Web Article: The U.N. threat to Internet freedom.
Internet users went from 16millions in 2003 to 2billion in 2011. Internet has made life standards much easier for most users, increased productivity, spread freedom ideas worldwide, especially since it arrived onto mobile phones. There are now plans to regulate and control the use of internet by governments. The internet without borders could become Internet with borders! This way governments could impose fees on roaming and fees on clicks to access “foreign” sites to generate revenues for their treasury. Mainly China, Russia and their allies are asking for this apparently. 193 U.N state member. All it takes is a majority to “ratify a counter-productive agenda”. While you still can, read the full article!
Earlier warnings: “U.N. to control use of Internet?“
Looks like developing countries are getting desperate for money and tighter control over their people. They wouldn’t want them to grow stupid liberating ideas, would they?! When will they ever learn that there are things in this world that just cannot be preventing, including consciousness evolution? Read the full article here.
Online petition: “Save your Internet: petition against ACTA“
If you can’t find the time to write or email your UN representative or local MP’s to share your concerns (it only takes a stamp, looking up for an address and 5 lines to explain why you think it’s a very bad idea to have the internet controlled and be charged fees for visiting foreign sites), then at least click to symbolically sign petitions online and show those who act and try to fight this thing off that you care and support them in their missions to prevent you from ever being unjustly accused or jailed for downloading material you naïvely assumed was publicly available (for example). Remember that the only power we have at the moment to fight global governance, is that of the numbers in terms of individual. The internet just happens to be a powerful tool in getting people together for causes. This is in my humble opinion the very thing the elite and scared developing countries governments are trying to break down using internet security issues as an excuse. If they really cared about Internet content and children safety, they would then also mind the content of all other media (audio, video, press) inside their very own country. So let’s make the most of that power before (or lest) they succeed in suppressing it by voting yes to the amendments.
I already looked up on-line and there are plenty of petitions created against the ACTA treaty to choose from in your own country on the web. And p-llllease, don’t start arguing that it’s a waste of your precious time & energy for it’s bound to fail, this is just the lamest excuse for not being bothered, we all know that! After all, it concerns you too, internet users. The day you’ll get a blank screen with some bizarre error message popping up on your computer monitor for no apparent reasons, don’t go get angry at your PC, it would definitely tell you “I didn’t do it” if it could. And that’d be because you did it!! So now, quit your online game for a minute & off you go!
Online petition:”Stop the newest threat to internet freedom“
Like I said, plenty of petitions to choose from! Please take time to read the petition letters to fully understand what is probably at stake here. Excpt:” Europe is deciding right now whether to ratify ACTA — and without them, this global attack on Internet freedom will collapse. We know they have opposed ACTA before, but some members of Parliament are wavering — let’s give them the push they need to reject the treaty. Sign the petition — we’ll do a spectacular delivery in Brussel(…)”. Does all this sound right to you?
Through this union, represented by the state members of the United Nations Organisation, some countries wish to establish “international control over the internet”. Go straight to their website and check out their schedules. Starting date: 20/02/2012, End date: 02/03/2012, Title: Security, Place: Geneva (Switzerland), Status: confirmed, Contact; Mr Euchner Martin. This is our window of opportunity to harass our UN Reps or European Reps with rants and show them that we have a voice that wants to be heard. If they don’t see responses from us, it simply means to them that we don’t give a damn and they can just keep on infringing our rights and liberties. If they get responses, although they may not take them into consideration, they will nonetheless realise that there is a lot of angry people out there, which might, just might influence their vote.
ICANN is currently the most recognizable Internet governing body, helping preserve the operational stability of the Internet. It is owned by a myriad of corporations and private stock-holders. It is to be replaced by the ITU soon, if the treaty is voted by the majority of the 193 members. Alternatively, there are also talks of split & share. The big debate on this internet issue is basically: State control vs Corporate Influence. I guess it’s down to choosing the lesser evil…
Now, if you just can’t see why it is not a good idea to have the internet controlled by your government, look at China and how great she’s doing with monitoring her own people and how better and better her people is getting at by-passing censoring with proxy despite the risk of imprisonment, so bad they want full access online. If that’s still not enough to get you worried, here are a few hints that should motivate you to get off the chair and go have a rant at your local E.U. Representative’s office:
- Governments will take whatever penny you have left before allowing you to continue to do whatever it is you were using the net for ;
- Governments will cut you off internet access without warning nor court trial, from any site they will deem “suspicious” or infringing their greedy corporate friends’ copyrights ;
- Free speech will outrageously be undermined ;
- Online activities will be closely monitored and content access ridiculously restricted;
- This is a total breach of civil right and a privacy transgression ;
- Anonymity will be removed and no longer allowed ;
- As much as reading a copyrighted document online will become a violation ;
- We will not decide or choose what to watch or read anymore;
I’m sur you can now find reasons not to have your internet access controlled and monitored to add to that list :)
Below is a template I wrote and suggested to those of you who lack inspiration and justifications in your correspondence to your UN Representative or European Rep regarding your disagreement to the decision of turning the internet without border into an internet full of limitations and access fees. Feel free to copy and paste whichever bit of the text that is useful to you.
