Google Founder: Internet Freedom Under Greatest Threat Ever

Threats range from governments trying to control citizens to the rise of Facebook and Apple-style ‘walled gardens’.


The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

In an interview with the Guardian, Brin warned there were “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world”. “I am more worried than I have been in the past,” he said. “It’s scary.”

The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.

The 38-year-old billionaire, whose family fled antisemitism in the Soviet Union, was widely regarded as having been the driving force behind Google’s partial pullout from China in 2010 over concerns about censorship and cyber-attacks. He said five years ago he did not believe China or any country could effectively restrict the internet for long, but now says he has been proven wrong. “I thought there was no way to put the genie back in the bottle, but now it seems in certain areas the genie has been put back in the bottle,” he said.

He said he was most concerned by the efforts of countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran to censor and restrict use of the internet, but warned that the rise of Facebook and Apple, which have their own proprietary platforms and control access to their users, risked stifling innovation and balkanising the web.

“There’s a lot to be lost,” he said. “For example, all the information in apps – that data is not crawlable by web crawlers. You can’t search it.”

Brin’s criticism of Facebook is likely to be controversial, with the social network approaching an estimated $100bn (£64bn) flotation. Google’s upstart rival has seen explosive growth: it has signed up half of Americans with computer access and more than 800 million members worldwide.

Brin said he and co-founder Larry Page would not have been able to create Google if the internet was dominated by Facebook. “You have to play by their rules, which are really restrictive,” he said. “The kind of environment that we developed Google in, the reason that we were able to develop a search engine, is the web was so open. Once you get too many rules, that will stifle innovation.”

He criticised Facebook for not making it easy for users to switch their data to other services. “Facebook has been sucking down Gmail contacts for many years,” he said.

Brin’s comments come on the first day of a week-long Guardian investigation of the intensifying battle for control of the internet being fought across the globe between governments, companies, military strategists, activists and hackers.

From the attempts made by Hollywood to push through legislation allowing pirate websites to be shut down, to the British government’s plans to monitor social media and web use, the ethos of openness championed by the pioneers of the internet and worldwide web is being challenged on a number of fronts.

In China, which now has more internet users than any other country, the government recently introduced new “real identity” rules in a bid to tame the boisterous microblogging scene. In Russia, there are powerful calls to rein in a blogosphere blamed for fomenting a wave of anti-Vladimir Putin protests. It has been reported that Iran is planning to introduce a sealed “national internet” from this summer.

Ricken Patel, co-founder of Avaaz, the 14 million-strong online activist network which has been providing communication equipment and training to Syrian activists, echoed Brin’s warning: “We’ve seen a massive attack on the freedom of the web. Governments are realising the power of this medium to organise people and they are trying to clamp down across the world, not just in places like China and North Korea; we’re seeing bills in the United States, in Italy, all across the world.”

Writing in the Guardian on Monday, outspoken Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei says the Chinese government’s attempts to control the internet will ultimately be doomed to failure. “In the long run,” he says, “they must understand it’s not possible for them to control the internet unless they shut it off – and they can’t live with the consequences of that.”

Amid mounting concern over the militarisation of the internet and claims – denied by Beijing – that China has mounted numerous cyber-attacks on US military and corporate targets, he said it would be hugely difficult for any government to defend its online “territory”.

“If you compare the internet to the physical world, there really aren’t any walls between countries,” he said. “If Canada wanted to send tanks into the US there is nothing stopping them and it’s the same on the internet. It’s hopeless to try to control the internet.”

He reserved his harshest words for the entertainment industry, which he said was “shooting itself in the foot, or maybe worse than in the foot” by lobbying for legislation to block sites offering pirate material.

He said the Sopa and Pipa bills championed by the film and music industries would have led to the US using the same technology and approach it criticised China and Iran for using. The entertainment industry failed to appreciate people would continue to download pirated content as long as it was easier to acquire and use than legitimately obtained material, he said.

“I haven’t tried it for many years but when you go on a pirate website, you choose what you like; it downloads to the device of your choice and it will just work – and then when you have to jump through all these hoops [to buy legitimate content], the walls created are disincentives for people to buy,” he said.

Brin acknowledged that some people were anxious about the amount of their data that was now in the reach of US authorities because it sits on Google’s servers. He said the company was periodically forced to hand over data and sometimes prevented by legal restrictions from even notifying users that it had done so.

He said: “We push back a lot; we are able to turn down a lot of these requests. We do everything possible to protect the data. If we could wave a magic wand and not be subject to US law, that would be great. If we could be in some magical jurisdiction that everyone in the world trusted, that would be great … We’re doing it as well as can be done.”

ISP’s to start policing the web July 12


Some of the biggest Internet service providers in America plan to adopt policies that will punish customers for copyright infringement, and one of the top trade groups in the music biz announced this week that it could begin as soon as this summer.

