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By Nathan Lucking on 17.2.2024

Protesters Out in Force to Save Their Internet Freedom

Protesters wearing masks frequently associated with the Anonymous hacker group

Anti-counterfeit trade act (ACTA) is designed to be a worldwide legislative act with the purpose of controlling and dealing with the sale of fake medicine and arms sales, but it also contains clauses to deal with people linking with illegal file sharing. The punishment for selling fake drugs and having a link to a copyrighted song on your website are the same, to many this seems wrong.

It could make events like Megaupload being shut down and its owner jailed for 50 years a far more common occurrence, and that was achieved with relative ease without any of the extra legislation that are being pushed through “behind closed doors.”

In the last few months the internet has been awash with petitions to stop internet controlling legislative polices and demonstrations, such as the Wikipedia blackout.

The anti ACTA activist’s Accessnow.org , Open rights group , The Pirate Party UK and many others have taken it a step further. Last weekend, on 11th February 2012, a number of demonstrations with thousands of protesters across Europe were out in force, showing their governments their opinions in an in-ignorable fashion.

The aim was to bring public attention to the law that is currently being discussed in secret. The new international legislation would mean that our favourite songs from Youtube would be removed and the sharing of meme’s would be stopped. It would allow agents of the law to see exactly what you have been surfing and downloading and prosecute across borders with the bare minimum of red tape or bureaucracy.

The protests were taking place in major cities around Europe including Frankfurt, Paris and London. In London a few hundred protesters set up outside British Music House, which is home to UK Music that represents collective interests of the UK’s music industry. They then walked to many different iconic points in London, the American Embassy, Parliament, Buckingham Palace and finally ending up at the Occupy camp at St. Pauls all the time cheery and chanting.

Whilst technically breaking the law by marching without permission the day panned out without any problems, with a police escort for the majority of the walk with jokes and conversations shared with them it was clear no one had any intention of coursing any form of problem.
When stopped by one officer, a protester who when asked if he was in charge responded with “I’m just a guy with a megaphone.” Then asked where they planned to walk to he responded as jokingly again with a quote from the Joker in batman. “We’re like a dog chasing cars, we wouldn’t know what to do if we caught one”, right before they set up outside the American Embassy.

For more information about ACTA visit: https://s3.amazonaws.com/access.3cdn.net/75979d5cc0096c5bc8_dkm6iydok.pd…

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