It is with great frustration and incomprehension that I am addressing you regarding the proposed “International control of the internet” treaty through the ITU group. The discussions are currently taking place and will end on March 2nd, 2012 according to the UTI’s schedule as stated on their website (http://www.itu.int/en/pages/default.aspx).
If I understood well, ICANN, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is currently the most recognizable Internet governing body, helping preserve the operational stability of the Internet. It is privately owned by corporations or stock-holders and it is to be replaced by the United Nation controlled ITU, the International Telecommunication Union, soon if the treaty is voted by the majority of the 193 UN states representatives or members. This may be rumours but I also read about a conceivable split and share solution, which to me seems a more reasonable outcome as this implies a separation of powers.
Judging by the list of questions under study during the meetings and considering the current management system of the internet, I fear the public including myself, or the internet users will be more and greatly affected by this possible new orientation. Moreover, the current examples of China, N. Corea and some Arab Countries like Egypt aren’t the most reassuring if you ask me, when it comes to leaving the management of internet access in the hands of governments.
I invite you to take a look at the tremendous amount of petitions being creating and co-signed online by regular people who are protesting against the future application of the treaty should it pass next March. The total signatures in at least 5 petitions worldwide has passed the bar of 3million so far and continues to grow. The users’ main worries transpire through demands which I randomly picked on the online pages containing petitions, forum and blogs. Some of them (marked by an *) are direct quotes from the Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge from the FCF website that promotes creativity and access to knowledge in the most legal and legitimate ways, fair for all participating parts. This already shows you how powerful a tool the internet is regarding information gathering in a productive short amount of time and that it would be a shame to see it diminished or suppressed due to unfair and partial rules and regulations. Here are some of the demands:
- “Instead of wasting millions of dollars in wars, it would be useful to help a country like ours (Nepal) to make internet accessible to everybody” ;
- “If governments want to monitor and censor internet content, then they should start with changing their degrading mis-education system and their own local media by censoring sex and gratuitous violence on T.V., in videos, games, newspapers and magazines. Maybe then people wouldn’t grow up with a built-in twisted mind and later go online looking for suspicious contents” ;
- “Network neutrality (seeing the internet as a common infrastructure such as roads). Wikipedia is a perfect working example” ;
- ” Laws that are in the interest of the majority of the people and businesses, not just that of movie studios, record labels and proprietary software companies.” ;
- *”The public interest is to be served by supporting and ensuring ongoing creation of intellectual works (…) and by ensuring that all citizens have unfettered access to such works for a wide range of uses.” ;
- *”Private copying: the reproduction, in any form, of works that have already been published, when the reproduction is for the purpose of sharing or private use (either individual or collective), and when no economic/commercial profit is obtained from it, should not require authorisation from the copyright holder and does not generate “remuneration”. It should not be considered illegal to have a private copy of a work.” ;
- *”When the state or state-supported institutions possess copies of works whose copyright has expired, they must make them accessible to the public, so that they can be copied, shared and used in any form.” ;
- *”Citizens are entitled to an Internet connection that enables them to send and receive content of their choice, use services and run applications of their choice, connect hardware and use software of their choice, as long as they do not harm the network.” ;
- “Browse the Internet and access contents anonymously without fear from persecution” ;
- “Right to privacy, without unjustified monitoring or cyber-surveillance.”
These are but a few of internet users’ request. I invite you to read through the Charter for Innovation, Creativity and access to knowledge for a full claim. I am sure that users, providers, founders and regulators can all meet somewhere in the middle and agree upon a reasonable solution to keeping the internet access free, safe and secured for everyone.
No human being can be denied access to knowledge or information because of a few law breakers or for the sake of a non-human corporate entity or a government’s private agenda. You have been chosen to represent people who I’m a part of, in a particular area of our country. You have been chosen to voice these people’s concerns. I trust that you will perform in your duty with the best intentions and your people’s interests at heart. I also trust that you are not and will never be part of the corrupted community of representatives who have unfortunately succumbed to the bribing of soulless corporations driven by greed and profit at the expense of humanity, nature and knowledge.
I am looking forward to the best outcome out of this Geneva summit. Finally, I hope that you will act as a responsible Representative and voice our concerns to the appropriate human beings who are in charge for making things move to the proper direction.
With my Deepest Regards,
A very concerned citizen.
