Following Poland's lead
, the Czech Prime Minister, Petr Necas has announced that the government there will suspend the ACTA ratification process
until the country has had more time to analyze the agreement. This follows a "wave of protests"
across Europe, in which this agreement, that everyone assumed was going through with no questions asked, has suddenly generated significant public interest:
"By no means would the government admit a situation where civic freedoms and free access to information would be threatened," Necas said.
That is why the government will analyse the issue and have it assessed by experts. "We really must look into the impact it would have in real life," Necas said.
Unfortunately, it sounds like some of the protesters are still claiming things about ACTA that were removed ages ago, as Necas is also telling people that it won't require checking laptops at borders or monitoring internet usage. While some of those things were floated in very early drafts of ACTA, all of those have been gone for years
at this point. Once again, we have to urge people to keep the ACTA debate fact-based
, because misinformation like this makes it easier for countries like the Czech Republic to come back later and say that they're still ratifying the document, because the complaints turned out not to be true. There are plenty of real problems
with ACTA, and hopefully people can focus on those. Otherwise these milestone moments in the Czech Republic and Poland will be for nothing....