Today EFF has joined a coalition of over 50 organizations from across Europe and around the world in a call for the European Parliament to reject ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The European Parliament vote on the plurilateral agreement is set for this Wednesday, July 4, and follows deliberations from five different parliamentary committees that each urged rejection.
Like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), under discussion in San Diego this week, ACTA has provoked protests around the world for its secretive drafting and negotiation process. Details revealed through leaks and with the ultimate release of the document show that the agreement threatens fundamental online freedoms, consumers' privacy, and basic civil liberties. Moreover, it does so in the name of ratcheting up intellectual property (IP) enforcement above the established international standards.
We don't yet know whether a defeat in the European Parliament would spell the end of ACTA, but it would certainly mark a major milestone in the fight against it. Combined with its recent trouble in the U.S., where the State Department admitted after an EFF Freedom of Information Act request that it did not follow certain Constitutionally-required procedures, it looks like there is still hope for defeating the agreement before it is implemented internationally.