The EU Commission (DG Trade) claims that improved protection of intellectual property rights (ACTA) is an important part of the European Union's 'Lisbon Agenda' for building a European knowledge economy, which will:
- not restrict freedom of the internet (ACTA will not censor or shut down websites.);
- allow people to continue using their social networks such as Twitter and Facebook just as they have in the past – no change;
- Computers, iPads or iPhones not be checked or monitored (ACTA is not Big Brother.);
- not cut off internet access to anyone (ACTA is not SOPA.).
However, while we were fighting against SOPA for the Internet freedom, our EU politicians signed confidentially the ACTA agreement in Tokio on 26th of January 2012, without prior public consultation in EU Member States. Probably the EU Commission followed a request of industry. Then after this action, the Commission has just launched public consultation last week.
Beside intellectual property rights the Internet security is an important issue. Specialized Internet security research (Team Cymru Research NFP) shows that making the Internet more secure is necessary (see the top 10 countries contributing to malicious activity online in the last 24 hours). The EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding said that 70 per cent of European citizens were concerned about how their information was used online. Therefore the EU Commission proposed (24/01/2012) a comprehensive reform of the EU's data protection rules aiming at safeguarding online privacy rights and help boost Europe's digital economy. They promise the EU citizens will soon become able also to delete their own online data, not only publish them. People in the EU have a right to personal data protection through the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.