Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship Government News Your Rights Online

FOIA Request For Pending Copyright Treaty Denied 364

Posted by kdawson
from the let-the-sunshine-in dept.
Penguinisto writes "According to CNET, Knowledge Ecology International's FOIA request for information about ACTA was denied. ACTA is the pending copyright treaty believed to have been authored by lobbyists for the content cartels. Even stranger, the denial cited 'national security reasons (PDF). While it is not unusual for the White House of any administration to block FOIA requests for national security reasons, one would think that a treaty affecting civil interests alone wouldn't qualify for such secrecy. Not exactly sure what involvement the former RIAA mouthpiece Donald Verelli (a recent Obama pick for the DOJ) may have in this." KEI is not alone; the European Parliament wants to see the ACTA documents too.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

FOIA Request For Pending Copyright Treaty Denied

Comments Filter:
  • national security (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:23PM (#27183027)

    If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability. -- Henry Ford

    National security has become a thing used to protect illusionary profits, rather than real people. The solution is obvious: If our government is making treaties without the consent of the governed, then we should convene congress in our respective states and vote to remove from the constitution the power of the Federal Congress to make treaties without the consent and approval of the state legislatures. Of course, with as soft as the population has gotten lately and so indifferent to the affairs of its government, such a call to action is all but futile...

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:25PM (#27183047) Journal

    National security exemptions should be abolished. Allowing the government to hide whatever it wants just by saying "national security" is extremely dangerous. You don't have to look farther than the Bush administration to see this. They used national security to cover up illegal actions, and sway the people into an unnecessary war. This war has cost us more lives and more money than any terrorist attack.

    Abolish national security exemptions entirely. Open everything wide up. Yes, that might increase the threat slightly from external enemies. But it will dramatically decrease the threat from internal enemies, who are far more dangerous.

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:26PM (#27183075)

    You still think that the new administration, and new congress, have the country's best interests in mind? Wake up and smell the 21st century.

  • by Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:27PM (#27183101)

    You don't have to look farther than the Bush administration to see this.

    Or the Obama Administration also, apparently.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:31PM (#27183161)

    Of course, with as soft as the population has gotten lately and so indifferent to the affairs of its government, such a call to action is all but futile...

    It sounds like you're appealing to a time in (recent?) U.S. history when the people had more balls regarding government.

    But the most recent time I can think of was the Civil War, which certainly wasn't recent.

  • Re:Power (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:32PM (#27183167)
    I think you're kidding yourself if you think that Obama really isn't the same as any other politician, even after he's shown us several times that all his talk of change was bullshit. As several others have said already: meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
  • by sexconker (1179573) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:34PM (#27183185)

    1960s?

  • by Scutter (18425) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:40PM (#27183303) Journal

    Didn't Obama say he was all for transparency?

    Which part of "He's lying!" did you not understand when the Right was shouting it all the way through his campaign?

  • by TheInsaneSicilian (134631) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:42PM (#27183329) Homepage
    I understand that your solution makes sense to you and perhaps to some others, but in reality it really is not that great of a solution, and it is certainly not obvious as you noted. Not only would that never happen, but the issues would quickly pile up and the situation spin out of control where uninformed people were voting and making decisions that they really have no business making.

    I'm not a fan of big government or of having a small percentage of people making decisions that effect everyone else, but that is exactly how our system is setup and exactly how democracy works in practice.

    The government can, will, and should make decisions without the consent of the governed. You think it takes long now to get things done? If all the state legislatures had to put their $0.02 in even less would get done. Then city officials would start saying their view is important, too. Soon everyone would be saying their voice should make a difference! If only there was a system in place to have each person's voice heard...

    The single most powerful tool that Americans have is the power to VOTE. Unfortunately most Americans do not invoke this power because they feel it is useless. Maybe so, but at least those that made bad decisions will be gone in at most a few years anyway, then. If it is really a big issue then there is always impeachment, but to start tying hands up at that level and incorporate more chefs in the already crowded, trip-hazard-filled, hot, sweaty, mess of a kitchen we call our government, well, that would just be making a bad problem even worse.

    Most human beings (and all politicians) fundamentally will try to get away with anything they can. Whether it is a spouse cheating or a student copying answers during a test, until someone is caught doing something they know is wrong (however it is you define "wrong" is up to you) they will not stop the behavior.

    No one does anything they think is wrong. Even if society deems it to be wrong, they somehow have convinced themselves it is right, because it is necessary, or it is okay "this one time"... The government, as a whole, or as a local office, is not exempt from this. They become their own "person" in this regard, acting in such a way that for whatever reason they think is right.

