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Government stopped from preparing ‘illegal’ anti-internet piracy legislation

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 02.03.2012 09:29
Poland’s culture minister was preparing internet legislation that was even more draconian than the ACTA agreement, says the Inspector General for the Protection of Personal Data.

Culture Minister Zdojewski: photo - PAP/Pawel Supernak

The Inspector General for the Protection of Personal Data (GIODO) Dr Wojciech Wiewiorowski has claimed that he intervened to stop the government from completing its own ant-piracy package, after he discovered that the proposed measures threatened the Polish constitution.

“The document which was being prepared under the auspices of the Minister of Culture and Heritage [Bogdan Zdrojewski] threatened human rights and freedoms,” said Dr Wojciech Wiewiorowski, in an interview with the TVN commercial television network.

It is believed that the government had been working on the project – which has now been suspended - since 2009, in advance of the international anti-piracy legislation ACTA.

Wiewiorowski says that in spite of his standing as Inspector General for the Protection of Personal Data, he had not been invited to take part in the project.

Data concerning internet users was allegedly due to be collected and passed on by internet service providers in a bid to combat piracy.

However, copyright lawyer Robert Malecki told TVN that the process would have been above the law.

“Without any legal basis, a solution had been formulated that involved the direct transfer of internet-users data without a court order,” he said.

Andrzej Kusmierczyk, head of Licencing at the Society of Authors (ZAiKS), an institution that took part in the project, acknowledged that several private companies and institutions were involved in preparing the document.

“It was our joint work,” he said.

“We wanted to fight piracy, acting under existing regulations but also creating new ones,” he claimed.

A public outcry in late January against the international anti-piracy ACTA legislation prompted the government to claim that it was not aiming to limit citizens' freedoms on the internet.

Demonstrations occurred in cities across the country, while governmental web sites, including that of the Prime Minister, were hacked.

On 17 February, the government appeared to cave in on the matter, with Prime Minister Donald Tusk declaring that the ACTA legislation would not be ratified in its current form, although Tusk said the decision was “not the effect of any pressure on the government.” (nh/pg)

tags: ACTA
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