Bulgarian ISPs Rise against ACTA
The ACTA agreement will breach users' rights and change the course of internet evolution, argued a branch union of Bulgarian ISPs Wednesday.
"ACTA aims at obliterating anonymity and entirely transform the structure of the global network," said the Bulgarian Union of Independent Internet Providers.
In addition, Bulgarian ISPs argue that the agreement will breach privacy of users and will go as far as reverse the presumption of innocence.
Last Thursday, Bulgaria became one of 21 EU member states who joined countries such as the USA, Japan, Canada, Australia, South Korea and Switzerland as signatories to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
The intergovernmental treaty stipulates that downloading content such as music and movies from sites not sanctioned by rights owners, such as torrent trackers, is similar to product counterfeiting.
ACTA further will have such actions be subjected to criminal, and not civil proceedings, as has been up to now.
The document has been drafted and signed under much secrecy, which has added to the ire of users worldwide.
"With the introduction of ACTA, ISPs will be obliged to survey their users' traffic and to give to the authorities information about who does what," said Bulgarian Union of Independent Internet Providers representative Strahil Dobrev.
"At the present moment, only the police, by means of a court decision, can make us do that. This will be totally changed if ACTA is implemented," clarified Dobrev.
ISPs argued that this could lead not only to breach of privacy rights, but also for random but significant punishments for users for downloading content as harmless as pictures.