First there was the Digital Economy Act, then there was SOPA and its counterpart PIPA, and now there's the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA. Or rather, little did we know that before the Digital Economy Act was a twinkle in Peter Mandelson's eye, negotiations for ACTA were already underway.
The start of 2012 hasn't been smooth sailing for the internet and its users. First up, the US government attempted to introduce the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) as a way of protecting US citizens' intellectual property on the internet. Most worrying, out of America's attempts to legitimise US companies attempts at suing individuals - the EU has now signed up to a similar bill.