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Girt By Sea

It's right there, in the opening verse of Advance Australia Fair so it must be true.

[URGENT] Want A Free/Open Internet, The "Wellington Declaration" Is Ready For YOU To Sign

(note: you need to sign the declaration by 9am Tuesday 13th - get into it!)

ACTA, that secret(ish) international agreement being negotiated between the governments of USA, the European Commission, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Canada, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and United Arab Emirates.

A quick overview of ACTA from Wikipedia:
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a proposed plurilateral trade agreement for establishing international standards on intellectual-property-rights enforcement throughout the participating countries. Its proponents describe it as a response "to the increase in global trade of counterfeit goods and pirated copyright protected works." The scope of ACTA is broad, including counterfeit goods, generic medicines, as well as "piracy over the Internet".

A document leaked to the public in 2008 includes a provision to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to provide information about suspected copyright infringers without a warrant. A March 2010 leak included the proposed text for this provision.

The negotiations for the ACTA treaty are conducted behind closed doors and are not part of any international organization ...

Issues in a nutshell:

  1. No-one officially knows what they are negotiating
  2. From leaks it is plainly NOT about counterfeiting
  3. In New Zealand we have already said NO to "3 strikes and you're out" but this seems like another way of bringing it back in

Each round of negotiations are held in one of the countries signing up and it's New Zealand's turn (to be held in the Intercontinental Hotel in Wellington) this week.

Notable New Zealand organisations and people are against the ACTA negotiations in their current form (ie, secret) and some of the leaked prooporals within the agreement. One the most vocal of these is InternetNZ, the organisation designed to protect and promote the Internet within New Zealand.

Last Saturday, at an event called PublicACTA (#PublicACTA: Twitter, Google), they brought together many people to thrash through the issues which culminated in "The Wellington Declaration".

I urge you to read the Declaration: http://publicacta.org.nz/wellington-declaration/

And then I ask you join with the many others interested in protecting their digital rights online to sign the petition to endorse the Wellington Declaration:
SIGN HERE

Signatures added by Tuesday morning NZ time will be appended to the Declaration when it is communicated to the NZ Government negotiators, who we hope will circulate it to all the ACTA delegations.

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