Behind closed doors, a multinational committee whose members cannot be held accountable by voters (such as members of the Senate and House of Representatives) has been developing a vague agreement that could potentially infringe on your trade, copyright, and intellectual property rights.
ACTA’s reach is wider and more open to abuse than SOPA & PIPA, and it should be getting much more attention than the “internet killers” shelved earlier this month. Zach Whittaker of ZDNet explains what ACTA covers:
Initially it was thought that ACTA would enable governments to effectively work together in tandem across borders to prevent counterfeit goods, like medicines and knock-off technology goods for example, from entering the market. The Act aims to protect the economy and end-consumers’ confidence.
But it is becoming increasingly clear that though the ACTA name uses the word “counterfeiting” in its title, it vastly focuses on the transfer of copyrighted materials online. The agreement will make it easier for law enforcement and ISPs (’intermediaries’) to monitor consumers, and impose new criminal sanctions on those who flout copyright and patent laws.