Does ACTA Kill Online Anonymity?

from the it-might... dept

With the full draft of ACTA leaked, lots of people have been highlighting the various lowlights found in the draft. Andrew Moshirnia, over at the Citizen Media Law Project, has picked up on another one. If you read the draft, it appears to remove due process in revealing anonymous users. While other countries have viewed anonymity differently, in the US, at least, the courts have been very strong defenders of the right to anonymous speech. But the ACTA draft includes this fun tidbit:
Each Party shall enable right holders, who have given effective notification to an online service provider of materials that they claim with valid reasons to be infringing their copyright or related rights, to expeditiously obtain from that provider information on the identity of the relevant subscriber.
In other words, as long as someone makes a copyright claim -- bogus or not -- ISPs should be required to give up who the user is. Once again, this appears to be contrary to US law. The RIAA made this argument in the US years ago, and Verizon fought back and (eventually) won, as judges noted that ISPs did not just have to hand over information without a lawsuit being filed and an official subpoena issued. So much for ACTA not changing US law, right?

But, an even bigger concern may be how other countries implement this as well. We've already noted that China will likely use ACTA as justification for greater censorship, but Moshirnia points out that authoritarian regimes may start (ab)using it to unveil anonymous internet users as well:
Let's say I am an oppressive regime. One of the very few ways my citizens can reach me is by videotaping and publicizing my brutal methods of silencing protesters (warning, disturbing link). Now, not only can I use bogus takedown requests to pull down those videos (think a global DMCA) but I can also get the private information of the poster.
So why is anyone supporting ACTA again?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 3:01am

    Who voted for this again?

    Considering the current circumstance, it's hard to recognize ACTA as a rightfully enacted trade provision that was voted on and passed by a majoriy of congress.

    One would request a "Proper" paperwork by a Judge under the 4th Amendment.

    The sooner our Congress Critters realize that ACTA takes the power away from them, the better. The thing is that this is also why we need to chip a few representatives away from the Democratic side to independent/republican side this November.

    Maybe it's just me, but it would be nice to see some good, well-funded independents. I wonder if the Tea Party will move go for this idea. A few years ago, what we did with Ron Paul and the Money Bombs were amazing. We would need to support where we can, but still hold our Representatives accountable.

    What if we could get more Tea Party folks to find and gain commitment that Representatives would gain Tea Party support only if they swear to uphold the Constitution?

    Ask them, when they take the oath of office if their corporate interests will ask that they surrender their duties to Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the US Constitution. Will they sit by idly and allow ACTA to be merely a matter of the day like gas prices or something that needs to be debated at length?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 3:16am

    Congress critters could care less about your "rights" or anyone elses for that matter. Republican, Democrate or otherwise. They just want to get paid. End of story. They will do what the person who signs their "check" or gives them their perks will tell them to do. Its like a room full of puppets but we can't see the strings.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Bullwinkle J. Moose, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 3:24am

    I read that...

    My main question resides with the entire "Disclosure of Information" section.

    How is any of this possible without pulling a rabbit out of a hat?

     

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  4.  
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    Dementia (profile), Apr 6th, 2010 @ 3:54am

    Re: Who voted for this again?

    Here's a better suggestion, let's do away with the whole two part system and, instead, elect people who understand their purpose is to represent the citizens of this country, not the corporations and special interests. How?? Damned if I know, with as much money as is currently involved in campaigns, it probably isn't possible.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Bullwinkle J. Moose, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 4:00am

    So the answer is for voters to start taking contributions from special interests?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 4:11am

    An entire part of the leaked document under the section "Disclosure and Information" is quite troubling.

    I wonder why this is being discussed outside of the US Congress.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 4:14am

    Obama

    So why is anyone supporting ACTA again?

    Because Obama said to?

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 4:53am

    Re: Re: Who voted for this again?

    Absolutely.
    Only a fool would think the other party will do a better job simply because they are the other party.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 4:55am

    ACTA = Big Content wet dream

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 4:58am

    I forgot when being anonymous became a right. I speak only for the US here of course. You should be held accountable for the things you say and do, even if they are via the intertubes and not tangible (I say that with respect to slander, libel, and actual copyright infringment). That said, I only believe that in the context of: if an ISP is given a supeona, they should comply with the court order (I still can't believe that woman tried to sue google for giving up her info after a supeona was issued for it - how dare they comply with the law!?). If you are afraid to say something and have it attributed to you, is it really free speech?

    Any ISP worth their salt would just say "bring me a court order". If this makes it an additional crime to hold out for that, we have problems.

     

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  11.  
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    WammerJammer (profile), Apr 6th, 2010 @ 5:04am

    RIAA

    That's what you get when you let the Copyright Office in the US be beholden to none. Almost every person on the Copyright Office board used to be an RIAA Executive. Don't believe me? Follow the money! Get the names of the board members and do a search on them. I won't give you the names because it's probably breaking the new laws.
    Put your head down and wear your hoody, the shit is coming down and the battle is about to begin. We know from history that you can only push around the peasants for so long and then they use their farm implements (work tools) for weapons.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 5:05am

    ACTA the law that make dictatorships look like pussies.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 5:12am

    Re:

    You failed history in school didn't you.

    The founding fathers used anonymity to plan the new republic.

    Many politicians throughout history used anonymity to convey their most radical ideas for their times.

    Anonymity is part of free speech. Humans don't handle criticism very well and those powerful enough will hunt others down and punish them.

    Many others used anonymity to denounce bad things or to do bad things. But by far the positives have prevailed in free societies even when people could do horrible things.

    We don't need to go after other saying things is up to people to learn how to filter information and how to make use of it, not some third party deciding for all of us what should or should not be said.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    DH's love child, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 5:19am

    Re:

    "I forgot when being anonymous became a right."