    When it boils down to it, we are better off having that few % making decisions for us than to give each and every person from coast to coast a voice by way of vote for big decisions.
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:42PM (#27183333)

    1960s?

    Great point. I feel stupid for missing that.

    How about a new question then: When's the last time that the citizenry successfully resisted an attempt by the federal government to expand its powers or otherwise work against the will of the People?

  • by DrLang21 (900992) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:44PM (#27183345)
    Yes because we all know how much integrity the Right has had over the last eight years. What fools we would be to not take them at their word.
  • by vux984 (928602) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:51PM (#27183453)

    Wait... Didn't Obama say he was all for transparency? How less transparent can you get that you can't even disclose a treaty about copyright without it being a matter of "national security". Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    Challenge the denial; have the media bump this question up to the whitehouse press secretary; demand an actual response from Obama.

    Seriously did this particular FOIA request even crossed his radar?

  • by El Torico (732160) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:54PM (#27183503)
    ...all marriages are "civil unions"
    Government really should not be involved with religious sacraments and marriage is a religious sacrament. Legal benefits of "civil unions" can be more simply handled by designation.
  • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:00PM (#27183593) Homepage

    It would take a rank ideologue to assume that making legislation neutral to sex and race would be a pragmatic approach to addressing institutionalized imbalances in equity and social justice.

    Or perhaps the people pushing it didn't assume that at all, but thought that the federal government should not be in the business of 'addressing institutionalized imbalances' in the first place.

  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:04PM (#27183659) Homepage

    Yes, we are all "tragically" unequal, but social engineering isn't the answer. We *should* all be equal under the law.

  • Then Why?... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:07PM (#27183707)
    "Not exactly sure what involvement the former RIAA mouthpiece Donald Verelli (a recent Obama pick for the DOJ) may have in this.""

    If you're not sure what involvement the person has in any of this, why mention him? To politically polarize the discussion to follow? To create a sensationalized summary?

    It would be nice if the submission summaries could stick to the details that are known and allow people to post their personal thoughts and opinions in the discussion's comments.
  • by Nick Ives (317) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:07PM (#27183711)

    Whilst I disagree with certain aspects of affirmative action I think you'd have to be barmy to think men and women should legally be treated exactly the same. Men and women are different and the law should respect those differences.

    Admittedly those differences are tied to (what should be) relatively minor things like women being generally smaller and needing more maternity leave than fathers need paternity leave due to having to actually carry to term and give birth but those differences do exist.

    The law should respect those differences because sometimes you need to treat people differently in order to treat them equally.

    And just in case anyone thinks that's some Orwellian double-think consider this: A man where I work is allowed to leave five minutes early each day because he's in a wheelchair. If he didn't the three p.m. rush (early starts suck, early finishes ftw though!) would mean he'd be five minutes later leaving than everybody else which is thirty minutes a week. He didn't even ask for it, one of the bosses just noticed he was always last out and realised it was because it's impossible for him to navigate the corridors when they're full of people.

    Why should he lose half an hour each week due to something he can't control? It's the little things like that which really make a difference.

    Looking at the preview I realise this is wildly OT. Oh well!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:20PM (#27183905)

    Yes because we all know how much integrity the Right has had over the last eight years. What fools we would be to not take them at their word.

    Perhaps, but with all the integrity the Left has had over the same time period, what a fool you would be to take THEM at their word that they were honest. Hope and Change, my ass.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:22PM (#27183939)

    Umm, nobody said we'd be turning voting over to the great unwashed masses. Or for that matter, requiring every state to have a say on it. What I was suggesting was that the states merely have to ratify by majority vote any treaty with another country. And the only reason this is necessitated is because the federal government has expanded its powers to the point now where the entire union can be entered into a contract (treaty) with another country--where the member states provide the resources negotiated for said treaty, without any say or even knowledge of, the content of such a treaty. While in this case it could be merely copyright, what if it was a mutual defense pact with, say, Taiwan? China attacks Taiwan and suddenly we're at DEFCON 1 and calling up the national guard and reinstituting the draft -- based on a treaty the public knew nothing about. The magnitude is different, but the legal mechanics are unchanged.

