Anti-ACTAvists adopt wait-and-see on new digital rights

Protestors welcome Prime Minister's announcement on digital rights, but will continue their campaign for ACTA's rejection.

Demonstrators in Malta's anti-ACTA march last Saturday. (Photo: J.J. Chircop).
Demonstrators in Malta's anti-ACTA march last Saturday. (Photo: J.J. Chircop).

The Malta Anti-ACTA Group has hailed an announcement by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi to enshrine new digital rights in the Maltese Constitution as a positive step, but said it would wait for further comment when it sees what these digital rights will mean in practice and the timeframe for their implementation.

Gonzi announced plans for the new legal reforms shortly after MAAG led a successful demonstration against the Anti-Counterfeit Trade agreement.

"These rights will only be effective if they guarantee basic freedoms, such as the right not to be disconnected from the internet, and the right not to have one's internet privacy violated. It is also important for any Constitutional amendment not to include elements which would unacceptably regulate the internet as a side-effect," MAAG said in a statement.

Despite this positive step, the group noted that opposition to the ACTA treaty was not based only on the issue of digital rights. "Many concerns remain unaddressed, such as dangers to the availability of medicines for developing countries, as well as the disagreement with the present nature of intellectual property rights, which ACTA will only ossify and make more difficult to change."

MAAG said it would continue its campaign against ACTA, and urged MPs and MEPs to reject the treaty.

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