The chief executive officer of the Recording Industry Association of America told an audience of publishers on Wednesday that a plan carved out last year to help thwart piracy is expected to prevail and be put in place by this summer. RIAA CEO Cary Sherman was one of the guest speakers among a New York panel this week and he confirmed that, at this rate, some of the most powerful Internet providers in America should have their new policies on the books by July 12, 2012.

Last year, Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Cablevision Systems and other Internet service providers proposed best practice recommendations that they suggested would help curb copyright crimes on the Web. The end result largely settled on consisted of a “graduate response” approach, a plan that would mean culprits could be issued a series of warnings for illegally downloading suspect material which, after a certain number of offenses, would lead to “mitigation measures,” connection speed throttling and termination of service.

“We anticipate that very few subscribers, after having received multiple alerts, will persist (or allow others to persist) in the content theft,” the Center for Copyright Information said in an official statement last summer as plans were first publicized. Now nearly a year after developments made by the big ISPs were first discussed, the RIAA’s Sherman says that online censorship sanctioned by corporate conglomerates such as Time Warner and Verizon are practically set in stone.

Discussing the road to realizing how to implement the policies, Sherman briefly touched on the technical aspects of the plan this week during the panel. “Each ISP has to develop their infrastructure for automating the system,” Sherman said. They need this “for establishing the database so they can keep track of repeat infringers, so they know that this is the first notice or the third notice. Every ISP has to do it differently depending on the architecture of its particular network. Some are nearing completion and others are a little further from completion.”

So what does this mean for you? If you’re an Internet user in America, almost certainly something significant. Between Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Cablevision, those ISPs alone accounted for around 51 percent of the market in America back in 2008. Figures from June 2010 collected by the United Nation’s ITU division suggests that there are around 240 million Internet users now in the US, which means more than three-fourths of the country’s total population. With those big ISPs only thriving since their last figures were disclosed, 51 percent coverage of the market today would mean that around 120 million users can expect to fall under the umbrella of a massive campaign that could soon see half of the country at risk of having their Internet shut off.

As RT reported last year, a flip of the kill-switch is indeed an option that ISPs can take if they decide they find their customers at fault. That doesn’t mean it’s the be-all-end-all response, though. Under the “six-strike” policy discussed last year, each alleged instance of copyright infringement would prompt the ISP to reach out to its customer in question and inform them that they have detected a violation of US law. Strikes one through four would constitute email warnings of increasing severity, but five through six can come with legal action and end with the termination of service and potentially time behind bars. Although cooperating ISPs said last year that they would suspend service after a certain number of infringements, today they are hesitant to announce permanently cancelling any accounts — but merely putting them on hold while users respond to their legal requests.

The explanation for a change of heart, of course, comes down to money. Earlier this year Cary Sherman penned a ranting diatribe in the New York Times attacking opponents of the failed Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act — or SOPA and PIPA, respectively — two anti-Internet legislations that had the hefty support of the RIAA.

“There’s no question that all the companies that are providing access to music are benefiting in some way, legal companies, and that’s entirely appropriate,” Sherman wrote earlier this year. “ISPs have done very well by the availability of music online, because it has created greater demand for broadband access, and as a result they have now penetrated to the 66-67 percent level of US households, because they want access to the content that the entertainment industry offers.”

With the big ISPs having more than 100 million users at their mercy, limiting connection speed could easily convince a good number of people to remediate the alleged violations they are accused of, but actually terminating service for good could be a grave mistake for the industry. National Cable & Telecommunications Association President James Assey said last year that, by implementing the plan,“We are confident that, once informed that content theft is taking place on their accounts, the great majority of broadband subscribers will take steps to stop it.”

Some companies have already taken similar steps, but have been met with their fair share of roadblocks along the way. Verizon has previously sent warning letters to users alleged to be in violation, but those warnings have in some cases proved to be bothersome. In one 2010 episode, for instance, a 53-year-old grandmother was threatened with having her Internet shut-down for sharing copyrighted material — specifically clips from the television show South Park — to which she was completely unaware of. In that case it was an instance of mistaken identity where the woman’s WiFi signal had been hijacked. In their own report, CNet reporters acknowledged that  Verizon never bothered to investigate into the legitimacy of their own claims until after a third-party became involved in the mediation.

This isn’t to say, of course, that we are telling you that the RIAA and certain Internet service providers are the bad guys here. After the SOPA legislation threatened to terminate a good chunk of online services, many websites waged a protest earlier this year by taking themselves offline for 24-hours. Cary Sherman then took to the press to turn the fight around and make it seem like it was the entertainment industry that was suffering, not sites like Wikipedia, a champion of the protest; Cary called them out in his op-ed for aiding in a “digital tsunami” that, along with Google, “manufactured controversy by unfairly equating SOPA with censorship.”