    When SCOTUS very clearly ruled that it was protected by that pesky 1st Amendment of some document that the rest of the government seems to forget exists...

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 5:34am

    Re:

    "I forgot when being anonymous became a right."

    Oh freedom haters, how I love seeing you. You envision a perfect world where everyone agrees with you and your philosophy reigns supreme. How could anyone disagree with you when you are so obviously right? And because everyone agrees with you nobody minds standing by their opinions in public because all are of one mind. A place for everything and everything in its place.

    Unfortunately, in the real world, we have : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyranny_of_the_majority

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 5:40am

    acta killed my dog and forced my wife into prostitution and doesnt stop for red lights.

     

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  17.  
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    lavi d (profile), Apr 6th, 2010 @ 6:01am

    ACTO

    So why is anyone supporting ACTA again?

    Because it has eloctrolytes?

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 6:22am

    "doesnt stop for red lights."

    Speaking of red lights, I came across an iPhone game called Car-troller where you are a traffic planner for cities with no budget to properly setup traffic lights for safety reasons. It makes a subtile case for red light cameras.

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/car-troller/id348399123?mt=8

    Yay re-engineering the younger generation.

    I totally expect this comment to be moderated because "Cartroller" has the word "troll" in it.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Steve, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 6:24am

    Re: Re: Who voted for this again?

    While I like your idea....that is not what our country is. Our country is a constitutional republic where the people send representatives to do the thinking and governing for us. To do what what you suggest, we would have to be a flat out democracy.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    DH's love child, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Who voted for this again?

    Problem is that the people doing the thinking for us are basically being bought off by lobbyists. Much as it's supposed to be a constitutional republic, it's really a plutocracy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 6th, 2010 @ 7:23am

    Today in the news ...

    "New criminal provisions allow for a sentence of up to 5 years for reporting of false news."

    Today in the news South Korea today requested the deportation of a New York times reporter for yesterdays April fools day spoof of its leaders.

    "Users are required to enter their real name and their national ID number when using websites with more than 100,000 members."

    Today in the news South Koreas National id system was hacked and all IDs were made public. (oh wait that one will get me a 5 year prison sentence)

    "Each Party shall enable right holders, who have given effective notification to an online service provider of materials that they claim with valid reasons to be infringing their copyright or related rights, to expeditiously obtain from that provider information on the identity of the relevant subscriber."

    Today in the news material witness warrants were issued for all the key members of WikiLeaks. In other stories the AA and NA websites were issued a request for all anonymous users due to the rampant use of the phrase "happy birthday to you" which is copyrighted in the song of the same name.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 7:51am

    Re:

    Sorry to hear that your wife is a whore.

     

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  23.  
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    gorehound (profile), Apr 6th, 2010 @ 7:51am

    ACTA is a violation of our constitutional rights and if it becomes a reality it will be challenged in many ways.
    Lawyers will challenge this in courts of law
    And I hope folks will boycott various artists/studios/RIAA/MPAA to tell them what we think of their lobbying goverments to take away our rights.

    ANTI CONSUMER TRADING ACT IS SHIT !!!

     

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  24.  
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    nasch (profile), Apr 6th, 2010 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Who voted for this again?

    He's not suggesting direct democracy, he's suggesting doing away with the two-party system. Presumably it would look more like Canada. Which would either be great or the absolute end of everything good America has ever stood for, depending on your political orientation.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 8:31am

    ahahah...

    acta is not even being reported in the many (not all) acta countries' major newspapers - english or others...

    the world is more screwed than it imagines.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re:

    it is okay she is an acta whore. acta also kills kittens and makes african orphans starve.

     

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  27.  
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    Jeff (profile), Apr 6th, 2010 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    You sir are an (anonymous) idiot... To bad you didn't pay attention in your H.S. history class or you'd remember
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_paine#American_Revolution

    While not necessarily enshrined in the Bill of Rights, we have a great tradition of anonymous commenting - electronic or not.

    Please have a Troll cookie and engage your brain before commenting next time please!

     

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  28.  
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    Joel (profile), Apr 6th, 2010 @ 9:26am

    ACTA kills

    ACTA is going to kill much more than just anonymity; this is a terrible act being forced upon the people by corporations who do not understand who made them big. If ACTA ever reaches/becomes what the corporations want it to be, it is going to be a very sad and then the next day someone will find a way around it.

    Please don't take my rights from me in the physical world or in the internet.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Kind of like how pirating movies funds terrorism and bankrupts corn farmers.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    Re: ACTA kills

    ACTA or The Anti-Citizen Trade Agreement.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    ???, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Who voted for this again?

    What would you suggest? Every alternative that is possible can easily be exploited by corporations. Notice how the two major propositions in California in June, initiated by "Direct Initiative" (i.e., the closest thing to direct democracy in CA), are fronted, operated, and funded primarily by corporations intending to profit (or prevent loss) from it.

    The only thing you can argue for is violent destruction of corporations...but...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    the panic sounds about the same. its only shrill shilling when you dont agree with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Who do you think the political class listens too? The public who either has never heard of ACTA or doesn't care for what they have seen of it or the ones pushing ACTA?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    known coward, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 7:19am

    Isn't ACTA suppose to protect the children?

    well isn't it?

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2010 @ 7:31am

    Re: ACTO

    LMAO. I got your reference.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Thireus, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 6:10am

    Into our STOP ACTA protest the Internet neutrality and censorship problematic is only a small part of this law.
    Read more here: http://blog.thireus.com/anonymous-against-acta-strikes-and-protests-begin

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    raymond.woo@energizer.com, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 6:35am

    raymond.woo@energizer.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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