Last week, at the re:publica conference an illustrious crowd gathered for the sixth time and this time in Kreuzbergs’s Postbahnhof for Germanys biggest conference on blogs, social media and the digital society. Part of the crowd was Neelie Kroes, one of the Vice Presidents of the European Commission and Europan Commissioner for Digital Agenda. In her nicely titled speech about „Freedom online“ she dared to mention that “we are now likely to be in a world without SOPA” – the US’s proposed Stop Online Piracy Act – “and ACTA.” Are we really?
One would think that she must know better than I. I am wondering though: did she mean it and if so, what does it mean?
Did she mean it? Well, even if she did, ACTA is not off the table just like that. In fact not Ms Kroes but pro-ACTA Karel Lodewijk Georgette Emmerence de Gucht, better known as Karel de Gucht is in charge, and – as the Guardian reports –
“Ryan Heath, a spokesman for Kroes’s office, said the European commission has not changed its position on the usefulness of Acta, and was continuing to work toward its ultimate ratification, but added that Kroes was “observing political reality”.”
Right now, the European Parliament will have to make the next move and will have to decide whether to reject or to approve the Agreement.
Meanwhile, the German Federal Government declared that it assumes that ACTA will be rejected by the EU Parliament.
Under the same assumption, also Switzerland yesterday declared that for the moment it will not sign ACTA.
But even if we were to live in a world without ACTA, “Online freedom” will still be a big topic.
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