“The hyperbolic mistruths, presented on the home pages of some of the world’s most popular Web sites, amounted to an abuse of trust and a misuse of power,” added Sherman. “When Wikipedia and Google purport to be neutral sources of information, but then exploit their stature to present information that is not only not neutral but affirmatively incomplete and misleading, they are duping their users into accepting as truth what are merely self-serving political declarations.”

Cary went on to say that the last minutue decision to drop SOPA was a questionable one prompted by the mass creation of “misinformation” and suggested it wasn’t the work of democracy, but rather demagoguery. Of course, when the RIAA attacked Megaupload for copyright infringement — which eventually led to US authorities seizing and shutting down the file-sharing site — the response from hacktivists aligned with the Anonymous collective was a massive distributed denial-of-service attack on the websites for the RIAA and a handful of other music and movie biz sites.

With SOPA and PIPA out of the way for now, American users of the Web must look ahead before declaring victory in a war against online censorship. Recently the US fought and won for the extradition of a 23-year-old UK man who operated a website that American authorities decided was in violation of US law. If they are willing to ship a college student abroad to bring him to trial for posting a few links, will they think twice before turning off your Internet for sharing your own copies of South Park? That’s an episode you’ll have to stay tuned for to find out.

Ireland Passes SOPA-like Bill

Russia Today
March 1. 2012

Ireland has signed a controversial amendment dubbed the “Irish SOPA” which reinforces existing copyright law amid widespread concern that it will encroach on Internet freedom.

The new legislation will effectively allow copyright holders to press for legal action against Internet service providers and social networks which show content that infringes copyright legislation. It will force Internet service providers to effectively become censors, by blocking access to these sites.

Irish Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock said that the amendments, signed on Thursday, were more limited than the original proposal after a European court ruled that Internet service providers could not be “proactive” censoring sites.

Sherlock’s statement did not address the controversy surrounding the new law. Instead, he called for “all interested parties to focus now on making Ireland a model of international best practice for innovation, and ensuring that our copyright laws facilitate the achievement of this goal.”

The new law has been a bone of contention over the past month, with protests being held across Ireland and an Internet petition opposing the legislation gathering over 80,000 signatories.

Hacktivist group Anonymous also targeted the Irish government when the amendments were announced at the end of January, breaking into Department of Justice and Department of Finance websites.

“This legislation subverts the democratic process, favors the special interests of corporations over the rights of individual citizens, will destroy the largest growth sector in the Irish economy, and will subject the citizens of Ireland to unwarranted and unintended censorship,”  reads the declaration on the official petition website against the “Irish SOPA”.

America’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), aiming at fighting online piracy, were halted in the US Congress following widespread criticism and protests by the online community.

In a similar development, the EU suspended the ratification of its controversial ACTA legislation, whose proposed powers are similar to its American analogues. The move followed days of resistance, including street rallies, against what has been labeled an undemocratic bill.

Legislação ACTA Ameaça Liberdade na Internet

Por Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
26 janeiro 2012

Apesar que mais atenção com relação a censura na Internet por parte dos governos tem se concentrado nos Estados Unidos devido à passagem iminente das leis SOPA, PIPE e OPEN, aquelas leis afetam principalmente os americanos. Como informamos anteriormente, leis  como as mencionadas acima têm o poder de desligar, literalmente, a América do resto do mundo se o Presidente determina que alguns conteúdos sao ilegais e violam a lei de direitos autorais ou outras leis. Como explicado por Joe Lieberman, o presidente dos EUA tem o poder de fechar partes da Internet, a fim de proteger a propriedade intelectual das corporações. Este poder tem sido chamado o Internet “kill switch”, e com razão, porque na realidade o presidente será capaz de fechar os norte-americanos o acesso a qualquer coisa que ele não quer que vejam.

Mas a ameaça de censura na Internet é maior do que o que acontece com os americanos. A criação e aprovação de projectos como a SOPA ou PIPA em outros países desenvolvidos tem crescido exponencialmente à medida que os Estados Unidos e a União Européia expressaram seu apoio à censura na internet. Não apenas outros países têm apresentado e aprovado legislação semelhante, mas muitos países do primeiro mundo assinaram um acordo global para render a soberania da Internet para empresas multinacionais e fornecedores de serviços de Internet que terão o poder de realizar espionagem nos usuários, a fim de censurar qualquer coisa considerada como uma transferência ilegal de informações.

