The Netherlands Shoots Down ACTABy: Zach Walton - May 29, 2012
We here in the U.S. have been far too focused on CISPA lately and for good reason. It has the potential to encroach essential freedoms all in the name of stopping cyber attacks. We must not forget our friends in Europe, however, who are fighting against an equally, if not more, disastrous ACTA. While news on ACTA has been slow to surface, today’s news is about as good as it gets.
A Google translated page for WedWereld shows a report that says the Dutch House of Representatives has put their weight behind the anti-ACTA movement. They have issued a motion to the state cabinet to reject ACTA. It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean the Netherlands will skip out on ACTA, but it does show that many in government are displeased with the treaty.
As we’ve explained before, ACTA is essentially SOPA on an international scale. It allows for many of the same functions that SOPA would have allowed, but it also features some other dangerous wording that could even threaten access to cheap medicine. Signings of the controversial treaty has already been delayed or outright stopped in countries like Germany and Bulgaria thanks to massive displays of unrest.
With the Netherlands now seemingly joining the anti-ACTA movement, it remains to be seen if the treaty will actually live through this year. The European Parliament seems set on passing ACTA, but the backlash from the citizenry has been enormous. If ACTA is passed, it wouldn’t be the first time that governments ignored the voices of their citizens. It also wouldn’t be the first time governments have faced the collective wrath of a citizenry scorned.
It’s going to be interesting to watch Europe over the next few months with the final vote on ACTA coming in the next few weeks. The current European debt crisis is already driving unrest to an all time high. I highly doubt Europe could contain the unrest caused by its delegates ratifying ACTA.
While we’re waiting to hear more on ACTA, the Netherlands pulled off another feat today that should make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The House of Representatives have also passed a motion that would see any future Internet regulation treaties or laws to be automatically rejected. It’s these kind of stories that let you see who the real champions of Internet freedom are. Looking at you, England.[h/t: Slashdot]