Splinternet Protest: Stop ACTA 2 Activists Start Online Petition To Save Internet To Be Delivered To European Commission

By Aaron Kesel

Stop ACTA 2 activists comprised of Anonymous, Pirates, and Internet freedom advocates have started a new Change.org petition to be delivered to the European Commission on May 26th after European elections, with new politicians set to take over leadership.

European elections will take place between May 23rd to May 26th, at which point new politicians will take over for the last public servants that betrayed the European people by selling out their Internet for an upload filter and link tax that will change the world as we know it. However, the fresh meat coming into office has a chance to reverse things screwed up by their predecessors and make things right for the European people who have previously opposed the directive in a 5.2 million person petition that was delivered to European Parliament calling for an end to the ACTA 2 proposals in the various Articles for “reforming digital copyright law.”

Activists met on the streets across Europe on several occasions in the past to express their discontent to the EU ACTA 2 bill.

On March 23rd, activists first met on the streets to fight against copyright companies and EU bureaucrats seeking to destroy the Internet.

The first wave of street protests in at least 20 different cities in 15 countries took place on January 19th, 2019, all across Europe, as Activist Post reported.

Despite protests across Europe, MEPs voted on April 15th to successfully redesign the Internet with a censorship directive disguised as a copyright proposal, passed in a vote of 22 countries in favor of the law.

Only six countries — Italy, Sweden, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg — voted against the proposed directive that will change the Internet as we know it.

ACTA 2 required all the dirty tricks in the book to pass the initial vote.

Throughout the voting process, there were numerous politricks by EPP Group and other political parties involved in the copyright directive, or ACTA 2, such as attempting to change the voting date, intimidating politicians by threatening them with bad press and even changing the article numbers prior to the vote.

If that wasn’t enough, a report by a German publication has revealed that the real reason Germany caved to France in February is because the country was bribed in negotiations to get approval for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia.

With ACTA 2 passing this means that EU member countries have two years to comply by drafting their own national laws. This is sure to spur protests and legal battles all over Europe for the next few years. Unless activists and hacktivists using Change.org have something to say against it.

The petition states:

As you are probably aware, a Copyright Directive was introduced in the European Union that will change our Internet forever.

Article 11 and Article 13 (now called Article 15 and Article 17) will introduce an #uploadfilter and a #linktax. This is unacceptable to us.

We ask the new European Commission to introduce a new directive repealing the current copyright directive including the widely criticized articles 15 and 17 (known previously as articles 11 and 13). How this is done is up to you, but we do not give our consent to launch ANY law that introduces the Internet censorship and forces the website owners to proactively monitor their services.

To anyone who considers signing: between 23 and 26 May 2019 there will be new elections in the EU. This petition is to be delivered to the new EU Commission. Let’s give them a clear message that we want them to create a new directive that will invalidate the current Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market that was adopted by the European Parliament on 26 March and approved by the Council of the European Union on 15 April 2019.

Do you want to know more?

Join #StopACTA2 on Discord: https://discord.gg/UgvYn3F

Visit the website: https://www.stopacta2.org/en/

In retrospect, new politicians taking over countries’ leaderships can stand for the people, Internet freedom and transparency or end up a target of sovereign Internet citizens, and destroy your own political careers while answering angry phone calls explaining why you ignore the will of the people. The choice, of course, is yours; the decision to oppose you is ours!

Currently, the new petition to be delivered to the European Commission on May 26th has a total of 1,007 people who have signed at the time of this report.

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.

Meanwhile, the UK itself in the process of leaving the EU, passed a horrifying terror bill that will make it illegal to watch any “terrorist propaganda” (not clearly defined) which carries sentencing of 15 years, an age restriction porn law and introduced the world’s first Internet regulation safety agency, as Activist Post reported.

In other words this is leading to a “splinternet,” a term made popular last year by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt who predicted that the Internet would collapse into two parts: one led by the Chinese and the other led by the U.S. Although Schmidt didn’t mention the UK, the former EU country seems to be leading the effort along with current European Union member countries.

To spell it out bluntly, they are using the legal system as a medium to split the Internet; this will lead to webmasters having to follow multiple countries’ laws and having to pay for an upload filter and link tax or just block countries supporting such systems.

