Poland Reviews Stance on Treaty After Web Attacks

January 24, 2012

Polish leaders will debate on Monday their stance on an international copyright agreement after activists attacked government websites to protest the treaty.

Many websites, including those of the prime minister and parliament, were inaccessible Monday for the second straight day. The attacks were claimed by Anonymous, a loose network of online activists who oppose Warsaw’s plans to sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA.

“Dear Polish government, we will continue to disrupt and interfere with your government official websites until the 26th. Do not pass ACTA,” one message on Twitter said. The message was posted from an account called “AnonymousWiki,” the same one that announced the planned attacks before government websites went down on Sunday.

ACTA is a far-reaching agreement aimed at harmonizing intellectual property protections across different countries. It covers everything from counterfeit pharmaceuticals to fake Prada bags to online piracy. Critics fear it could lead to censorship on the Internet.

Poland was originally scheduled to sign ACTA on Thursday, but whether it will do so is now unclear.

Michal Boni, the minister for administration and digitization, said Prime Minister Donald Tusk and other members of the government were meeting to determine what to do now.

Boni also acknowledged in a radio interview Monday that the government had failed to hold consultations over its stance on the issue.

Anonymous also threatened the Polish government with more trouble should it support ACTA.

“We have dox files and leaked documentations on many Poland officials, if ACTA is passed, we will release these documents,” AnonymousWiki said in a tweet dated late Sunday.

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