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EU ACTA Chief Resigns 253

bs0d3 writes "The EU ACTA chief has resigned, saying, 'This agreement might have major consequences on citizens' lives, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. That is why today, as I release this report for which I was in charge, I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.' 22 EU members signed the controversial ACTA treaty Thursday in Tokyo."
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EU ACTA Chief Resigns

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  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:13AM (#38837101) Journal
    It's not the first time the government of the EU has made decisions that hurt the people, using tricks to get them past the populace. And it won't be the last. We can expect a lot of bad stuff coming up, with the economic crisis.
  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:19AM (#38837109) Journal
    All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. - Various attributions.
  • by Trapezium Artist ( 919330 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:24AM (#38837129)

    What can I say? I'm very pleased that Kader Arif had the guts to make his disgust with the ACTA process known so publicly. His actions deserve to be widely recognised outside the tech community as well as within; we should ensure that "regular" media outlets cover this part of the story.

    Will his stand bring down the entire shameful edifice that is ACTA? No. Is it an important part of the battle that is being fought and must continue to be fought? Yes.

  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:35AM (#38837161)

    Looks like a classic case of "Push the red button and then then run into hiding to avoid the angry mob".

  • by petman ( 619526 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:39AM (#38837169)

    He got ACTA signed in Europe.

    That's not how I understand it. I think you got misled by the misleading title of TFA/TFS. He's not the 'EU ACTA Chief'. He was the European Parliament's rapporteur on ACTA. His job was to investigate the issue and produce a report on it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:44AM (#38837189)

    I think my faith in humanity might yet be vindicated.

    Not so fast.

    He got ACTA signed in Europe. He did the job he was paid for, only now can he say whatever he likes.

    He did no such thing. Signing is the responsibility of the respective member countries, specifically their ministers. In "EU-speak" the Council. The next step is to get ACTA ratified in a) the EU parliament and b) the national parliaments, without which ACTA is just a piece of paper with no impact whatsoever except for wasting a lot of time.

    What this man did was (at first glance) admirable. Had he done this after the ratification in EUParl had gone through, not so much, but that vote is not until in a few months, and is going to be a highly influenced by this kind of high-profile action.

    Still, that doesn't mean you shouldn't call your MEP to make them aware of this action, and the importance of saying no to ACTA

  • by petman ( 619526 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:46AM (#38837195)
    Since ACTA is yet to be passed by the parliaments, then "might" is the right word.
  • by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:59AM (#38837227) Homepage

    Fortunately, for evil to lose not much more is required than for good men to do something.

  • awww sh*t! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gciochina ( 1655025 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:04AM (#38837253)
    I'm from Romania and I think I can say that I've been actively involved in "down with SOPA/PIPA" movement... and, for now, looks like we've won a battle on these two. However, i'm getting really worried about the whole ACTA stuff, because I don't think that we'll ever manage to get that much support for an anti-ACTA movement. Right now, at least two of the guys (Romanians) we've got in the EU parliament are certified retards and i'm pretty sure that they'll never consider the full implications of their vote on this one. The most disturbing thing is that the majority of the population hasn't even heard of ACTA, SOPA, PIPA... let alone ever heard of what they stand for and how will these change their lives. Without a huge move like the one made by Reddit/ Wikipedia/ Google & Co/ etc we'll never be able to stop it. Right now, the only thing i can think of is FML :(.
  • by alci63 ( 1856480 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:12AM (#38837293)
    Making decisions without taking the people into account is becoming quite common these days in EU. Crisis is the best justification they found. When Papaandreou said he will make a referendum, he was dismissed. An ex-banker is now leading the country. In Italy, it was decided (not by the people) the government should be changed. An ex-banker is now leading the country. See this [] ... So the fact that governments are making EU level decisions without consulting the only elected instance at the EU level (the parlament) is quite concerning.
  • Guess what, cockroaches? The democracy genie is outta the bottle, and it has been for 15 years. These desperate, piddly attempts of yours to stuff it back in the bottle won't work for long.

