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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.
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FOIA Request For Pending Copyright Treaty Denied

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  • 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 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.

      • by sexconker (1179573) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:34PM (#27183185)

        1960s?

        • 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 geekoid (135745)

            Can you give an examples where the government worked against the will of the people?

            • Re:national security (Score:4, Informative)

              by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:14PM (#27183819)

              Can you give an examples where the government worked against the will of the people?

              I think so, although some of these could probably be debated:

              • Southern Confederacy's desire to secede.
              • War in Vietnam.
              • 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.
              • From some individual states' perspective, Roe vs. Wade
              • 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.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by mrchaotica (681592) *

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

                  "Tyranny of the majority" is exactly what democracy is. That's why the USA is a republic instead.

                  • by langelgjm (860756) on Friday March 13, 2009 @03:36PM (#27184989) Journal

                    "Tyranny of the majority" is exactly what democracy is. That's why the USA is a republic instead.

                    Please. Quit being pedantic and using a definition of democracy that dates back to Aristotle.

                    Actually, it's not even pedantry, it's just plain wrong. The definition of "democracy" is simply not "rule by the majority without any checks and balances" as everyone with the chorus "The U.S. is a republic not a democracy" seems to think.

                    Just in case the "tyranny of the majority" that is the English language doesn't convince you, I'll provide an appeal to authority for you. "Democracy" defined by the Oxford English Dictionary:

                    1. Government by the people; that form of government in which the sovereign power resides in the people as a whole, and is exercised either directly by them (as in the small republics of antiquity) or by officers elected by them. In mod. use often more vaguely denoting a social state in which all have equal rights, without hereditary or arbitrary differences of rank or privilege.

              • 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.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by larry bagina (561269)
              Medical Marijuana.
        • There was widespread disagreement over the war, but for the most part people couldn't muster up any dander against their government. I'm sure that without the war and the draft the boomers would never have gotten a rep as anti-establishmentarians.

      • Re:national security (Score:5, Interesting)

        by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:35PM (#27183191)

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

        There was a grassroots effort in the 80s to pass what was called the Equal Opportunity Amendment. It was approved by somewhat more than 20 states before being killed by the National Organization of Women, who were outraged that the special rights of women would be stripped away in favor of the equal rights of all. The amendment, essentially, made legal distinctions between men and women illegal. A side-effect not noted at the time but since undoubtedly got noticed: If men and women cannot be legally distinguished from one another, all marriages are "civil unions". It's funny how in this country, special rights have become more important than equal rights. Every minority must now have their own special power, rather than everyone having equal power. -_- Our founding fathers would cry if they were alive today to see how far we've fallen from the path of justice and equality.

        • Re:national security (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Roxton (73137) <{roxton} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:48PM (#27183401) Homepage Journal

          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.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Ed Avis (5917)

            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.

        • 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.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by MBGMorden (803437)

            Marriage has some level of religious significance but that doesn't mean it's a solely religious union. Afterall, many atheists still get married despite having no religious beliefs whatsoever. Arguing for "civil unions" is kinda pointless IMHO. Marriage can be defined to be acceptable between homosexual couples if they wish. On the flip side, if the government so chose a civil union could be legislated to be only legal between a man and a woman.

            Essentially, you're wanting to legislate a change in termin

            • 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:national security (Score:5, Interesting)

                by Rary (566291) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:41PM (#27184173)

                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.

                Well, except for all of us who consider it to be, first and foremost, a personal commitment between two individuals.

                Of course, neither that, nor your religious idea, have anything to do with the origins of marriage. It was a civil institution first. Basically, it existed to secure property rights and guarantee bloodlines. Then, somewhere along the way, people got it into their heads that if they're going to marry, they should marry someone they actually, you know, kind of like. So the idea of romantic love got injected into the mix. Then, further on down the road, the churches decided that they should have a role in all of this, so they injected a religious element to it. Then, much later on, people like you started thinking that marriage is entirely a religious institution, and that the rest of us (gays, atheists, etc) should just stay away from "your" sacrament.

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

                Oh, so now you want to prevent non-Catholics from getting married, too?

                I'm sorry, this whole "marriage belongs to the church and the rest of you can fuck off" idea is just complete bullshit. I say keep marriage as a civil institution, open to all — gay, straight, theist, atheist, black, white, whatever — and let churches perform their own "spiritual unions" instead.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by Dragonslicer (991472)
                  I think both of you are aiming for the same result, which is to remove the government's ability to restrict marriage, you're just disagreeing on which side (religion or government) gets to keep the term "marriage". Personally, I think a person should be able to designate anyone they want as the one that has the legal rights and responsibilities that are currently involved in marriages. Think of it as being the same as those "In case of emergency, contact..." forms you have to fill out for schools, camps, et
          • Re:national security (Score:5, Informative)

            by Rary (566291) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:27PM (#27184011)

            Government really should not be involved with religious sacraments and marriage is a religious sacrament.

            Actually, marriage existed as a civil institution long before religion stuck its nose into it.

            Perhaps what would be better would be for marriage to remain in the civil realm, thus avoiding any religious influence on who can marry whom, and instead allow religious institutes to perform "spiritual unions".

        • 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!

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mrchaotica (681592) *

            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?

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Nick Ives (317)

              Because not everyone arrives at exactly the same time, some people arrive up to fifteen minutes early (coffee & cigarette), some people arrive five or ten minutes early (coffee or cigarette) and some people arrive bang on time (me. First coffee is after an hour or two zoned out, Office Space style ;) ). It's just because there's a surge of people in our building at exactly clocking off time; we love our work that much!

              He didn't ask for it, it was just a nice thing done for him. I don't think he even car

        • Re:national security (Score:4, Informative)

          by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:12PM (#27183793)
          Your description of the "Equal Opportunity Amendment" sounds like the Equal Rights Amendment. Except that the ERA was strongly supported by NOW. Additionally 35 states ratified the ERA (although 5 have rescinded their ratification before the deadline for ratification passed). Finally, the ERA window of opportunity was the 70s, not the 80s. Otherwise your post describes the Equal Rights Amendment.
        • by langelgjm (860756) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:15PM (#27183823) Journal

          First of all, as others pointed out, you must have meant the Equal Rights Amendment.

          Second, I'm fairly certain that NOW was one of the main forces behind the ERA, and that it was conservative forces raising fears that the ERA would lead to mixed-sex public restrooms and public funding for abortions which managed to shoot it down.

          In fact, now that I look, NOW's website appears to support the ERA, [now.org] so I have no idea where you're coming up with this stuff.

      • Yeah, and look what happened to those who had the balls in the 1860's. The south was invaded and occupied. Tens of thousands of protestors in the north were imprisoned or deported. And the bloodiest war in all of human history. Just because some states had a "call to action" in protest of Federal government policies.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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,
      • by deraj123 (1225722)

        Where did the GP advocate giving each and every person from coast to coast a vote for big decisions? It seems to me that he advocated requiring state ratification for treaties.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        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 fo

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Wasn't making treaties with foreign states one of the few things that Federal government is supposed to do according to the original interpretation of the U.S. Constitution? I had the impression that it was pretty much why it was there in the first place - and why the U.S. even exists as a single entity - because, for all the independence the states have (or had), in international affairs, they were always together; strength is unity, and all that.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          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.

          By the way, here's another hypothetical situation. Let's say that the Feds want to sign a peace treaty with Iran. In your system, all states have to ratify it, and all do... except, say, Texas. And so there is no peace treaty, even though most people desired one - and note also that not accepting such a treaty when offered may in and of itself be considered a hostile act by another side, and have very serious repercussions.

          As you can see, from an utilitarian perspective, it can go either way.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      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...

      As always, we must look to Chuck Norris [foxnews.com] to set us straight.

    • 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...

      Perhaps you've been hearing the rumblings of secession of states again as of late? Because I have.

    • 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.

      the "Federal Congress" doesn't have the power to make treaties in any case, with or without the consent or approval of state legislatures.

    • by wfstanle (1188751) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:15PM (#27183829)

      While I agree with your sentiment about the need to rework the treaty ratification process, you are wrong about the process of amending the constitution. I suggest that you read up on the amending process.

      There are two ways to change the constitution. First (and the only method that has been used) is by adopting an amendment to the constitution. It's an involved process where BOTH parts of the US senate must vote (possibly by a 2/3 vote, but I am not sure) to PROPOSE an amendment. Then the legislatures of 3/4 the states must approve the proposed amendment. Only when both steps are fulfilled can the amendment be added to the US constitution.

      The second method is to form a second constitutional convention. The new constitution would have to be approved by 3/4 of the state legislatures. The second option probably will never be used because it allows wholesale changes.

      Also note that the president of the US or the supreme court have no role to play. For practical purposes, changing the constitution is unlikely to happen. Also note that it is very hard to change the constitution because that is what the founding fathers intended. I think your real gripe is about the secrecy. This can easily be changed by a simple law that tightens what can be classified as a national security issue.

  • All the more.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:25PM (#27183045)
    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.
    • by ptbarnett (159784) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:35PM (#27183205)
      It's Bush's fault!

      Oh, wait.....

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Scutter (18425)

      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?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DrLang21 (900992)
        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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by DoofusOfDeath (636671)

        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?

        I don't remember the right saying that at all. Are you sure that John Stuart covered that?

    • 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 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 Brandybuck (704397) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:08PM (#27183725) Homepage Journal

      Q: How do you know when a politician is lying?

      A: His lips are moving.

      Obama is a politician, thus he is lying. You do not get to be president by being a nice honest guy. You get there by backroom dealing, manipulations of the facts, and old fashioned snake-oil salesmanship.

      • Re:All the more.... (Score:5, Informative)

        by CodeBuster (516420) on Friday March 13, 2009 @03:41PM (#27185053)

        You do not get to be president by being a nice honest guy

        Generally speaking that is probably true. However, Gerald Ford [wikipedia.org], the only US President who was appointed rather than elected (yes, that is possible albeit highly unlikely in our system), was by all accounts a genuinely nice guy. Of course, he sort of "fell into" the office of President so perhaps he should be considered an odd exception rather than the rule.

