- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
COLOGNE, Germany – An independent advisory group has warned that ACTA, the multinational anti-piracy treaty which the European Parliament is set to vote into law later this year, could violate European laws protecting privacy and human rights.
The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), an independent authority that advises European bodies on data protection issues, said that the treaty, as written, is too vague and could result in the violation of individual rights if passed unchanged.
ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is a multinational treaty that aims to create a new global governing body to regulate and enforce copyright laws. The agreement has been signed by the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia and South Korea, among others, and was unanimously approved by the countries of the European Union in January this year.
But in an opinion published this week, the EDPS said ratifying ACTA could open the doors to indiscriminate or widespread monitoring of users’ Internet behavior and electronic communications which could violate Europe’s charter of fundamental rights.
In particular, the group said ACTA does not clearly define what behavior would be criminalized under the treaty and who would be tasked with enforcing it. EDPS warned that if the treaty was interpreted too widely, it could criminalize private, non-profit data sharing in a way that could violate freedom of speech and information laws. It also expressed concern that vague language in the treaty meant that non-judicial bodies could potentially carry out widespread, indiscriminate sweeps of Internet traffic, fishing for suspicious behavior.
“While more international cooperation is needed for the enforcement of Intellectual Property (IP) rights, the means envisaged must not come at the expense of the fundamental rights of individuals,” said Giovanni Buttarelli, an assistant at the EDPS. “A right balance between the fight against IP infringements and the rights to privacy and data protection must be respected. It appears that ACTA has not been fully successful in this respect.”
If the European Parliament votes to approve ACTA, the treaty will still have to be ratified by individual European countries before coming into force.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
Jonathan Majors Arrested for Alleged Assault, Rep Says Actor “Has Done Nothing Wrong”
The Woman King
Gina Prince-Bythewood to Be Honored at Black Business Association Salute to Black Women Event
Jeremy Renner Says Snowplow Involved in New Year’s Day Accident Is “Finally Making Her Way Back Home”