I’m always impressed by Anon’s skills when it comes to producing ‘hype’ for whatever they’re up to. This time it’s Operation Payback, in which they’re taking down banks (sort of) and threatening multinational corporations and governments. The video starts, with all voices computerized:
“Corrupt governments of the world: we are Anonymous. For some time now, voices have been crying out in unison against the new ACTA laws. The gross inadequacies of the new laws being passed internationally have been pointed out repeatedly.”
The ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) laws Anon’s so worried about are the product of “a proposed plurilateral trade agreement which is alleged by its proponents to be in response ‘to the increase in global trade of counterfeit goods and pirated copyright protected works.’ The scope of ACTA is broad, including counterfeit physical goods, as well as ‘internet distribution and information technology,'” according to Wikipedia.
It isn’t as tame as it sounds. First, the whole trade agreement – between prominent Western nations, was done in secret – outside of the scope and visibility of the UN. News of the agreement only recently leaked, and when it did, a good amount of people got pretty upset. According to this piece on BoingBoing, the ACTA creates “an entirely new realm of liability for people who provide services on the net,” which, ultimately, “will make it harder to invent new tools like web-lockers, online video-hosting services, blogging services, and anything else that’s capable of being used to infringe copyright.”
As such ACTA represents, “a radical rewriting of the world’s Internet laws, taking place in secret, without public input… [E]ven Members of Parliament and Congressmembers don’t get a say in this. The Obama administration’s trade rep says that the US will sign onto ACTA without Congressional debate, under an administrative decree.”
Members of other forums such as conceptstart.org are saying this about the ACTA:
[ACTA] is about stopping illegal filesharing, but in the physical world. If the law is voted through in the next G8-meeting…the Customs by airports and border controlls will start making random search-throughs by travelers laptops, mp3-players and cellphones. ACTA will be created as a stand-alone organisation and special ACTA-guards will do these controlls. If they find something they deem illegal you will get a fine and get your storage media confiscated or destroyed.
USA, EU, Japan, Schweiz, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Canada and Mexico will be striken by this madness law which will also create increased cooperation between Internet service provider (ISP) as well as increased limitations in rights to be anonymous on the Internet. ISP’s will be forced to report suspected file-sharing crimes, this without permission which makes it MUCH easier to prosecute private individuals and torrent sites.[sic]
Sounds like that would suck, if this guy knows what he’s talking about.
Anon’s video ends with a sort of battlecry, as well as a warning that institutions might do well to take seriously: “The unjust restrictions you impose on us will meet with disaster and only strengthen our resolve to disobey… Such actions taken against you and those you outsource your malignant litigation to are inevitable and unavoidable and unstoppable. We are Anonymous. We are legion divided by zero. We do not forgive internet censorship and we do not forget free speech.”