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Polish lawmakers don Guy Fawkes masks to protest ACTA

Thousands roil Polish streets – more protests planned

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Over 30 Polish lawmakers held up paper replicas of the Guy Fawkes mask, made famous by both Anoymous hacktivists and the Occupy movement, during a protest in parliament of their country's signing of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the EU's highly controversial online-piracy legislation.

The parliamentarians were members of the center-left Ruch Palikota (Palikot's Movement), named after founder Janusz Palikot, and the third-largest party in Poland's government, behind the powerful center-right Platforma Obywatelska (Civic Platform) and hard-right Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice) parties.

Members of Poland's Ruch Palikota protest their country's signing of ACTA

Polish parliamentarians protest their country's signing of ACTA (source: Ruch Palikota)

As The Reg has noted, Poland was one of the 21 EU member states that signed off on the legislation on Thursday – only Cyprus, Germany, Estonia, Slovakia, and the Netherlands demurred.

The Ruch Palikota protest was merely one of many in Poland, a country deeply divided between progressive urbanites and traditionalists with more-rural strongholds.

In Lublin and Warsaw, for example, thousands of Poles – many wearing the Guy Fawkes mask – have massed in street demonstrations protesting ACTA, which they claim was hammered out behind closed doors in a deal between content providers and governments. Russia's English-language news channel RT reports that more street protests are planned for Friday.

ACTA protests are not merely in Poland's parliament and on its streets. Earlier this week, hacktivisits self-identified as members of Anonymous took down a broad swath of Polish government websites.

Those protesting parliamentarians and their street-filling supporters had better be careful, however. As wittily pointed out by TechDirt, should the European Parliament ratify the treaty this summer, they could be charged with copyright infringement – Time Warner owns the rights to the Guy Fawkes mask. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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