Isto é ACTA, o Acordo de Comércio Anti-Falsificação. Este acordo global é o equivalente de NAFTA e CAFTA no sentido de que irá lidar com a transferência de produtos, neste caso, não serão bananas, abacaxis ou carne, mas toda a informação que é publicada e pesquisada na Internet. ACTA tem sido conhecida publicamente desde 2008, mas começou a ser criada -em privado- muito tempo atrás. Em apenas três anos, países como os EUA, Austrália, Canadá, Japão, Marrocos, Nova Zelândia, Cingapura e Coréia do Sul já concordaram em seguir as regras nele contidas.

Em certo sentido, ACTA é uma ameaça dos globalistas sobre o direito fundamental das pessoas de acesso à informação e ao conhecimento. O principal problema com ACTA é que, como em muitos outros casos, somente poucas pessoas sabem exatamente o alcance da acordo. Este primeiro projeto global destinado a censurar a Internet, foi criado em segredo. Este segredo levou pessoas e organizações que apoiam a defesa da propriedade intelectual e direitos autorais a dizer que ACTA é uma ferramenta perigosa. A razão deste comentário é que ACTA não foi devidamente revista pelos legisladores dos países, quem somente leram um resumo executivo mencionando apenas o âmbito relacionado à proteção de direitos autorais, mas que deixa de fora as outras partes .

“ACTA é a lavagem do direito internacional pelo que seria muito difícil conseguir sua aprovação através da maioria dos parlamentos”, disse Stavros Lambrinidis, um membro do Parlamento Europeu. Isso é o que os criadores da ACTA gostariam que as pessoas acreditem. A impossibilidade de apresentar e aprovar este acordo em uma conferência mundial é uma das falácias que os globalistas usam com mais freqüência para que as pessoas baixem a guarda. Mas mesmo se fosse verdade que a maioria dos países não concordassem com o texto, o fato é que todas as nações desenvolvidas têm concordado e assinado ACTA, o que será suficiente para obrigar os países que optem por não assinar o documento. Outros defensores da propriedade privada expressaram preocupação sobre a forma como ACTA é submetido e aprovado. “O Parlamento Europeu não foi representado nas negociações do ACTA. Fomos limitados simplesmente a aceitar ou rejeitar um acordo. Isto não é um exercício de democracia. O mesmo aconteceu com o Tratado de Lisboa “, disse Zuzana Roithová, membro do Parlamento Europeu. Ela refere-se à aprovação do infame Tratado de Lisboa, que foi adotado mesmo com a oposição de pelo menos 51 por cento das pessoas.

“É extremamente lamentável que o debate democrático foi removido das conversas sobre um tema que poderia ter um impacto significativo sobre uma liberdade fundamental como a liberdade de expressão”, disse a organização Repórteres Sem Fronteiras, vencedores do Prémio Sakharov do Parlamento Europeu. “Só podemos supor que o texto final poderia ser muito prejudicial nos países em desenvolvimento e prejudicar o equilíbrio entre a protecção da propriedade intelectual e a necessidade de fornecer medicamentos a preços acessíveis para os pobres”, disse Rohit Malpani, Oxfam, em uma nota criticando o impacto de ACTA. “Nós estamos em perigo de acabar com o pior dos dois mundos, empurrando padrões de IP’s, que são muito eficazes para impedir o acesso à informação sobre os medicamentos que salvam vidas, mas que não são suficientes para prevenir a contrafacção de medicamentos” , diz Michelle Childs dos Médicos Sem Fronteiras.

O que tem a ver ACTA com medicamentos ou cuidados médicos? Tem muito a ver. Entre outras coisas, ACTA irá ajudar a controlar o livre fluxo de informações médicas. Leis semelhantes as apresentadas nos Estados Unidos, poderiam proibir a publicação de sites segmentados para a saúde. ACTA irá supervisionar questões como medicamentos genéricos e patentes de alimentos. Uma vez plenamente adotado, ACTA irá impor outros acordos globalistas como a Agenda 21, Codex Alimentarius e as leis individuais que censuram o conteúdo em cada país, porque como as pessoas podem suspeitar, elas são compatíveis com ACTA. Cumprimento da legislação idêntica em todo o mundo irá acabar com a agricultura local independente, que por sua vez fará que as pessoas fiquem dependentes das corporações que possuem as patentes de alimentos. Lembra o lema da Monsanto? Como aconteceu com o NAFTA e o CAFTA, a criação da União Europeia e as Nações Unidas, a Reserva Federal e outros, ACTA é o mais recente exemplo de como as empresas fazem uso de governos, escrevem as leis e garantem que os Congressos controlados pelas mesmas corporações, anunciem e implementem o seu mandato. Em duas palavras: Fascismo Corporativo.

