Big tech accountability? Read how we got here in  The Closing of the Net 

The US government is not happy about ACTA, and is already taking steps to introduce what it really wants by another back door. In a document leaked today by the European Digital Rights group (EDRi),  a new plan for intellectual property enforcement is revealed.  Where ACTA was vague, the new plan is explicit.

The new G8 plan for IP enforcement  includes the extended shopping list of Internet blocking measures, via  payment providers, advertisers and search engines as well as individual  websites. According to EDRi, the proposal may have been prepared by law enforcement working groups.

 Interestingly, the G8 proposal introduces some new language. It never mentions the Internet. Instead it talks about ‘voluntary best practices’ and ‘protecting the global supply chain’. Its overt focus is on counterfeit medicines and online pharmacies. But the generality of the language implies a wider application.

 The G8 enforcement  proposal appears in a plain paper document headed ‘Non-paper on Intellectual property rights protection’.  It has three sub-headings, which include ‘G8 inititiative to support voluntary best practices for securing global supply chains’.  The components of the supply chains are named as ‘shippers, payment processors, ad brokers, advertisers, and similar stakeholders’.

 Note the deliberate avoidance of the word ‘Internet service provider’. However, in the world of e-commerce, the ISP is implied.

It’s also notable that the proposed G8 IP enforcement measures mirror those in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP ACT. The language of ‘voluntary best practice’ has also been taken from United States government policy documents. It is certainly quite unlike any language so far seen in European Union policy documents.

 Behind the G8 proposal lies a concern among ACTA’s proponents  - the  US and its industries  - that ACTA may be stalled in the EU and that without EU support it will be of less use.

Thus, it can be inferred that this new G8 proposal has its origins within the United States government, and that the G8 is a funnel to impose American  policies, notably that SOPA and PIPA measures  - onto the rest of the world (as noted also by EDRi). And they are using a very wide open back  door.

 It is a signal that that the fall of ACTA (if it happens) will not be the end of the entertainment industries’ attack on the Internet. No, instead it  will bring on the next stage of their campaign for even more stringent measures. 


EDRi: Is the G8 already working on a new ACTA?

Read the G8  proposal : Non-Paper On Intellectual Property Rights Protection

You may re-publish my article under a Creative Commons licence, but you should cite my name and provide a link back to Media and Academics – please cite as Monica Horten, America ups the ante on ACTA – via the G8, 12 April  2012 . Commercial users - please contact me.

Iptegrity in brief is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing.   I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. I am currently (from June 2022)  Policy Manager - Freedom of Expression, with the Open Rights Group. For more, see About Iptegrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

In 2012, I presented my PhD research in the European Parliament.


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