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Economist: ACTA up


NO SOONER was the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) signed than Kader Arif, the European Union’s chief negotiator, called it a “masquerade” and resigned. Slovenia’s envoy, who signed the deal at a powwow in Japan, called her own behaviour an act of “civic carelessness”. Romania’s prime minister (now resigned) admitted he couldn’t say why his country had signed it. In Poland, where lawmakers protested by wearing Guy Fawkes masks associated with the Anonymous hacker-activist collective, the prime minister said he would suspend ratification. The Czech Republic and Slovakia (which has not signed it) later did the same.

The unusual remorse and wobbles come amid unprecedented protests against the treaty, an attempt by rich countries to protect their intellectual-property industries. Groups affiliated to Anonymous have hacked government websites. More than 1.8m people have signed an online petition. Many Poles and Swedes have demonstrated. Organisers plan protests in hundreds of European cities on February 11th.

Edasi loe ajakirjast The Economist