Embora ACTA é apresentado como uma ferramenta “para criar novas normas legais de respeito pela propriedade intelectual, bem como uma maior cooperação internacional, um exemplo do que seria um aumento na troca de informações entre as agências dos países signatários”, a verdade é que é um esforço para promover o controle centralizado da Internet. Com ACTA, os IP’s serão obrigados a usar procedimentos invasivos para garantir que todos os usuários respeitem as regras que as corporações querem. A incapacidade de detectar e relatar qualquer violação resultará em multas enormes para os usuários e os IP’s, e depois de três supostas violações, as pessoas que são considerados criminosos repetitivos serão enviados para a prisão e serão proibidos de usar Internet. Os IP’s que não castiguem as supostas violaçoes dos interesses corporativos serao eliminados. A parte mais escandaloso é que as corporações não precisaram provar que alguém violou seus direitos autorais; eles somente precisaram realizar três acusações.

Como tem acontecido na maioria dos países que assinaram ACTA, nos Estados Unidos, o presidente emitiu uma ordem executiva para manter as negociações secretas. Barack Obama citou preocupações de segurança nacional. De acordo com o blog de Michael Gist, documentos vazados e a legislação ACTA tem sete partes principais:

Parte 1 – Obrigações gerais. Elas se concentram em “processos de execução”, com providências cautelares destinadas a prevenir a violação. O texto é semelhante ao artigo 41 do ADPIC, no entanto, a UE regista que, ao contrário das disposições de tratados internacionais, não há nenhuma afirmação de que os procedimentos sejam justos, equitativos e / ou proporcionais. Em outras palavras, é para eliminar alguns artigos dos tratados anteriores.

Parte 2 – Responsabilidade. As disposições de responsabilidade civil centram-se em direitos de autor, apesar de as notas da UE explicam que as regras existentes poderiam (deveriam) ser estendidas para a marca e, possivelmente, outras violações de propriedade intelectual. O objetivo desta seção é criar uma harmonização mínima internacional sobre a questão do que é chamado em alguns Estados-Membros “violação de direitos autorais.” A proposta dos EUA é “encorajar” a norma, algo dito no caso Grokster, mas não foi encontrado em muitos países. Isso resultaria em uma enorme mudança na legislação nacional em muitos países (incluindo Canadá), porque as notas da UE vão além da actual legislação da UE.

Parte 3 - Restrições sobre a Responsabilidade Civil. Esta seção explica como um ISP pode qualificar-se para ser um porto seguro e as responsabilidade estabelecidas na seção anterior. Estes incluem uma isenção para os processos técnicos, como cache. Como relatado anteriormente, ACTA pretende estabelecer um sistema que exige a notificação e remoção, que vai além da lei canadense (e além da actual legislação da UE). Por outro lado, ACTA claramente planeja abrir a porta para a política de três violações, como os Estados da UE detalham no documento: a UE entende que nota 6 fornece um exemplo de uma política razoável contra o armazenamento não autorizado ou transmissão de material com direitos autorais. No entanto, a questão do encerramento das inscrições e as contas tem sido objeto de muito debate em diversos Estados-Membros. Por outro lado, a questão de saber se uma assinatura ou uma conta pode ser encerrada sem decisão judicial prévia é ainda objecto de negociações entre o Parlamento Europeu e o Conselho de Ministros das Telecomunicações sobre o Pacote das Telecomunicações.

Parte 4 – As disposições contra a evasão. ACTA exigiria penalidades civis e criminais relacionadas com disposições anti-evasão (proteção legal para fechaduras digitais). A UE regista que este vai além das exigências dos tratados da OMPI sobre a Internet e além da actual legislação da UE “deixa uma margem razoável de discricionariedade aos Estados-Membros.” A União Europeia também nota que não há relação entre disposições anti-evasao e exceções aos direitos autorais. A proposta dos EUA também exige que as disposições contra a neutralização de medidas tecnológicas de proteção sejam aplicadas apenas para proteger o acesso ao trabalho (em vez da reprodução ou disponibilização). Novamente, isso seria ir além da legislação da UE para incluir a proteção contra a neutralização de tecnologias como o código de região de DVD. De uma perspectiva canadense, nada disso é semelhante ao que existe atualmente na legislação nacional. Como especulado anteriormente, a clara intenção é estabelecer um DMCA Mundial.

Parte 5 – Aplicação Civil e Penal contra evasão. Esta seção exige que existam disposições civeis e criminais contra a evasão, que não são encontrados nos tratados da OMPI. As disposições anti-evasão também são projetadas para impedir os países de estabelecer requisitos de interoperabilidade (ou seja, a capacidade dos consumidores para tocar músicas compradas em diferentes dispositivos). A UE regista que este não é consistente com as leis, que afirma que “a compatibilidade e a interoperabilidade dos diferentes sistemas deve ser encorajado.” Naturalmente, é razoável perguntar por que essa disposição ainda esta em ACTA.

Parte 6 - Gestão de Proteção de Direitos de Informação. Esta seção inclui as mesmas responsabilidades civis e criminais para a gestão de direitos de informação.

