press. “In order to protect intellectual property, ACTA uses a nuclear bomb, the effects of the explosion of which are unpredictable”, warns Gazeta Wyborcza, suggesting the treaty should be reviewed by the European Court of Justice.