BRUSSELS – The European Commission says that the language being negotiated on the proosed Canada-E.U. Trade Agreement regarding Internet service providers “is now totally different” from that in the rejected Anticounterfeiting Trade Agreement.
The leaked CETA text dates from February and is likely to have been updated since then. However, since, like ACTA, the deal is being conducted in secret behind closed doors, both Parliamentarians and digital activists are in the dark about what exactly has been changed.
Referring to other similarities with ACTA, the Commission pointed out that many of the provisions in the CETA intellectual property chapter are based on existing E.U. legislation; namely the 2000 eCommerce Directive; the 2001 Information Society Directive; the 2003 Customs Regulation; and the 2004 Enforcement Directive.
The Commission added that a re-evaluation of the CETA text is currently under way “to take into account the impact of the rejection of ACTA”.
The Commission also noted that criminal enforcement is a national competence and that this element of the agreement is negotiated by the European Council representing the member states. “The last time there was a negotiating session on criminal enforcement, during a video-conference in October 2011, no agreement was reached on some of the proposals by Canada which are indeed far-reaching,” said the Commission.
In an email, Clancy also scotched rumors that CETA could introduce ACTA through the backdoor, saying there is “no basis for any conspiracy theories.”
“These accusations are nonsense. A future E.U.-Canada trade deal will be very similar to the bilateral trade deal with South Korea already up and running for a year and which has not brought about the end of a free Internet.”
But as the deal is being conducted in secret some digital activists will be difficult to convince. “I want to see proof!” said Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.