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February 12, 2012

Protests against ACTA gather steam in Europe

Bulgaria witnesses the largest protests till date

By CBR Staff Writer

Thousands of people took to the streets in European cities to protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), terming it undemocratic

The dissenters view the agreement as a tool to suppress internet freedom.

Though the EU has signed the ACTA, it has yet be ratified the by the member states and the European Parliament.

Meanwhile, the German government is reported to have said that it won’t back ACTA, with governments of Polish, Slovakian and Latvian, among others, also stating that they would put ACTA on hold.

The largest protests till date were reported from Bulgaria, as 4,000 people gathered to protest on Saturday against the agreement.

Mantas Kondratavicius, a 21-year-old Bulgarian, told the AFP that some provisions of the treaty are too ambiguous and allow different interpretations.

"If ACTA is approved, the understanding of human rights and privacy would change and there can be no way back. I don’t deny that authors should be paid but that cannot be done at the expense of privacy or freedom of speech," Kondratavicius added.

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