EU privacy chief warns of internet spying threat
A global trade deal to stop copyright theft could give internet providers the right to spy on users, breaching European Union law, the EU's data privacy chief said on Tuesday.
Several governments in the developed world have been pushing for multilateral agreements to ban trademark theft on consumer goods and medicines, as have websites such as MegaUploads and PirateBay, which provide free film and music downloads.
But lawmakers say these agreements could give companies such as internet providers unprecedented access to subscribers' online activity, raising privacy concerns. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) -- signed by 22 of the EU's 27 countries, the U.S. and Japan among others but not ratified by any of them -- is one of several, including the U.S.-based draft copyright bills SOPA and PIPA, to fall foul of public opinion.
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