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EU Article 29 Working Party Expresses Concern About ACTA and Privacy

The EU Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, which included ACTA on its agenda as part of its meetings last week, has written to Commissioner Karel de Gucht to express concern about the privacy implications of ACTA.  The Working Party is particularly concerned with notice-and-takedown procedures, customs searches, and criminalization.

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  1. Privacy cannot coexist with Internet regulation
    In order to apply these new laws regulating the dissemination of information, governments must ignore the problem of shared accounts, shared connections, public connections, anonymizing services, and peer-to-peer protocols. Once passed, these new laws will then mean that anonymizing services will be illegal, because they permit illegal activities to occur undetected, similarly sharing a connection with a criminal will itself be illegal. Of course peer-to-peer services will be outlawed as will anonymous domain name registration (the current default in Canada). This is a fundamental reconfiguring of the architecture of the Internet and will spell the end of privacy. In the mean time, Canadians will be confused about whether such-and-such software program used to open such-and-such file may or may not be illegal. Who won’t be confused if the courts of the world are still debating it. Or whether such-and-such paid service is actually an authorized paid service, like for example.
    So Canadians in the know will be using privacy services and anonymizing services with greater and greater frequency. It is, in fact, venture capital’s newest ‘hot’ investment sector. So, will there be two levels of justice, punishment only for those who are smart enough to stay safe? Or are we headed toward some kind of government sponsored cyberwar?