ACTA Leak confirms threat and incompatibility with EU legislation

Paris, Feb. 22nd - 2010 - A document that could be the ACTA Internet chapter proposal from the US has leaked1. If authentic, the text would confirm the fears expressed by a vast coalition of civil society organizations2 that Internet operators may be turned into private Net police. The European Union negotiatiors must reject these proposals that disrespect EU law and seriously endanger the rights and freedoms of Internet users.

As anticipated, the draft originating from the United States Trade Representative would agree to the entertainment corporations' demands and profoundly alter the structure of the Net. In order to avoid being liable for the copyright infringements carried on by users, telecoms operators and online service providers would have to develop monitoring practices effectively leading to the filtering of Internet traffic. Also, Internet service providers would be forced to "voluntarily" implement "three strikes" policies leading to the restriction of the connection of users suspected of infringing copyright.

"This document shows that ACTA would impose regulations tailored by US entertainment industries to the Internet. The civil and criminal sanctions could completely change the balance struck by current European law on Internet operators3. European negotiators4 must oppose this circumvention of democratic processes aiming at putting Internet under total surveillance by private actors.", concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of Paris-based citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.