On Thursday, members of the Polish Parliament donned Guy Fawkes masks to register their opposition to ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
The Guy Fawkes mask is the unofficial trademark of the international Internet hacktivist collective known as Anonymous. Anonymous has been conducting operations across Europe in protest of ACTA.
After the Polish government signed the agreement, lawmakers from the leftist Palikot’s Movement covered their faces with Guy Fawkes masks as a sign of protest against ACTA. The display took place during a parliament session, in Warsaw, Poland.
A photo of the Polish lawmakers has gone viral, serving as a humorous reminder of the global reach of Anonymous.
Anonymous hacktivists have been engaging in attacks on Polish government websites and coordinating street protests via social media in several Polish cities this week. Yet despite the protests, the Polish government, and the European Union, signed the international copyright treaty know as ACTA.
ACTA is “an international agreement that aims to establish multinational standards on intellectual property rights enforcement.” Critics claim the treaty would have draconian and devastating effects on the Internet, opening the door for widespread censorship.
Critics of ACTA also argue that the bill would require Internet service providers to give up data about users who were being accused of copyright infringement. The treaty calls for the creation of an “ACTA committee” to make treaty amendments, for which public or judicial review are not required, according to Wikipedia. The panel would also operate outside of the scope of the World Trade Organizations or the United Nations.
Last Tuesday, AntiSec, a hacktivist collective associated with Anonymous, claimed responsibility for hacking into and taking down a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website.
In a press release detailing the attack on the FTC-run website, AntiSec hacktivists claimed the attack was in retaliation for SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), PIPA (the Protect IP Act), and ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement).
AnonCentral.Org printed a copy of the photo with the following caption:
In protest of ACTA, Polish Parliament members wear Anonymous Guy Fawkes masks in chambers on 26 January 2012… this is what winning looks like…
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