Update February 21, 2012:
Web article: “How the European Internet Rose Up Against ACTA“
Surprisingly and finally, Polish Prime Minister apologised to the people realising that the ACTA project he was strongly supporting was a proper breach of individual’s freedom of expression and liberty to access worldwide online contents, after weeks of protest and the February 11th, 2012 street protest movement across Europe. The ACTA project was conceived and negotiated in secrecy before being presented to the UN members for signature and this, without any chance for citizen to review or give their opinion about the matter. The undemocratic way this project is being brought up adds to the anger of the people as the internet is all there seems to be left to the citizen of the world to communicate, share and voice their opinion with relatively less fear for persecution than if they were to use their respective national media. With internet, one can remain anonymous and one can reach the mind of people on any side of the planet (well, except a couple of countries still giving hard time to their people such as China or Egypt). This is all very motivating and I keep my fingers crossed as to the income of this important issue :)
Update March 31st, 2012:
IMPORTANT ACTIVIST WebSite: STOP ACTA!
The website to stop ACTA from being signed by all countries of the world! Introduction video, list of signataires, means of actions, ACTA in depth, famous quotes, etc. Excpt:
The International Trade (INTA) Committee of the European Parliament is the main committee working on ACTA.
The Legal Affairs (JURI), Development (DEVE), Civil Liberties (LIBE) and the Industry (ITRE) committees will first vote on their opinions after holding “exchange of views” on draft reports in the coming weeks.
Opinions will then be sent to INTA to influence its final report, which will recommend the EU Parliament as a whole to reject or accept ACTA.
The final, plenary vote by the EU Parliament on ACTA should be held no sooner than June.
Get the fact-sheet in PDF.
CONTACT YOUR MEP:
ACTA has been closely followed by many organizations in Europe and internationally during the whole process of negotiation. There is a lot of information that we recommend to check out in the pages dedicated to ACTA of:
*European Digital Rights (EDRI)
– The Economist: ACTA up
– Techdirt on ACTA
– Glyn Moody on ACTA
– MEP Kader Arif Blog: “I will not take part in this masquerade”
– Wikileaks:WikiLeaks Cables Shine Light on ACTA History
ACTA IN DEPTH
Since Spring 2007, 39 countries (27 member states of the European Union, the United States, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia, México as well as a few other countries) negotiated in secret a trade agreement aimed at enforcing copyright and tackling counterfeited goods: ACTA. Leaked documents show that one of the major goal of the treaty is to force signatory countries into implementing anti file-sharing policies under the form of strong criminal sanctions.
ACTA is one more offensive against the sharing of culture on the Internet negotiated by a small “club” of like-minded countries. Negotiated instead of being democratically debated, ACTA bypasses parliaments and international organizations to dictate a repressive logic dictated by the entertainment industries.
At a time when important debates are taking place on the need to adapt copyright to the digital age, this treaty would bypass democratic processes in order to enforce a fundamentally irrelevant regulatory regime. It would profoundly alter the very nature of the Internet as we know it by by putting legal and monetary pressure on Internet service providers (in a most subtler way than in previous versions of the text), ACTA will give the music and movie industries a legal weapon to force ISPs to police their networks and users themselves.
INFORM ABOUT ACTA:
*Contact your elected representatives to inform them about ACTA, and advise them to oppose this circumvention of their powers and competency.
*Contact journalists and bloggers and ask them to write and research about it.
*Blog about ACTA, link to websites talking about it and analyse its content.
Attend and support demos in your city
*Here is a NO ACTA flyer in 10 languages for you and your friends! PDF
Call the Members of the INTA Commitee
*Ask that their report on ACTA recommend the Parliament to reject it and tell them about the dangers of ACTA: Who to contact.
ACT ON ACTA!
– La Quadrature: How to Act Against ACTA
– Access Now Petition: SAY NO TO ACTA
– Fight for the Future KILL ACTA
– Avaaz ACTA Petition
– Call Your MEPS. –> Be nice.
– Tweet your MEPS. —>OFC, be nice and don´t spam.
– Visit stoppacta.protest.info —>For specific info about
” End excpt.
by George Sakalis
More graphic presentation of how ACTA project is going to affect the users. With videos and link to other STOP ACTA related sites and some reminders about the SOPA and PIPA agreements that are the forerunners of ACTA project. What’s interesting about this blog are the couple of videos that explain in pictures and charts what the internet censoring is all about or is about to become if we don’t move our arses and join the protest!
Excpt: “ACTA is an international trade agreement currently being negotiated by the European Union, the United States, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia as well as a few other countries, whose aim is to enforce copyright and tackle counterfeited goods (hence its acronym: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement).
The main problem with this treaty is that all the negotiations are done secretly. Leaked documents show that one of the major goal of the treaty is to force signatory countries into implementing anti file-sharing policies under the form of three-strikes schemes and net filtering practices.
The following countries have already signed up for ACTA: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech , Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, USA, Britain, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Morocco, New Zealand and Singapore .”
TO BE CONTINUED…