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Internet freedom under attack… Again - A Blog from Freemont Group

Freemont Group
07 February, 2012

You might not be aware of it, but an online war is being waged against the latest piece of totalitarian legislation to curtail internet freedom: the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Child pornography or terrorism have failed to install enough fear in people to give up their (internet) freedoms, but perhaps something seemingly unimportant as copyright infringements will allow politicians to pass privacy violating legislation right under peoples noses.

ACTA is an abomination to self-respecting democratic countries. Countries that sign it pledge to shut down any website that supposedly violates a copyright law without need for a court order. Internet Service Providers (ISP) are made legally responsible for copyrights violations of their users, in effect forcing them to police online activity of their clients. ACTA also bans software that can facilitate the exchange of copyrighted material, whether it is used for this purpose or not. This includes popular tools such as torrent exchange, file hosting services or websites such as Sourceforge. ACTA has been passed by several countries already, including most of the EU, the US, Japan, South Korea, Canada and Australia.

Should ACTA become a worldwide standard, the implications for individuals and businesses will be huge. Imagine losing your internet connection due to one of your employees putting copyrighted material on their Facebook profile, or your website being taken offline because it contained a file or script that had copyright on it. And in order to avoid this kind of thing from happening, you’d have to instruct your personnel to be ‘copyright compliant’ and waste valuable resources.

The recent case of Megaupload, a file hosting service, demonstrates that this scenario is very plausible. Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom was arrested last week in New Zealand after the US had issued an arrest warrant. NZ police used two helicopters and a SWAT team to arrest the dangerous copyrights violator.

ACTA does not represent the first attack on our free internet and certainly not the last. Just like all previous attacks it will be stopped eventually, but it will take a fight before politicians come around. Hackers collective Anonymous has declared total war against politicians who support ACTA, closing down websites and threatening to disclose private information. People in Poland have taken to the streets in a massive protest. Popular web sites worldwide are asking their readers to flood the mailbox of any ACTA-supporting politician. You can contribute to maintain internet freedom by signing a petition, increasing awareness and voting politicians who support ACTA out of office.

The Freemont Group does not endorse copyrights violations, but we do believe the privacy and freedom of the average citizen matters more than the profits of a hand full of record companies.


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Freemont Group

Freemont Group is a comprehensive provider of fiduciary services, including corporate formation and administration, trust, fund formation, legal-and tax services. Contact: info@freemontgroup.com

 

 

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