ACTA La Vista Baby: Internet Censorship Treaty Overwhelmingly Defeated
EU Parliament throws out legislation after months of protests
July 4, 2012
The global Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), arguably the most draconian internet control legislation penned thus far, has been overwhelmingly rejected by European lawmakers following months of protests and activism undertaken by thousands across the continent.
In January of this year, twenty-two of the 27 EU states joined other countries, including the United States and Japan, in signing on to ACTA. However, it has yet to be ratified anywhere and strong protests in Europe have caused other countries, such as Australia to delay consideration of the treaty.
In the past few months, the legislation has been dealt blow after blow with no less than five powerful EU committees, as well as member states, officially rejecting the treaty.
This morning, the European Parliament voted 478 against, 39 in favour, with 165 abstentions, effectively killing the legislation in its current form and ensuring for the first time that an international trade agreement cannot be ratified into law in the EU.
The EU Parliament released a statement pointing to the “unprecedented direct lobbying by thousands of EU citizens who called on it to reject ACTA, in street demonstrations, emails to MEPs and calls to their offices”. The statement also acknowledged a petition that had been signed by 2.8 million citizens urging them to reject the treaty.
Had it been ratified, ACTA would have allowed companies in China or any other country in the world to demand ISPs remove web content in the US and Europe with no legal oversight whatsoever.