A recent Associated Free Press article entitled: “Breaking the internet: new regulations imperil global network,” highlights the key problem with individual countries creating their own regulatory laws for a system that was created to enable connectivity amongst nations without borders. The Internet is global, a World Wide Web, so this means that website owners will have to conform to multiple countries’ laws; this stifles not only freedom of information, but can also harm small businesses that aren’t corporate giants like Google or Facebook.

Further, as a result, conflicting Internet legislation by multiple countries will ultimately fragment information across networks and countries. Already, with the passing of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as Gizmodo reported, we have seen this taking form.

Now, if you visit dozens of American news websites from an EU-based IP address some of the news sites state the following or something similar, “Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has previously warned that the proposed policies within ACTA 2 will increase censorship and surveillance throughout Europe and create 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.

EFF notes that the original petition by activists delivered to Parliament 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.

As Activist Post has continuously reported, 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 behalfs 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.

Pirate Party Germany member Julia Reda notes the final horrifying shocking changes made to the bill in a blog post.

  • Commercial sites and apps where users can post material must make “best efforts” to preemptively buy licenses for anything that users may possibly upload – that is: all copyrighted content in the world. An impossible feat.
  • In addition, all but very few sites (those both tiny and very new) will need to do everything in their power to prevent anything from ever going online that may be an unauthorised copy of a work that a rightsholder has registered with the platform. They will have no choice but to deploy upload filters, which are by their nature both expensive and error-prone.
  • Should a court ever find their licensing or filtering efforts not fierce enough, sites are directly liable for infringements as if they had committed them themselves. This massive threat will lead platforms to over-comply with these rules to stay on the safe side, further worsening the impact on our freedom of speech.

Reda also expresses that for the link tax, there will be extra copyright for news sites, like the one you are reading now.

  • Reproducing more than “single words or very short extracts” of news stories will require a license. That will likely cover many of the snippets commonly shown alongside links today in order to give you an idea of what they lead to. We will have to wait and see how courts interpret what “very short” means in practice – until then, hyperlinking (with snippets) will be mired in legal uncertainty.
  • No exceptions are made even for services run by individuals, small companies or non-profits, which probably includes any monetized blogs or websites.

The EFF stated last month this battle isn’t over, laws can still be challenged in court, EU citizens will need to organize and support independent European digital rights groups.

In a blog post, Danny O’Brien—international director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)—called the passage of the copyright law “a stunning rejection of the will of five million online petitioners, and over 100,000 protestors this weekend.”

If you think that the EU’s internet legislation doesn’t affect you then you are wrong and don’t understand how the Internet works.

Besides the EFF, 54 NGOs 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.

In addition, 70 Internet and computing luminaries have previously spoken out against the dangerous provisions. The group, included — Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, the inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, co-founder of the Mozilla Project Mitchell Baker, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle, cryptography expert Bruce Schneier, and net neutrality expert Tim Wu.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden criticized the vote, tweeting in German, “Never forget what they did here.”

Internet regulation fascism is rising and it doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. The question must be asked: where is Anonymous which aided in helping stop past Orwellian Internet legislation? It seems everyone has been quiet despite this ongoing recent push to take away all of our free Internet Rights and freedoms one country at a time.

If Internet rights and freedoms are to be kept, then the people need to come together, rise up and protest their governments like never before and let their voices, keystrokes, and digital sit-ins be heard and felt worldwide. Otherwise, we risk entering into an era that will be known as the 21st century dark ages where information is forgotten due to policing, censorship through upload filters or accused terrorist propaganda content, and generally lost due to not being able to pay for every external link on a website (link tax.) There is no going back once these systems and infrastructure regulatory agencies are in place.

On social media, supporters are using the following hashtags for digital protests — #stopACTA2, #CopyrightDirective, #SaveYourInternet, #SaveTheInternet, #SaveOurInternet #Article11, #Article13, #UploadFilters, #LinkTax, #Filternet, #ACTA2 #Anonymous.

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 from the free sharing of information.

You can sign the petition here, to save the Internet, voicing your opinion against EU lobbyists and bureaucrats seeking to destroy the World Wide Web.

Supporters of the fight against ACTA 2 include — wolnemedia, SoMee.Social, Bitchute, Presearch, blogmedia24, Anonymous Bites Back, wykop, polskapartiapiratow, Pirate Parties International, kontestacja, Hackread.com, inspro, Stowarzyszenie Libertarianskie, Anonymous Info Army Poland, and Anon Ops Poland according to the StopActa2.org website.

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 info@stopacta2.org 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, as well as smaller independent publications.

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.

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