Anonymous issued a response to Poland, who signed the controversial ACTA copyright protection treaty on Thursday, by hacking its government websites. Anonymous and other opponents of ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, call ACTA an assault on the internet and online freedom.
The signing of ACTA, which expands the powers of government in determining what is copyright infringement and how that government deals with it, was met with widespread protests throughout Poland, with reports of 15,000 activists in Krakow, 5,000 in Wroclaw, and thousands of others in other Polish cities. Anonymous responded to the signing by hacking several Polish government websites and bringing them down.
ACTA, which has been signed by US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea, has been criticized for its secrecy and its potential abuse of power. ACTA has also been compared to SOPA/PIPA, which several websites protested last week by blacking themselves out for a day.
Anonymous also issued a warning to Poland, saying Polish government - we are more powerful than you. We have a lot of your files and personal information. We warn you to exercise caution.
ACTA requires ISP's to track users activity for possible copyright violations, and gives trademark owners more power to investigate people who are suspected of violating trademarks or copyrights. Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, told Russia Today that the ACTA copyright protection treaty is an excellent example of abuse of power by the corporate industry.
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This legislation about putting people in jail was negotiated by corporations and the lawmakers just got it in their lap, he said. That is not how a democratic society should work, quite regardless of what this law says.
Anonymous, who has been vocal in their opposition of ACTA, SOPA and PIPA, said that they are preparing for a war. Internet censorship is wrong' #Anonymous #ACTA, said one Anonymous Twitter account. This way to the world war web. Single file, please. #SOPA #ACTA #FBI, said another.
Falkvinge said that he's seen what people can do against SOPA and PIPA, and that people need to band together again against ACTA. Millions of people, literally millions contacted Congress and said 'we don't want this, this is not what we stand for, he said. Congress heard them and realized that if they follow the corporations rather than the voters, then they'll lose their jobs. And that is what changes policy in the end.