    It's funny for me to read this not two minutes after I finished Roger Hutchinson's book High Sixites, a sweeping view of 1960s youth culture. The final pages are an interview with the artist Jeff Nuttall held in 1991, at the end of the Thatcher era. Nuttall poignantly recalls that he thought at the time that his generation had triumphed, that conservative forces should just step out of the way since they had already plainly lost. And then came two decades (and more) that did away with all that they had accomplished, and with their hope itself.

    For our own generation, the genie may well go back in the bottle...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 27, 2012 @06:12AM (#38837537)

    The reason it is (or could be) suspicious is because not using the default HTTP port can cause a tremendous amount of trouble due to corporate firewalls and proxies, and one would need a really good reason to not use the default port. The only reason I can think of not using the default port is If one illegally gained to a machine hosting a well-known public website, one wanted to start hosting an imposter website in parrallel on it without taking the main site down (which would immediately alert the website owners), but still be able to use the domain name.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @06:25AM (#38837579)
    Depends which side has more money. Evil is profitable.
  • by Rakarra ( 112805 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @06:31AM (#38837617)

    OK, but what is he going to do next? If he feels so strongly about this, why did he not remain in his position and use that power more constructively? This isn't likely to be put in front of the E.U. parliament before June so who is this going to notice this 'falling on my sword act' apart from those who already oppose this, i.e. Slashdotters and the like.

    Sometimes you are put into a token position where you have no real power, where no one has to answer to you and you can enact no policies. Not uncommon in, say, a sham investigation. In that case his only power is to resign in the most public and shaming manner possible.

  • by Rakarra ( 112805 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @06:34AM (#38837633)

    Some 'hippies' from that era are now Big Business themselves, directly making deal with government leaders.

    The pot smokers of that 60s eventually had kids, but those parents come up with all sorts of BS reasons for why it was ok for them to smoke, but not their kids. Those same hypocrites will also change their business ways now that they actually have some money in the game.

  • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Friday January 27, 2012 @07:01AM (#38837765) Homepage Journal

    "What we need is a simple webpage"

    What you need is to grow a pair and shoot the bastards responsible for this.

  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @07:42AM (#38837939) Journal

    He's a little fucking late, don't you think?

    Nope, handing over the report and quitting at the same time is perfect timing, especially if you want to draw attention to why you are quitting. Finishing what he started shows he's a professional, had he quit half way through they would have simply replaced him with someone more malleable.

  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @08:17AM (#38838091) Homepage

    Also he is now free to tell all and sundry, as often and as loudly as possible exactly why he quite. He is basically in the best position to deliver a swift kick in the goolies to ACTA in Europe.

  • by thereitis ( 2355426 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @10:08AM (#38838843) Journal
    If you've ever been a manager, you'd know that being "in charge" of something doesn't always mean "in charge" the way you think it should. Obviously, there are larger forces at work here and rather than battle them himself and lose, he's letting the world know what's going on. I think that's a smarter plan. There's some very powerful people behind this legislation. I'd hate to be on the receiving end of whatever tactics they might employ.
  • by David Chappell ( 671429 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @11:07AM (#38839453) Homepage


    This "ACTA Chief" sounds like a coward If he is displeased with the process, and he's the one in charge, then he should be using his position to make the ACTA a formal treaty to be passed b y the People's representatives in Parliament. To scurry away shows an supreme lack of fortitude and irresponsibility.

    He is "using his position", just not in the way that you expect. Giving up a well-paying job because you believe that what your superiors require you to do is unethical is a dramatic way to draw attention to the problem. The alternative, to take their money while trying to undermine their goals is problematic at best. He would have had to mute his criticism and would probably soon have had to resign in disgrace.

    This way is much better. First of all, it makes a news story. Second, he can now speak frankly about the ACTA and his opinion will be considered important because he is "the former ACTA chief who resigned in protest".

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller