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EU data protection supervisor criticizes ACTA provisions

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 24 Feb 2010 5:51 User comments (5)

EU data protection supervisor criticizes ACTA provisions The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) being brokered by the U.S. government on behalf of the entertainment industry has caught the attention of the European Data Protection Supervisor, Peter Hustinx. He authored an opinion paper on several topics that include ACTA, and said he was concerned that it violated the legal rights of citizens in nations across Europe.
"The EDPS strongly encourages the European Commission to establish a public and transparent dialogue on ACTA, possibly by means of a public consultation, which would also help ensuring that the measures to be adopted are compliant with EU privacy and data protection law requirements," Hustinx writes in his opinion piece. ACTA has already found itself in the line of fire from the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation for some of its provisions.

There are fears that ACTA includes measures to enable warrantless searches of citizens and destruction of devices containing potentially pirated content. Recently in the UK, Junior business minister David Lammy said documents related to ACTA will not be put in the House of Commons library, due to the desire for other countries to keep the negotiations secret.

The European Commission said recently that ACTA will not go any further than current EU policies related to copyright infringement, and dismissed fears that ACTA will lead to border searches of iPods and other gadgets in case they contain pirated multimedia content.

"EU customs, frequently confronted with traffics of drugs, weapons or people, do neither have the time nor the legal basis to look for a couple of pirated songs on an iPod music player or laptop computer, and there is no intention to change this," the Commission said at the time.

However, Hustinx has other issues with ACTA too, such as the pact's plan to share data about citizens between nations. He writes about this:

"It can be questioned first whether data transfers to third countries in the context of ACTA are legitimate. The relevance of adopting measures at international level in that field can be questioned as long as there is no agreement within the EU member states over the harmonisation of enforcement measures in the digital environment and the types of criminal sanctions to be applied. In view of the above, it appears that the principles of necessity and proportionality of the data transfers under ACTA would be more easily met if the agreement was expressly limited to fighting the most serious IPR infringement offences, instead of allowing for bulk data transfers relating to any suspicions of IPR infringements. This will require defining precisely the scope of what constitutes the 'most serious IPR infringement offences' for which data transfers may occur."

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5 user comments

124.2.2010 11:02

I really wish the whole thing would die a flaming nuked death..... the common people can never counterfeit/pirate. Only those that seek to make a direct profit off hocking wares are the real problem....

224.2.2010 12:32

...

Quote:
due to the desire for other countries to keep the negotiations secret.

Other countries don't want their citizens to know how far "our" politicians have their tongues down the back of US trousers (By US I mean Fox,Warner,Universal and the like)

Quote:
EU customs, frequently confronted with traffics of drugs, weapons or people, do neither have the time nor the legal basis to look for a couple of pirated songs on an iPod music player or laptop computer

Just like the police force spend so much time investigating burglaries, muggings and murder, that they don't have enough time to sit at the side of the road and wait for somebody doing 75mph in a 70mph zone

325.2.2010 0:35

Being lawyered to death is fun.

No wait, its that other word, horrible. Yea that's the one.

425.2.2010 7:14

They just need to get someone to go through with a laptop and external drives full of medical records, legal documents, educational info and financial info. Laws against that, HIPPA/FERPA/etc...and if the argument about body scanners at airports is any indication, this will be scaled back: "A government agency CANNOT break the law without some type of probable cause."

If you don't know what I mean, using some of the various body scanners on kids shows enough detail to constitute child porn, and creating that image, even if it is not stored, is illegal. I do not think any parent wants their child scanned if they think about that...and if you say "I don't care, it's protecting us from terrorists" then you don't deserve to have kids, or any rights or privacy at all for that matter.

521.4.2010 5:33

The issue about legalizing marijuana is still undecided. How numerous of you've heard the term 4:20.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:34

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