Czech Republic, Slovakia freeze anti-piracy pact

Feb 06, 2012
Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas, pictured in 2011, said Monday his country would freeze plans to ratify a controversial international online anti-piracy accord after mounting off-and-online protests.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said Monday his country would freeze plans to ratify a controversial international online anti-piracy accord after mounting off-and-online protests.

"The cabinet cannot accept a situation in which the bedrock of liberty and free access to information is endangered," Necas was quoted as saying by the Czech news agency CTK.

He said the government would undertake a thorough review of the "real world" impact of ratifying the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The Czech Republic is one of 22 European countries that last month signed up to ACTA, which aims to set up international standards for but has sparked fears it could curtail online freedom.

Despite mounting outcry among Internet users, governments gave a nod to ACTA with an initial signature of endorsement, but ratification by parliament is needed for it to come into force.

Later Monday, neighbouring Slovakia also suspended its ratification process, with Economy Minister Juraj Miskov saying a wide needed to be initiated before the process could continue.

"I will not support a treaty that could limit human rights and freedoms," Miskov said in a statement.

The decision by the Czech and Slovaks government comes in the wake of a move last week by Poland, which also froze its ratification process.

ACTA was negotiated between the 27-nation European Union, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, , Switzerland and the United States.

Governments have come under fire for signing the accord after talks with record companies and commercial media, while allegedly failing to do enough to address groups representing Internet users.

"ACTA is a serious attack in in the . We're convinced parliament shouldn't ratify it," said Mikulas Ferjencik, deputy leader of the local based on the Swedish cyber-freedom movement of the same name.

In addition to street rallies and online protests, anti-ACTA "hacktivists" have also launched cyber attacks on the Czech government and Necas's ODS party.

Explore further: Meerkat vs. Periscope: Live-streaming app battle & buzz

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Poland freezes anti-piracy pact ratification

Feb 03, 2012

Poland's prime minister said Friday that Warsaw would put on ice plans to ratify a controversial international online anti-piracy accord after massive off-and-online protests in his country.

Polish websites to go dark to protest ACTA

Jan 24, 2012

(AP) -- Several popular Polish websites are planning to go dark for an hour Tuesday evening to protest the government's plan to sign an international copyright treaty.

Poland defends stance on treaty after web attacks

Jan 23, 2012

(AP) -- Polish officials vowed Monday to stick to plans to sign an international copyright treaty that has outraged Internet activists and prompted an attack on government websites.

Recommended for you

Meerkat vs. Periscope: Live-streaming app battle & buzz

Mar 27, 2015

Download Periscope, Twitter's just-launched live video-streaming app, and you'll find people broadcasting all sorts of mundane stuff: waiting for AT&T to fix their wiring, getting out of bed in Silicon V ...

Twitter chief vows to help Indonesia fight disasters

Mar 26, 2015

Twitter chief Dick Costolo said Thursday the microblogging site planned to work with Indonesian authorities to warn people about natural disasters that regularly hit the archipelago, from earthquakes to volcanic ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.