Parte 7 - Limitações para a Proteção de Gestão de Direitos de Informação. Em resumo, a análise da UE confirma o que os documentos vazados dizem (embora o capítulo Internet tem sete seções, em vez de cinco). Temores sobre a intenção dos EUA no ACTA são confirmados – a expansão dos tratados OMPI, a criação de um DMCA global, promover uma política de três violacoes, parar os esforços para criar mandatos de interoperabilidade. ACTA tornaria a lei atual de direitos autorais no Canadá quase irreconhecível como as mudanças necessárias vão muito além de nossas regras atuais (e mesmo listados nos projetos de reforma anterior). Isto levanta a questão de saber se o Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros, na sua carta mandato de negociação realmente vai tão longe devido a mudanças internas que são necessárias. Este último vazamento de informação também reforça a necessidade de todos os governos para esclarecer – liberando tanto o texto do ACTA como a análise do governo do tratado devem ser condiçoes para a participação continuada nas negociações.

Se você não pensa que alguma destas seções sao chocante, por favor leia a versão completa do acordo ACTA aqui. E lembre-se, este é o que sabemos até agora. Há provavelmente mais do dobro dos detalhes nas partes que não tem sido liberadas ou vazadas. Você também pode ler os comentários sobre a proposta dos EUA sobre os requisitos para fazer valer os direitos de propriedade intelectual, também conhecidos como a censura na Internet em todo o mundo.

Como acontece com a legislação apresentada no Congresso dos EUA, ACTA é muito perigoso por causa da maneira vaga em que muitas de suas regras estão escritas. As leis vagamente escritas geralmente permitem interpretações abertas que encaixam a maioria dos casos sob o mesmo guarda-chuva. Em outras palavras, as acusações podem ser feitas com base em qualquer interpretação originada em governos ou as corporações que os controlam. Os governos podem implementar formas ilimitadas para fazer cumprir o que está escrito tão vagamente.

Apesar de concordar que o respeito da propriedade privada é uma meta ideal, neste caso, as pessoas não podem dar ao luxo de usar um remédio que é pior que a doença. Temos que lembrar que este é um movimento organizado por corporações globais que exigem o respeito da sua propriedade, enquanto violam o direito dos indivíduos a ter uma Internet livre e sem censura. Gostaríamos de sugerir aos leitores que ligassem para o Congresso em qualquer lugar no mundo onde eles estão, mas acontece que a maioria dos membros do Congresso são comprados e pagos pelas mesmas corporações que estão por trás de ACTA. Peça a empresa que opera seu serviço de Internet e outras companhias que operam na Internet para que apoiem a oposição contra ACTA da mesma forma que algumas empresas uniram-se contra as leis SOPA e PIPA alguns dias atrás. É apenas o poder de indivíduos unidos para lutar contra o ACTA que irá impedir a propagação do controle corporativo da Internet. Se você vive em um país onde a ACTA já foi adotada, não é tarde demais para agir. Organize-se e solicite que a lei que da poder absoluto da Internet as corporações seja revogada.

Obama Ratifies the ACTA Global Internet Censorship Agreement

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
January 26, 2012

In another example of how little Barack Obama cares about the United States Constitution and the role of Congress -as bad as it can be- the current U.S. president ratified the  Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement or ACTA. President Obama had signed the first binding draft of ACTA last October 1, 2011, also in secret.

As we reported yesterday, ACTA is much more dangerous than SOPA, PIPA or OPEN, because it is the accord that legalizes internet censorship on a global basis. That is why presidents around the planet have received an signed the agreement without any review from their congresses or the people. This globally reaching agreement is often equalled to NAFTA or CAFTA because it standardizes the policies that will govern information trade, just as the other agreements define the rules of the circulation of goods and services between the United States and partner nations.

Read our in-depth report below:

While most of the attention regarding government censorship of the Internet has been focused on the United States due to the imminent passage of the SOPA, PIPA and OPEN bills, those pieces of legislation are mostly bound to affect Americans. As we have reported previously, bills like the ones mentioned above have the power to literally disconnect the United States from the rest of the world, should the President decide illegal content from anywhere outside the country violates copyright law or any other law for that matter. As explained by Joe Lieberman, the United States president will have the power to shut down portions of the Internet in order to protect corporate intellectual property. This power has been labeled the Internet “kill switch”; and with good reason, because in reality, the president will be able to shut Americans’ access to anything he doesn’t want them to see.

But the threat of Internet censorship is larger than what happens to Americans. The creation and passage of bills like SOPA or PIPA in other developed countries has grown exponentially as the United States and the European Union support censorship measures. Not only have other countries managed to come up with similar legislation, but many first world nations have already signed a global agreement that will surrender the Internet sovereignty to multinational corporations and internet service providers that will be in charge of monitoring Internet user activity in order to censor anything deemed as an illegal transfer of information.