  • 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 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 sexconker (1179573) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:33PM (#27183177)

      Dear Hatta

      Per your request under the Freedom of Information Act received on Friday March 13th 2009, please find enclosed the following documents:

      Blueprints, crew list with rotations, building alarm codes, and launch codes for nuclear launch silo A14-LOL-WUT.

      A copy of "Nukes and You - A Complete Guide for Fission-Impaired Presidents".

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Ironically, they still couldn't launch, and anyone entry is still known. It's not like you turn off the alarms and they stop monitoring the missile.

        Anyone goes out there gets a visit.

        In fact, you could ahve all the information about the set up, codes, lines, etc and you still couldn't do anything with the missile.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DoofusOfDeath (636671)

      mptions 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.

      So you think the DoD should grant FOIA requests regarding where our ballistic missile submarines will be operating on a given date? Or regarding the launch codes to our nukes? Or our specific plans for where and when to raid Al Quaeda hideouts in Afghanistan?

      I propose something more limited, such as having the SCOTUS review any and all claims of national security.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dusty00 (1106595)
      What's more appalling about this is the official reason for said exception has no need to exist. Something that we've heard very little of in the past eight years when being denied information is that it's classified. Lest it's changed since I was in the service, the government has eight different types of classified that covers every possible legitimate reason to withhold information from the public. Any reason the government gives for withhold information that doesn't have classified in the sentences i
  • Change (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:25PM (#27183049)

    Meet the new king.
    Same as the last.

  • 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 geekoid (135745)

      Why do you think preventing counterfeiting is in the best interests of the country?

  • Power (Score:4, Informative)

    by internerdj (1319281) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:27PM (#27183085)
    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.
    • 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.
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by vux984 (928602)

      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 think Obama knew all along how much power others have in Washington. He knew it wouldn't happen overnight.

    • by arth1 (260657)

      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.

      The keyword here being "seems". When will the average voter stop judging by appearances, and instead look at who is behind the pretty marionette, pulling the strings? That people are even surprised when a new president turns out to not live up to the perceived promises is what surprises me.

      Obama, B

    • He seems sincere about his desire to change things ...

      Sincerity is the most important thing ... once you can fake that you've got it made.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Colonel Korn (1258968)

      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 wi

  • by langelgjm (860756) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:32PM (#27183165) Journal

    FYI, ACTA is much more than a "Copyright" treaty. I wish that's all it were about, but the "C" in ACTA stands for "Counterfeiting". There's been a recent rash of seizures [ip-watch.org] of legitimately produced generic drugs in the Netherlands, all on concerns about "counterfeiting." The pushing through of ACTA is likely only to make this sort of nonsense worse, and the effect on people's lives is real.

  • Lets be accurate: (Score:4, Informative)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:35PM (#27183211) Homepage Journal

    (b) This section does not apply to matters that are--

            (1)(A) specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and (B) are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order;

    Bold added by me.
    http://www.usdoj.gov/oip/foiastat.htm [usdoj.gov]

  • by furby076 (1461805) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:39PM (#27183279) Homepage
    Listen, this may be off-topic, but relevant to this post. This is also asking the choir to not be so mean about satan, so I am sure toget blasted.

    Could we get a little less BIAS in our article stubs. From line 1 all i could think of was "EVIL GOV'T. EVIL CORP. EVIL EVIL". We always talk about the media controling us...well /. also does.
  • Obama... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:45PM (#27183367)

    may not have anything to do with this. His calling for transparency doesn't mean that every request for information comes across his desk. I'm sure that there is a lot of Bush-era cruft that is yet to be uncovered and rectified.

    That said, take a look at this page on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement

    Specifically the part about ISP Cooperation
    "ISP cooperation

    The leaked document includes a provision to force Internet service providers to provide information about suspected copyright infringers without a warrant, making it easier for the record industry to sue music file sharers and for officials to shut down non-commercial BitTorrent websites such as The Pirate Bay."

    More people truly need to be informed about this. I personally think conducting this act in secrecy says all I need to know about it. It should be protested against and voted against.

  • by Aladrin (926209) on Friday March 13, 2009 @01:55PM (#27183507)

    So let's get this right: We are now classifying out own treaties and laws as 'national security risks' so that even if we -wanted- to follow the law, we can't.

    Wow. You know, until now, I never -truly- believed everyone that was screaming that we were making laws to make sure people broke them. With this, how can I refute it?

  • Blame Clinton (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Friday March 13, 2009 @02:06PM (#27183681) Homepage

    Bill, that is. And yes, its his fault. Check out EO 12958 from 4/17/95:

      Section 1.1. Definitions. For purposes of this order:

    (a) "National security" means the national defense or foreign relations of the United States.
    (l) "Damage to the national security" means harm to the national defense or foreign relations of the United States from the unauthorized disclosure of information, to include the sensitivity, value, and utility of that information.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • Can somebody please explain to me how an international treaty qualifies as a national secret? o_O

    Once again, so much for transparency. Instead we get FUDge!

  • 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.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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