    This is clearly an abuse of power. Over three hundred million people deserve more government representation than that. This seems to be the only solution that guarantees it, as the federal government has become so obsessed with national security it's willing to sell out state security interests in the misguided notion that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. It's damned lunacy and the states should be talking about secession, especially with crap like this where the federal government has abjectly failed in its primary mission: The safety and security of the 50 states. Nowhere in the Constitution does it suggest that the states serve the interests of the federal government -- quite the reverse! If they're trying to reverse that power dynamic, they're going to tear the Union apart, and rightfully so.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:25PM (#27183983) Homepage

    > Essentially, you're wanting to legislate a change in terminology, which is simply a waste of
    > tax dollars and something that the general public will fight kicking and screaming.

    Not at all.

    This whole "gay marriage mess" is a side effect of the fact that the US Government has
    decided to meddle in something that EVERYONE ELSE ON THE PLANET views as a primarily
    religious matter. So public policy gets conflated with religious doctrine.

    This is why polygamy is banned in the US when it really shouldn't be.

    The Puritans in Boston shouldn't get to bully around people in entirely different states.

    First it was inter-denominational marriages.
    Then it was inter-faith marriages.
    Then it was inter-racial marriages.

    Every time, it's the same mess because the secular government failed
    to do what it was supposed to to begin with.

    Let the Pope decide what a sacrament should be and keep any hint of
    sacrament out of what the government does.

  • Re:Power (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:27PM (#27184009)

    I think Obama has found a lot about how much power other people have in Washington in the past couple of months. He seems sincere about his desire to change things but change isn't going to come from one person.

    I voted for Obama. I think he's a good person in a lot of ways. But I don't think that he can possibly live up to the "he'll change everything that I personally object to" idea that so many people had. Obama shares my (and your) views in some ways but not in others. Likely in a lot of cases, for instance copyright violations, he doesn't care much one way or another so he's not going to change anything.

    If you want to get things changed you should use one of the lessons taught by Obama's campaign - get widespread support for your ideas via the internet, and then LEVERAGE that support into a more visible medium.

  • by Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:34PM (#27184101)

    Southern Confederacy's desire to secede.

    Which was unconstitutional and illegal.

    War in Vietnam.

    This one isn't really fully true as it had huge popular support at the beginning.

    Forcing the legality of gay marriage in Massachusetts (Mass. supreme court vs. majority of the state's voters, I believe.)

    You mean more like upholding the guarantees of equal protection under the law that is guaranteed by their own constitution?

    Possibly Prop 8 in California, depending on how that state's supreme court rules.

    Prop 8 was nothing more than an initiative by the Mormon church to use it's influence illegally for political means. The thing should be revoked.

    From some individual states' perspective, Roe vs. Wade

    States are not "the people".

  • by larry bagina (561269) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:35PM (#27184111) Journal
    Medical Marijuana.
  • Calm Down People (Score:4, Insightful)

    by icebike (68054) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:37PM (#27184125)

    It is not unusual for treaty negotiations to be secret. This is more common than you seem to think.

    These are working sessions, and getting a zillion people ranting and raving about a casual word or phrase here or there is counter productive.

    When submitted to The Senate for approval there will be no secret codicils attached and the written word will be available to all. Write you Senator and get on the list to be notified when the issue comes before them.

    Poor choice of denial reasons? Perhaps. But don't go all conspiracy nut on the issue till you see the work product.

    The writers of the Constitution worked mostly in secret too.

  • by langelgjm (860756) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:40PM (#27184169) Journal

    Forcing the legality of gay marriage in Massachusetts (Mass. supreme court vs. majority of the state's voters, I believe.)
    Possibly Prop 8 in California, depending on how that state's supreme court rules.

    So, let me get this straight. Your take on democracy has no ability to counter a tyranny of the majority?

    Here's a hint - just because a bunch of people vote for something doesn't mean they should get it. Otherwise we could probably just do away with the court system and have people vote on everything, instead.

  • by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:54PM (#27184389)
    • The election of George W. Bush
    • The re-election of George W. Bush
    • The assassination of Kennedy (possibly)
    • Prohibition
    • no strings attached gift of money to financial institutions
    • DMCA
    • ACTA
    • FOIA denials pertaining to ACTA
    • state sponsorship of the Talibani insurgency against the U.S.S.R., in Afghanistan
    • Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom
    • Iran-Contra
    • Military sponsorship of Iraq following Iran-Contra
    • ...

    I could be here for months and not scratch the surface with even recent history.

  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday March 13, 2009 @03:11PM (#27184629)

    Southern Confederacy's desire to secede.

    Which was unconstitutional and illegal.

    That's only because the North won.

