EU Commissioner backs ACTA legal review, eventually

In a statement today, Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission and EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, outlined a robust position on internet freedom.

In it, she states “for me, blocking the Internet is never an option” and goes onto argue the current  situation “can and must not be changed by the ACTA agreement”.

We have previously highlighted the secretive nature of ACTA and the potentially wide-ranging consequences of passing what is in places a dangerously vague and unclear document.The European Parliament’s rapporteur resigned, calling the process a ‘masqueade’, and protests have led to several European governments backtracking on their commitment to the agreement.

Commissioner Reding concludes by saying “I therefore welcome the intention of several members of the European Parliament to ask the European Court of Justice for a legal opinion to clarify that the ACTA agreement cannot limit freedom of expression and freedom of the Internet.”

While this support is to be welcomed, we can’t help but wonder whether it would have been wise for the EU to get this legal advice before it signed the agreement. And of course Commissioner Reding still fails to explain why Europe needs to sign an agreement that will not require any new laws anyway.



  1. Anonymous
    16th February 2012

    Sigh, I can regrettingly see the UK signing this, I hope I get proved wrong, but after the DEA got thru on the back of the last government, I just cannot believe otherwise anymore.

    I hope the EU destroys ACTA so badly that even the UK being a signatory wouldn’t give it any power in UK.

  2. Anonymous
    20th February 2012

    I wouldn’t hold my breath. If the EU had no intention of limiting internet freedom, then why was the ACTA treaty kept secret right up until the 11th hour?  This has been kicking around for years.  

    Apols for refering to my own site, but on my blog (under the ACTA label), there’s a great video from a Canadian outfit which has been on the case since the first ACTA draft was leaked and would strongly advise you to view it and to visit that Canadian site (linked on the blog).