EU Commission thinks we’re stupid

Demonstration, with two people in the foreground: One holding a sign "Safe the Freedom, Stop ACTA", the other with a Minecraft head hat

Apparently, the EU Commission thinks all of us who demonstrated against ACTA are stupid. This article (German, Heise Online is a renowned German IT news site) cites protocols from the EU expert group for the TRIPS Council, and I’m going to comment a few excerpts (translation by me).

“Discussion protocols of the EU expert group for the TRIPS Council, available to Heise Online, consider the protests against ACTA as a result of insufficient information policy.”

So they think we just don’t know what ACTA really is about. In part that’s even true, because significant information on ACTA is still kept secret by the same people. Unfortunately for them, the public part is enough to clearly see that ACTA is bad.

The upcoming hearing in the European Parliament on March 1st is considered important to convince Members of Parliament that the protests are not justified and make sure they vote Yes in September. So the commission wants the Members of Parliament to represent its opinion, rather than the citizens’. As I said: The commission thinks we’re stupid.

“Even individual protests like the ACTA rapporteur Kader Arif’s resignation wouldn’t have anything to do with ACTA, but rather happened because of the upcoming French elections. Arif would be very busy supporting socialist candidate François Hollande’s campaign.”

This is an obviously wrong statement, and I’ll leave you to judge if it was intentional. Let me quote Mr. Arif’s own statement as proof:

“I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament’s demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly.”

All this is really bad, but the following pushes completely over the top:

“It was regrettable that the discussion moved from free trade aspects to civil rights.”

So the EU commission thinks it is regrettable that we care about our civil rights? Why don’t they just go and say that civil rights were a bad idea altogether? This is outrageous, and shows again why ACTA must be stopped.

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