Enter ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. This globally reaching agreement could be equalled to NAFTA or CAFTA in the sense that it will control the transfer of products which in this case is not bananas, electronics, services and so on, but any and all information that is posted and sought on the World Wide Web. ACTA has been known publicly since 2008, but it has been in the works -in private- for much longer. In just three years, countries like the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea have already agreed to follow the regulations contained in it.

In one sense, ACTA is the globalists’ threat to the people’s fundamental right to access information and knowledge. The main issue with ACTA is that as in many other cases, only a few people know what exactly is in it. This very first global bill intended to censor the internet was created in secret. This secrecy has prompted privacy supporters to denounce ACTA as a dangerous piece of legislation. The reason for this is that ACTA was not properly reviewed by the Congresses and what legislators receive to read is an executive summary that only mentions the reach the bill has regarding copyright protection, but leaves out the other parts. More on this to come.

“ACTA is legislation laundering on an international level of what would be very difficult to get through most Parliaments,” said Stravros Lambrinidis, Member of European Parliament. That is what the makers of ACTA would want people to believe. The impossibility of passing this agreement in Congresses around the world is one of the shenanigans globalists use more often to have the people let their guard down. But even if it was true that most countries would not sign it, the fact that all developed nations agree with and sign ACTA will be enough to twist the arm of those countries that choose not to sign it. Other private property defenders have expressed their concern with the way ACTA is presented and approved. ” The European Parliament has had no representation in ACTA negotiations. Just accepting or rejecting an agreement is not an exercise of democracy as under the Lisbon Treaty,” said Zuzana Roithova, Member of European Parliament. She refers to the passage of the infamous Lisbon Treaty which was rammed through against the will of at least 51 percent of the people.

“It is extremely regrettable that democratic debate has been eliminated from talks that could have a major impact on such a fundamental freedom as free expression,” said Reporters without Borders, European Parliament Sakharov Prize Winners. “We can only assume that the final text could do great harm in developing countries and undermine the balance between the protection of intellectual property and the need to provide affordable medicines for poor people,” added Rohit Malpani, OXFAM, from a press release criticising possible impact of ACTA. “We are in danger of ending up with the worst of both worlds, pushing IP rules, which are very effective at stopping access to life-saving drugs but are very bad at stopping or preventing fake drugs,” warns Michelle Childs of Médecins Sans Frontières.

What does ACTA have to do with medications or medical attention? A lot as it turns out. Among all of the things ACTA will help control is the free circulation of medical information. Parts of ACTA mirror legislation introduced in the United States, which could ban the publication of health oriented websites. ACTA will oversee issues such as generic drugs and food patents. Once it is fully agreed upon, ACTA will enforce other globalist sponsored agreements such as Agenda 21, Codex Alimentarius and the individual government censorship bills already in place in each country, which as people may suspect are ACTA compliant. The enforcement of identically produced global legislation will put an end to independent local farming, which will turn everyone into patent-owning corporations dependent slaves. Remember Monsanto’s motto? Just as it happened with NAFTA, CAFTA, the creation of the European Union and the United Nations, the United States Federal Reserve and others, ACTA is the latest example of how corporations make use of governments, write laws and make sure that corporate-controlled Congresses around the world mandate its implementation. In two words, Corporate Fascism.

Although ACTA is being presented as a tool “to create new legal standards of intellectual property enforcement, as well as increased international cooperation, an example of which would be an increase in information sharing between signatory countries’ law enforcement agencies,” the truth is that it is an effort to further centralized Internet control. With ACTA IPS’s will be obligated to use invasive procedures to make sure no user infringes what corporations say is a violation of copyright laws. Failure to detect and denounce such breach will result in the IP and Internet user receiving massive fines, and after three warnings, individuals who are considered repetitive offenders will be sent to jail and banned from the Internet. The IP that fails to stop the supposed violation of corporate interests will be taken off the air. The outrageous part of this is that the party -corporation- whose property was supposedly used without permission doesn’t even have to prove that the user or the IP violated its intellectual property. It is enough to make three accusations.

As it has happened in most countries that signed ACTA, in the United States the President has issued an executive order to keep negotiations concerning Internet control legislation secret. Barack Obama has cited national security concerns. According to Michael Gist’s blog, as well as leaked documents from the agreement, the ACTA global legislation has seven main sections:

Paragraph 1 – General obligations. These focus on “effective enforcement procedures” with expeditious remedies that deter further infringement.  The wording is similar to TRIPs Article 41, however, the EU notes that unlike the international treaty provisions, there is no statement that procedures shall be fair, equitable, and/or proportionate.  In other words, it seeks to remove some of the balance in the earlier treaties.

