There is another bill called ACTA which has been worked on behind closed doors and is set to assault everyone even more than SOPA. I have said SOPA was a misdirection and it was. Whether ACTA is the real beast or another deception remains to be seen. This bill needs to be fought harder on a global level than SOPA was. Considering how critical the internet is to the world in terms of business ACTA is even more dangerous than SOPA.
With the online community seemingly victorious in defeating the SOPA/PIPA bills in the US, you might think a collective sigh of relief would be in order.Attention on the SOPA fight is now quickly turning to another highly controversial attempt to protect intellectual property, which could allow for significantly greater powers to monitor web users. And the EU could be set to sign up despite strong opposition.The secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ACTA might not be new, but it is shaping up to be the next target for protests by a galvanised online community. In fact, the ACTA treaty has been drawing condemnation from all manner of groups intent on protecting their rights, since it was leaked that the US, EU and various nations would negotiate treaty content.Australia, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US have all signed up to ACTA, while the EU and others have indicated a commitment to do so at a later stage.There has been an air of secrecy about whats actually going into the bill. At first, it was thought that negotiations were mostly about physical goods. However, a series of leaks highlighted intentions to cover “internet distribution and information technology”, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.Under rules being put forward by the treaty, ISPs would be actively encouraged to monitor web users to make sure that IP infringement was not taking place. For the average web user it would be a catastrophic blow to freedom online.What is particularly is that it undermines the democratic debate of existing IP monitoring bodies such as the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the World Trade Organisation.Aside from a lack of transparency, controversy has also surrounded the relatively small group of countries involved in the ongoing talks, with many developing nations left out of discussions. This means that wealthy countries looking to push a hard line on IP laws will be able to decide which rules they want in place with little opportunity for change at a later date. Even in the nations in talks there is little inclusion by “civil society”, as the EFF puts it.