So few days ago I was interviewed by Chris Morrow about Poland signing ACTA on 26th of January. We’ve had many protests and demonstrations organized against our government which planned to sign ACTA without proper consultations with NGOs fighting for citizens rights.
It got into mainstream Polish media thanks to attacks on gov servers organised by crackers calling themselves Polish Anonymous or Polish Underground. It was good and bad for us (NGOs) – we’ve lost our position we’ve had to talk to our government. Crackers attacking gov websites have stolen all the focus we have been able to use to talk to our politicians.
We’ve failed in talking our crackers out of the attacks so we’ve managed to contact foreign Anonymous and after few hours they’ve released statement asking all attackers to stop:
Attacks on Polish Sites must stop NOW
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Cyber attacks on the Polish government and EU sites are not helping the fight against ACTA. We’re in direct contact with Polish NGOs, and they’ve informed us that the attacks are compromising three years of hard work and harming their ability to negotiate. https://twitter.com/#!/AnonyOps/status/161204110467661824 If you need any more proof, see this statement by the Polish prime minister Tusk:
Tusk: We won’t give up, blackmail won’t stop us – the Prime Minister said, referring to attacks on all of government websites. He assured that as yet we can not talk about threats to the functioning of country. I can not imagine that the Polish government, parliament or prime minister giving up when someone says, “do not sign or we will publish sensitive information about officials.” I consider this method unacceptable. He said that there are ongoing security checks of pages that have been or may be attacked. According to him, they are rather annoying for government, but very effective propaganda. There is no reason to stir up alarm – reassured the Prime Minister.
DDOS has brought the world’s attention to ACTA and Poland. But now that thousands of Poles have taken to the streets to protest, it’s time to stop and let the political process do its work. If your goal is to stop the passage of ACTA, you should halt your attacks NOW. If you just want to DDOS because you like DDOS, we suggest aiming at your high school instead.
And attacks have almost completely stopped! We’ve had finally the time and possibility to talk to our gov. Next day government have asked our PM not to sign ACTA (even US embassy called our gov and demanded more information on that (translation) which are public information and they were able to check that on their own, but that’s another story), but sadly this wasn’t enough…
At 3 AM our ambassador in Tokyo has signed ACTA, almost whole EU had, but 5 countries didn’t. Cyprus, Slovakia, Estonia, Germany and Netherlands showed us that id didn’t had to be done, as our PM managed to lie to us during his press conference. And it wasn’t even about signing or not. We demanded our gov to send ACTA to EU Court of Justice to check it for compliance with European law. Our gov was able to do everything despite thousands of citizens demonstrating on the streets it did nothing and just signed ACTA.
So now there are few processes running:
- more protests
- gathering signs on petitions for our gov (we’ve got over 200 000 signs right now)
- big meeting for all demonstration organizers (more news on that later)
Our government wants now to start consultations which should have taken place much earlier. We’re still waiting for more news and propositions of meetings. Meanwhile we’re discussing what to do as the betrayed part in this.. We’ve (NGOs) been discussing with our government about laws related to internet for 3 years in a group called Dialog and yet they’ve just skipped us during the search for organisations to consult ACTA. It was a topic of our meetings only once for few minutes half year ago.
I guess we need few more days to see what will happen in Poland. For now we have to concentrate on blocking ACTA ratification in EU Parliament, so if you want to help please sign this global petition, contact you local EP representatives and tell them what’s your opinion on this topic. Together we can STOP ACTA!