Slovenian ambassador to Japan apologizes for signing ACTA

Helena Drnovsek Zorko apologized to her children and critics for signing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, claiming that she simply she simply “did not pay attention.”

Mar 3, 2020, 8:51 am*


Kevin Morris 

Kevin Morris

For Slovenia’s ambassador to Japan, Helena Drnovsek Zorko signing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was a horrible mistake. So terrible, in fact, that she apologized to her own children.

The European Union ratified ACTA on Jan. 27 with the support of 22 of its member states, including Slovenia. Critics describe the legislation as a threat to Internet freedoms, due largely to its harsh penalties on alleged perpetrators of copyright infringement. ACTA was backed by major pharmaceutical and entertainment companies who said they will use its provisions to combat piracy and counterfeiting.

Zorko, who apparently received a deluge of  Facebook messages after the signing, now clearly agrees with the critics. In a letter discovered by TechDirt, Zorko admits that she signed the agreement because her government told her to and that she simply “did not pay attention.”

She continued:

I signed ACTA out of civic carelessness, because I did not pay enough attention. Quite simply, I did not clearly connect the agreement I had been instructed to sign with the agreement that, according to my own civic conviction, limits and withholds the freedom of engagement on the largest and most significant network in human history, and thus limits particularly the future of our children.

First I apologised to my children. Then I tried to reply to those acquaintances and strangers who expressed their surprise and horror. Because there are more and more of them, I am responding to them publicly. I want to apologise because I carried out my official duty, but not my civic duty. I don’t know how many options I had with regard to not signing, but I could have tried. I did not. I missed an opportunity to fight for the right of conscientious objection on the part of us bureaucrats.

Click here for the full text of Zorko’s apology letter.

No word yet on whether her children have forgiven her.

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*First Published: Feb 3, 2012, 1:14 pm