Today was the day of world-wide anti-ACTA demonstrations. An impressive number of people went to the streets to prevent ACTA. After SOPA/PIPA was put on hold and Germany recently hesitated to sign ACTA it looks like protests against online legislation can actually make a difference. These are good examples that democracy still works.
People protested for their right to privacy online and against surveillance of internet traffic. Considering this it surprised me what I found on a map by stoppacta-protest.info, showing all anti-ACTA protests world-wide. While the numbers of protests is quite impressive (especially in Europe), it is even more impressive to find for every event a Facebook event page. On them you find, publicly, all people (of course including name and profile pic) who were invited and attended the protests! For example, for the event in Vienna I see every one of 48,474 people who were invited and all of the 8,606 people who attended the event. Whoever complains about police filming at protests should consider if they really want to make it even easier to track who is attending.
While of course every Facebook user can choose by him/herself if they expose themselves like this I postulate that most of them are not aware that this information is publicly available. For me this feels especially ironic for an event that tries to protect us against online surveillance.
Most prominently, according to the article, there is nothing in ACTA requiring ISPs to monitor your traffic. Compare the article to the anti-ACTA video by Anonymous to get the whole picture. Still, the article does not state that ACTA is a good treaty. It should just be opposed for the right reasons.
This is a good example why we should not believe every outrageous statement we hear on why we soon live in an Orwell-esque world but rather inform us from different sources ourselves. Only when we know all the facts we can take measures to create a world we want to live in.
Having said that, go read ACTA in its final version and get your own opinion.
Update: Here is another interesting read on ACTA from a consumers perspective. They talk about the “Intermediary liability of service providers”.