Paragraph 2 – Third party liability.  The third party liability provisions focus on copyright, though the EU notes that it could (should) be extended to trademark and perhaps other IP infringement.  The goal of this section is to create an international minimum harmonization regarding the issue of what is called in some Member States “contributory copyright infringement”.  The U.S. proposal would include “inducement” into the standard, something established in the U.S. Grokster case, but not found in many other countries.  This would result in a huge change in domestic law in many countries (including Canada) as the EU notes it goes beyond current eu law.

Paragraph 3 – Limitations on 3rd Party Liability.  This section spells out how an ISP may qualify for a safe harbour from the liability established in the earlier section.  These include an exemption for technical processes such as caching.  As reported earlier, ACTA would establish a required notice-and-takedown system, which goes beyond Canadian law (and beyond current EU law).  Moreover, ACTA clearly envisions opening the door to a three-strikes and you’re out model, as the EU document states: EU understands that footnote 6 provides for an example of a reasonable policy to address the unauthorized storage or transmission of protected materials. However, the issue of termination of subscriptions and accounts has been subject to much debate in several Member States. Furthermore, the issue of whether a subscription or an account may be terminated without prior court decision is still subject to negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council of Telecoms Ministers regarding the Telecoms Package.

Paragraph 4 – Anti-circumvention Provisions.  ACTA would require civil and criminal penalties associated with anti-circumvention provisions (legal protection for digital locks).  The EU notes that this goes beyond the requirements of the WIPO Internet treaties and beyond current EU law which “leaves a reasonable margin of discretion to Member States.”  The EU also notes that there is no link between the anti-circumvention provisions and copyright exceptions.  The U.S. proposal also requires the anti-circumvention provisions to apply to TPMs that merely protect access to a work (rather than reproduction or making available).   This would again go beyond current EU law to include protection against circumventing technologies like region coding on DVDs.  From a Canadian perspective, none of this is currently domestic law.  As previously speculated, the clear intent is to establish a Global DMCA.

Paragraph 5 – Civil and Criminal Enforcement of Anti-Circumvention.  This section requires both civil and criminal provisions for the anti-circumvention rules, something not found in the WIPO Internet treaties. The anti-circumvention provisions are also designed to stop countries from establishing interoperability requirements (ie. the ability for consumers to play purchased music on different devices).  The EU notes that this not consistent with its law, which states “Compatibility and interoperability of the different systems should be encouraged.”  Of course, might reasonable ask why such a provision is even in ACTA.

Paragraph 6 – Rights Management Information protection. This section includes similar criminal and civil requirements for rights management information.

Paragraph 7 – Limitations to Rights Management Information protection. In summary, the EU analysis confirms the earlier leak (though the Internet chapter has seven sections, rather than five).  The fears about the U.S. intent with respect to ACTA are confirmed - extending the WIPO Internet treaties, creating a Global DMCA, promoting a three-strikes and you’re out model, even stopping efforts to create interoperability mandates.  ACTA would render current Canadian copyright law virtually unrecognizable as the required changes go far beyond our current rules (and even those contemplated in prior reform bills).  This begs the question of whether the Department of Foreign Affairs negotiation mandate letter really goes this far given the domestic changes that would be required.  This latest leak also reinforces the need for all governments to come clean – releasing both the ACTA text and government analysis of the treaty should be a condition of any further participation in the talks.

If you don’t find any of these sections shocking, by all means read the full version -as far as we know- of the ACTA agreement here. And remember, this is what we know so far. There is probably more than double the details in the parts that have not been revealed or leaked. You can also read the comments on the US proposal on the Requirements to Enforce Intellectual Property Rights, as they now like to call worldwide Internet censorship.

As it happened with pieces of legislation brought up to Congress in the US, ACTA is very dangerous due to the vague way in which many of its rules are written. Vague laws usually mean wide-open interpretations that fit most cases under the same umbrella. In other words, accusations can be made up on the go, because the rules can be interpreted as the corporations and the governments desire. Governments can implement limitless ways to enforce what is so vaguely written.

Although respecting private property is an ideal goal, in this case, people cannot afford to let the medicine be worse than the disease. Remember, this is a movement organized by global corporations who are demanding that their ownership of mostly digital products be respected while violating our individual right to have a free, uncensored Internet. I would suggest readers to call Congress wherever in the world they are, but as it turns out, most congressmen and congreswomen are bought and paid for by the same big corporations that are behind ACTA. Encourage your ISP and other Internet service companies in your country to unite and say no to ACTA the same way some companies came together against SOPA and PIPA a few days ago. It is only the strength of individuals united to fight ACTA what will prevent the spread of corporate control of the Internet. If you live in country where ACTA has been already adopted, it is not too late to act. Organize and request that this globalist-sponsored takeover of the Internet be repealed.

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