The European Union has put the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (A.C.T.A.) on hold and referred it to the European Court of Justice. E.U. Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding seeks legal affirmation that the anti-piracy treaty, an Anonymous cause célèbre, is truly in line with basic rights.
Ms. Reding seeks clarification on the question of whether the treaty will restrict the free flow of information. She has supported including an ‘Internet freedom provision’ in the legislation:
This ‘internet freedom provision’ represents a great victory for the rights and freedoms of European citizens. Under this provision, ‘three-strikes laws’, which could cut off internet access without a prior fair and impartial procedure or without effective and timely judicial review, will certainly not become part of European law.
The Register quotes Ms. Reding as stating she understands “that many people are worried about how A.C.T.A. would be implemented” and suggests this means she seeks to combat “myths” promoted by treaty opponents. The commissioner has stated in the past that for her, “blocking the Internet is never an option.”
While this is clearly not an abandonment of A.C.T.A., some associated with hacker activist collective Anonymous see it as a kind of victory:
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) February 22, 2012