Polish Websites Attacked After Government Signs ACTA

By: Qichen Zhang on 24 January 2012
Posted in Europe, Legislation

While United States Congressional members have been experiencing uproar with the SOPA/PIPA controversy, Poland's gotten into its own legislative crisis regarding a different Internet censorship bill. Immediately following the government's announcement of its planned signing of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, several public administration sites were compromised, including that of the prime minister. Anonymous is claiming to be behind the hacks. Last night, Anonymous updated its Twitter feed with, "The canons are being loaded and we are commencing ATTACK!” Today, the prime minister's website displayed a message that identified the group responsible for the hack as the "Polish Underground." The site also displayed the message: “Stop ACTA! Prime Minister Donald Tusk is a bad person! … You won’t be censoring the Internet for us. You won’t take away human rights!”

The hack is the one of the first direct acts of opposition against ACTA in Poland. According to Forbes, the agreement would affect countries all over the developed world, including most of the European Union and the United States. Although Polish officials have firmly supported their decision, stating that ACTA would not change Internet users' rights in Poland—"The ACTA agreement in no way changes Polish laws or the rights of Internet users and Internet usage,” said the minister of digitization Michal Boni—people are already fearing that the law could lead to online censorship. Many media sources have already noted that ACTA has many similarities to SOPA.

With this dramatic and very public protest, the government still plans to sign ACTA in Tokyo on January 26. However, officials stress that the national parliament would still need to ratify it and that the agreement would not change Polish law. For more information on ACTA, see ONI's previous coverage on the proposal.