By Aaron Kesel
The European Union is attempting to censor the Internet with several new initiatives called Article 11, 12a, and 13 while numerous other Articles are pending to be drafted that could affect your Internet freedom rights.
These Articles will have legal implications that will break the Internet as we know it. Not only will they include an “upload filter” if passed to block copyrighted (or unwanted) content from being uploaded on the Internet, it will also be impossible to link to source material, including educational content and even memes. Yes, memes, the EU is coming for your memes, hide your meme stash!
You thought the EU was past banning memes? This September, Article 13 RETURNS for the sequel – and your memes!
— Create.Refresh (@CreateRefresh) August 26, 2018
Pending Articles like 12a, for example, will make it illegal to upload any personal video from a sporting event because the copyright will be fully to those hosting or sponsoring the event. It is a shocking contention that it could be criminal to record your beloved sports team or showcase a short snippet of a video of your favorite play from a game.
Meanwhile, Article 13 is designed to make website owners responsible for the content that users post on their websites, effectively forcing website owners to move behind an upload filter to protect themselves against huge claims by copyright owners and agencies that work on their behalf like the MPAA and RIAA. Article 11 is an even worse concept. That has been dubbed the “link tax” article; if passed, linking to any copyrighted material is taxed upon.
Imagine wanting to link to a news article because you want to have a free discussion about it? Under the law, you the user may now need to pay to link the article of copyrighted material — absolute insanity!
This is something that “will destroy our internet, And we cannot accept it. So we are fighting back. Activists, hacktivists and pirates are now uniting under the banner of StopACTA2,” Anonymous Bites Back writes.
Anonymous Bites Back further expresses that the radio show hosted by Anons is in “full support of the (street) protests against these Orwellian moves to censor the internet. We have had several episodes about this subject already, and we plan to join the protesters on the street and broadcast live to our network.”
There are no leaders in Anonymous like the feds think; everyone networks and works together for common like-minded causes, be it hunting pedophiles, animal abusers, domestic terrorists or uniting together to stop previous laws against the Internet like ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, CISPA and the cleverly named never forgotten CISPA 2.0, or numerous anti-war actions just to name a few of the collective’s operations over the years.
There are no specific goals for the collective; there is, however, an overarching desire to combat censorship, promote freedom of speech, and counter government control within the collective. While anti-oppression and supporting whistleblowers seems to be something most can agree on.
Years before 2011, Anonymous became known as the government’s and Internet’s final boss. (You just lost the game!)
Anonymous actions have been taken against Sony, HB Gary, Aaron Barr, Operation Payback, and protests against organizations like Westboro Baptist, Church Of Scientology, and various governments worldwide including Iran, Egypt, Australia, and Ireland to name a few of those targeted in early Ops.
Utilizing a number of techniques such as digital web sit-ins (DoS attacks) with LOIC (sending HTTP header requests to sites), “rudimentary exploits,”,d0xing and sometimes the more extreme hacking of a database and leaking of its tables and contents for the Lulz.
Meanwhile, for those who support the idea of Anonymous decentralization, government transparency, and freedom for everyone, the march is seen as days to meet, trek, network and form ideas with like minds, leaving behind hacktivist deeds that individuals of the collective might (or might not) have taken part in. (You do not talk about fight club; rule 9001 of the Internet – everyone is a fed, don’t brag.)
We urgently ask you to do everything in your power to support the StopACTA2 movement, that is coordinated by the Polish StopACTA2 crew and the crew of Anonymous Worldwide and many others including Pirate Parties International with its co-chair Bailey Lamon and board member Raymond Johansen.
Pirates and Copyright activists
Pls follow @stopActa2_eu fighting article 11 & 13 digitally and with boots on the ground. @PPInternational, will coordinate between these people and the #Pirate efforts. Behind them U will find the most effective #anonymous crew there is today. pic.twitter.com/WDv3ELvg1v
— Raymond Johansen (@RayJoha2) January 13, 2019
Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda notes that users will be responsible and liable for any copyright infringements they make on Internet platforms.
“The negotiators have reached agreement on the core of Article 13, which will change the internet as we know it: They want to make internet platforms directly liable for any copyright infringements their users commit,” Reda notes.
European Parliament is expected to finalize the final text of Article 13, which is part of the EU’s copyright reform law by Monday, Torrent Freak reported.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) warns that the proposed policies will increase censorship and surveillance throughout Europe creating a stasi state. The digital rights organization specifically calls on people from Germany, Sweden, Poland, and Luxembourg, to speak out.
“Your national government depends on your goodwill to win the votes to continue its mandate. This is a rare moment in European lawmaking when local connections from citizens matter more than well-funded, international corporations,” EFF writes.
Supporters of the fight against ACTA 2 include wolnemedia, SoMee.
Numerous other organizations and individuals are coming out and speaking about the negotiations of Articles 11, 12a and 13 and what’s fundamentally wrong with them.
Already, 54 NGOs including the EFF and 40 academics have issued separate open letters to the EU Council stating these “texts risk creating severe impediments” or the Internet and its users.
The NGOs declared that the implementation of article 11 is both unnecessary, as well as a risk to a majority of media and hinders the ability of users to share information. Similarly, they note that article 13’s requirement for “error-prone, intrusive and legally questionable” upload filters represent a threat to fundamental rights, leading to the blocking of legitimate content.
Academics have expressed much of the same concerns when rumors began that the EU was discussing the potential copywrong policies in 2016.
However, scholars note they are doubtful of “CJEU case law and its reference to the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and whether Article 13 of the proposed copyright Directive is actually proportionate, even if Article 17(2) of the European Charter provides that intellectual property shall be protected, as Article 17(2) does not have the same beneficiary basis as Articles 7 and 11. Articles 7 and 11 of the European Charter are fundamental pillars of any democratic society. Copyright infringements should not be put too quickly in the same category as serious crimes such as child pornography.”
Last month, a more than 4 million strong petition of Internet users and businesses was sent to the European Parliament calling for an end to the ACTA 2 proposals in the various Articles for “reforming digital copyright law.”
EFF notes that the petition was created because the law will inevitably lead to the creation of algorithmic copyright filters that only US Big Tech companies can afford (making the field less competitive and thus harder for working artists to negotiate better deals in) and because these filters will censor enormous quantities of legitimate material, thanks to inevitable algorithmic errors and abuse.
Creative Sectors are also calling for a suspension of negotiations on Article 13 with 14 organizations calling for its halt according to Creative Refresh another group supporting a “free and open Internet.”
Creative Sectors Call for a suspension of negotiations on Article 13 #SaveYourInternet
— Create.Refresh (@CreateRefresh) January 15, 2019
The first wave of street protests in at least 20 different cities in 15 countries are being planned and prepared for January 19, 2019 all across Europe. Share this article, organize together amongst one another and send a message, show the powers-that-be that the Internet belongs to the people and not the corporations or the power-hungry elites that seek to profit off of the free sharing of information.
On social media, supporters are using the following hashtags for digital protests — #stopACTA2, #CopyrightDirective, #SaveYourInternet, #SaveTheInternet, #Article11, #Article13, #UploadFilters, #LinkTax, #Filternet, #ACTA2 #Anonymous.
You can find out more information by visiting StopActa2.org a website being run to support operation Stop Acta 2. The website will be kept up to date with a full list of the existing protest locations. Are you an experienced organizer who wants to help organize in Europe for protesting against ACTA 2? Then contact [email protected] for any information, or if you want to start your own protest. As this article details, the cards are stacked against European MEPs; the more presence they see from we the people, the further they might listen instead of passing a dual draconian Orwellian law that threatens Internet freedoms.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.