Monday, 21 April 2014

PM: Gov't will suspend ratification of ACTA

ČTK |
7 February 2012

Prague, Feb 6 (CTK) - The Czech government will suspend the process of ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) said yesterday, adding the government will still analyse the issue.

A wave of protests against the international agreement, including hackers' attacks, has swollen in the world as well as in the Czech Republic.

"By no means would the government admit a situation where civic freedoms and free access to information would be threatened," Necas said.

That is why the government will analyse the issue and have it assessed by experts. "We really must look into the impact it would have in real life," Necas said.

The goal of ACTA, which 22 countries, including the Czech Republic, joined in January, is to set rules to enhance the observance of copyright, i.e. fight against the spread of illegal copies and fakes of all kinds, including music and film recordings, medicines, brand clothes, electronics etc.

In the past days, Internet activists blocked the websites of the Czech government, the OSA copyright protection association, the Chamber of Deputies and of Necas's senior ruling ODS over the Czech joining ACTA.

"I want to emphasise that no checks of laptops on the borders, no monitoring of Internet users, no filtrations and similar things have ever threatened in the Czech Republic. No such threat has ever existed for a single moment," Necas said.

ACTA would take effect in the Czech Republic only after it is ratified by parliament. Many deputies have made it clear that they have a problem supporting it.

The Industry and Trade Ministry says ACTA's ratification also requires President Vaclav Klaus's signature.

A stormy debate on ACTA is also expected in the European Parliament.

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