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Stop ACTA or the Internet and Freedom is Destroyed

ACTA or Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement once ratified by countries will probably be the time when we say goodbye to our freedom of expression, a free internet and the day of cheap and generic drugs.  ACTA is  multinational treaty for the purpose of establishing international standards for intellectual property rights enforcement. The agreement aims to establish an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet, and would create a new governing body outside existing forums, such as the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, or the United Nations.

So why would it end our freedom of choice?  The simplest thing would be in the case of generic drugs.  Once ratified all generic drugs will be deemed as "counterfeit" since companies like Pfizer and other have copyright to produce majority of the drugs we know in the market.   (VIEW SUMMARY OF ACTA)

ACTA would also effectively enforce policing on the internet as to the content shared and downloaded based on the "view" of a few number of people who has "financial" interest on these things.  The treaty was made in secret and excluded civil society groups, developing countries and the general public from the agreement's negotiation process and it has been described as policy laundering by critics including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Entertainment Consumers Association.

ACTA was signed in October 2011 by Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States.  In January 2012, the European Union and 22 countries which are member states of the European Union signed as well.  The good news is that no signatory has ratified (formally approved) the agreement, which would come into force after ratification by 6 countries. Because once ratified it would only apply in those countries that ratified it.

Why oppose it?  It is simple, if we want an informed choice and if we want the internet to remain free and not manipulated by personal and business interest then ACTA should be sent back to the trash bin.  

"The intended benefits of this international agreement are far outweighed by the potential threats to civil liberties," said the newly appointed rapporteur, British MEP David Martin.  He recommended against the treaty.

The Philippines is not covered by the treaty but with its enforcement in other countries and with close ties with the United States the country might soon be forced to implement ACTA thus losing a very important policy, "generic drugs."

The Internet is also created as a free place for all.  It is for everyone and not only for the privilege few.  Thus, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is effectively a virus that will ruin the core purpose for which the internet is created.

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For more information on ACTA click here.

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