(RussiaToday) – Restrictions being negotiated almost entirely in secret could place restrictions on internet service providers even leading to the cancellation of Internet privileges for repeat offenders. Dina Gusovsky talks to Shelly Roche of the Ladies of Liberty Alliance about the potential restrictions and what they mean for ordinary Internet users.
Fox Internet Crack Down: Video Link
What’s particularly disturbing about this is the degree to which the administration has tried to keep negotiations secret. They did invite 42 people to review and comment on the document, subject to very strict nondisclosure agreements so they couldn’t talk about what they had seen. Of those 42 people, 40 of them represent large corporate entities and 2 represent public interest groups.
In addition to having no transparency, we’ll also have no accountability because ACTA is designed as an executive agreement instead of a treaty, which means that it doesn’t require congressional approval.
Based on what we’ve been able to piece together, the internet provisions have nothing to do with addressing counterfeit products, but are instead a reflection of entertainment and content industry demands for stricter copyright laws that would apply to the internet on a global scale. This is blatant Corporatism that could cost us our internet and our privacy.
One of the provisions would hold internet service providers liable for any copyrighted material that is transmitted or stored on their network. There are additional provisions that exempt ISPs from this liability IF they comply with rules that require them to take action based on the mere allegation of wrongdoing – without the need for evidence or a trial. So, If I post a copyrighted image on my site, even if it falls under fair use and I’m not doing anything illegal, the copyright holder of the image could force my ISP to take down the content – without having to prove it violates the copyright.
The rules appear to reference Three Strikes and Graduated Response policies, both of which require action based on the mere allegation of wrongdoing, without the need for evidence or a trial. I should also point out that Three Strikes has been the top priority of the entertainment industry for years, so it’s clear their lobbyists have been effective in influencing this agreement.
All of this is based on leaked information since nothing’s been made available to the public, we’ve been left to cobble together bits and pieces, along with the draft of of the agreement, and the picture that’s emerging has some pretty alarming implications. We don’t know how much of this is going to be included in the final version, or what changes will be made, but the goal seems pretty clear – and it seems solely designed for the benefit of the entertainment industry.
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