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Europe's Internet revolt: protesters see threats in antipiracy treaty

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Despite this and changes to the text, ACTA remains a heated point of contention.

Sebastian Meyer, attorney with law firm Brandi in Bielefeld, Germany, says the entire affair would have benefited from greater transparency. 

"I find it quite interesting that most persons who protest against ACTA focus on the way the text was negotiated. The other major issue seems [to be] – from the perspective of the protesting persons – the fear of a tighter surveillance of Internet usage. However, protesters have to accept that the Internet is neither a legal vacuum nor unlegislated area," he says.

Some nations pull back

Twenty-two EU member states endorsed to the agreement last month, aiming to strengthen enforcement of intellectual property rights. Yesterday, Germany joined Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Latvia in pulling back from the agreement, and an EU parliament vote on it, not expected until May at the earliest, may scupper the deal.  

Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the US signed in October 2011. 

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