  • by Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) on Friday March 13, 2009 @03:21PM (#27184803)
    Yeah, yeah. And the Confederacy didn't really attempt to secede over slavery. They were just innocent victims of "Northern aggression". BWAHAHAHAHAHAH. This historical revisionism by Confederate sympathizers is funny stuff.
  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday March 13, 2009 @03:37PM (#27184997)

    Does the guy in the wheelchair also arrive 5 minutes early? If not, then why is it that he can successfully navigate the people-full corridors when arriving, but not leaving?

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday March 13, 2009 @03:44PM (#27185101) Journal

    >>>Which was unconstitutional and illegal

    I cannot lay my hand on any part of the Constitution that forbids states from voting to leave. If a state may enter the U.S. or the European Union whenever they desire, then a state may also leave whenever they desire.

    In fact, that's how the U.S. was formed in the first place (the 13 states seceded from the United Kingdom).

  • by tweek (18111) on Friday March 13, 2009 @03:45PM (#27185107) Homepage Journal

    While you're trying to be trite and cute (and failing, I might add), the Civil War was indeed about federalism and state's rights.

    Slavery just happened to be the lynch pin issue at the center of that debate.

    As to the person you're responding to, it's true. History is written by the winners. We can go round and round on this but there's no FEDERAL constitutional law regarding secession. In fact, if you interpret the 10th Amendment the way MOST people interpret it, that's a power reserved to the states because it's not explicitly listed as a power of the federal government.

    I'm born and bred deep south. That doesn't make me an idiot or some sort of "war of northern aggression" idiot but to call something revisionism without evidence is pretty silly.

  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday March 13, 2009 @03:51PM (#27185205)

    First of all, I resent that you accused me of being a Confederate sympathizer, and that you imply that all such people support slavery. Yes, I support states' rights (and I only coincidentally happen to be a Southerner), but I also support civil rights!

    Second, the Civil War was about both slavery and states' rights. In fact, the most unfortunate thing about it was that abolition was allowed to become an excuse to trample over the Tenth Amendment, in essentially the same way that things like drugs and kiddie porn are giving government excuses to destroy other parts of the Bill of Rights today.

  • by atraintocry (1183485) on Friday March 13, 2009 @03:52PM (#27185219)

    You keep saying this. Religion is older than agriculture. In what culture did it not factor into marriage?

  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday March 13, 2009 @04:07PM (#27185459)

    The fact that it's a democratic republic doesn't stop it from being a republic.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday March 13, 2009 @04:53PM (#27186069) Journal

    Blaming Obama directly is probably a bit of a stretch in this regard. It is VERY UNLIKELY he had anything to do with the FOIA request.

    The only contact he would normally have would be a general guidelines given to the associated Agency. The Agency still is the one who deals with FOIA requests.

    While this is probably true in this case, you should be very, very careful lest this turns into a slippery slope. The notion of "good ruler, evil advisors/subordinates" is an ages-old excuse for all kinds of tyranny.

  • by X86Daddy (446356) on Friday March 13, 2009 @05:13PM (#27186317) Journal

    Challenge the denial; have the media bump this question up to the whitehouse press secretary; demand an actual response from Obama.

    The media will not be bringing copyright issues up with the President nor the People.

  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Friday March 13, 2009 @05:26PM (#27186511)

    If this crap is actually brought into a signed treaty, without us, the people subject to it, ever being able to see what is going on, then this needs to be brought into courts.

    Ignore the treaty, be prosecuted, then claim that it was illegally signed/partied to because of the FoIA violations.

    Take it out of the hands of the "few" and put it into the hands of the many IN A COURTROOM. The guv'ment would have no choice but to make those very same documents available to the courts.

    When your government isn't playing by the rules, stop playing hardball, and start pitching ROCKS.

  • by MarkWatson (189759) on Friday March 13, 2009 @05:46PM (#27186811) Homepage

    Get over it :-(

    Actually, pushing back is a good idea. In the last week, I have contacting my senators and congress woman concerning legislation that might make it difficult to have community and personal gardens (House and Senate bills HR 875 and S 425). I also contacted my congress woman to ask her to support Ron Paul's bills to add transparency to the Federal Reserve.

    One thing that disappoints me about my family and friends: they never seem to want to take the time to talk to their representatives about important issues.

  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday March 13, 2009 @07:05PM (#27187825)

    My contention was with certain idiots who, whenever secession or the Civil War is mentioned feel the need to jump in with the opinion that they "were not about slavery" when, according to each state's explicitly written Articles of Secession, they most certainly were.

    Perhaps the best way to put it is that the secession was about slavery, but the war was about opposing secession.

"It's like deja vu all over again." -- Yogi Berra

Working...