The new threat to Internet freedom
Dalia Hashad- Avaaz
Last week, 3 million of us beat back America's attack on our Internet! -- but there is an even bigger threat out there, and our global movement for freedom online is perfectly poised to kill it for good.
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 sign 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.
With hope and determination,
Dalia, Alice, Pascal, Emma, Ricken, Maria Paz and the rest of the Avaaz team
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The secret treaty: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and Its Impact on Access to Medicines
A new global treaty could allow corporations to police everything that we do on the Internet. Last week 3 million of us successfully pushed back the US censorship bills -- if we act now, we can get the EU Parliament to bury this new threat to all of us: