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PM Tusk says ACTA suspension “not caused by external pressure”

PR dla Zagranicy
John Beauchamp 21.02.2012 14:02
Prime Minister Tusk announced Tuesday that the government’s U-turn on the ratification of ACTA was not the result of public pressure or demonstrations in the matter.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk admits he was wrong about ACTA during a press conference on Friday 17.02.2012. Photo: PAP/Pawel Supernak

The move comes after Tusk said on Friday that Poland would not ratify ACTA in its current form, furthermore admitting that his view on the legislation, which has prompted concern by opponents over freedom of expression, was mistaken.

However, Prime Minister Tusk underlined on Tuesday that the change in his stance “is not the effect of any pressure on the government,” but merely “an effort to further analyse the supposed consequences ACTA would have in Poland it were ratified.”

“The Polish government will never yield to the type of pressure put on by representatives of hackers from Anonymous, who said that they would publish compromising documents if the Polish government did not withdraw its signature [from ACTA],” Tusk declared.

“International legislation does not foresee the withdrawal of a signatory until the agreement is ratified,” PM Tusk added.

The comments come as recent nationwide protests against the ACTA bill saw the hacking of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery as well as a number of other government websites.

New Internet consumer law back-door to state invigilation?

Meanwhile, a possible new law on consumer protection may provide back-door access to the invigilation of Polish Internet users.

A proposed amendment to a bill on telecommunications will oblige Internet service providers (ISPs) to log their customers’ activities online for up to 12 months.

The new bill is to guarantee consumers download speeds as stipulated by ISPs in end-user contracts. If a consumer queries a given provider over actual download speeds, the 12-month log is to provide information as to what the consumer was doing at the time of the alleged drop in transfer rate.

“Only in this way the provider can check whether there […] really was a drop in connection speed and why it was caused,” Eugeniusz Gaca from the National Chamber of Commerce for Electronics and Telecommunications told the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily.

However, even though the data amassed by the ISPs would technically only be used to discern a real drop in Internet speed, concerns have arisen that state institutions may also demand to see the logs, much in the same way that telephone itemised bills are used for such purposes. (jb)

tags: ACTA, internet
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