Together, we beat SOPA in a huge victory for internet freedom. But this Saturday, internet freedom protests are breaking out in over 200 cities across Europe. Why?
SOPA's supporters are pushing two agreements: ACTA and TPP1. ACTA would criminalize users, encourage internet providers to spy on you, and make it easier for media companies to sue sites out of existence and jail their founders. Sound familiar? That's right, ACTA is from the same playbook as SOPA, but global. Plus it didn't even have to pass through Congress2.
TPP goes even farther than ACTA, and the process has been even more secretive and corrupt. Last weekend (we wish this was a joke) trade negotiators partied with MPAA (pro-SOPA) lobbyists before secret negotiations in a Hollywood hotel, while public interest groups were barred from meeting in the same building.3
Trade agreements are a gaping loophole, a secretive backdoor track that--even though it creates new laws--is miles removed from democracy. Trade negotiators are unelected and unaccountable, so these agreements have been very hard for internet rights groups to stop.
But now the tide is turning. Fueled by the movement to stop SOPA, anti-ACTA protests are breaking out across the EU, which hasn't ratified ACTA. The protests are having an impact: leaders in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia have backtracked on ACTA.4 Now a massive round of street protests in over 200 cities is planned for this Saturday February 11th.
We're planning an online protest this Saturday to support the protests in the streets. Why? Because together we can drive millions of emails to key decision makers--and start tipping the scales like we did on SOPA.
We just built an ACTA & TPP contact tool, and it's not just a petition. It's code for your site that figures out the visitor's country and lets them email all their Members of European Parliament--the politicians who will be voting on ACTA in June--or the trade negotiators behind TPP. This direct contact between voters and their officials, driven by websites of all sizes, was instrumental in the fight against SOPA.
We can use the same tactics to defeat ACTA & TPP, but we need your help!
This is going to be tough fight. But we need to make secretive trade agreements harder to pass than US law. If we don't, our internet's future belongs to the lobbyists behind SOPA.
This is just the beginning,
--Holmes Wilson, Tiffiniy Cheng, Joshua Blount & the whole Fight for the Future team.
P.S. This map of ACTA street protests in Europe is amazing. The largest has almost 50,000 RSVP's!
2. Obama's signing of ACTA may have been unconstitutional. See Anti-counterfeiting agreement raises constitutional concerns and Techdirt.