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Government The Internet

Secret ACTA Treaty May Sport "Internet Enforcement" Procedures After All 239

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the why-so-serious dept.
Andorin writes "Ars Technica writes about the recent work on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and reveals that while the public does not have access to the text of the agreement, a handful of lawyers representing Big Content and numerous companies and organizations do. 'Turns out that... ACTA will include a section on Internet "enforcement procedures" after all. And how many people have had input on these procedures? Forty-two. ... Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) found out in September that the US Trade Representative's office had actually been secretly canvassing opinions on the Internet section of the agreement from 42 people, all of whom had signed a nondisclosure agreement before being shown the ACTA draft text.'"
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Secret ACTA Treaty May Sport "Internet Enforcement" Procedures After All

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  • by random coward (527722) on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:12PM (#29770405)
    They seem to like to vote on things that no-one has read.
    • by TheCarp (96830) * <sjc AT carpanet DOT net> on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:23PM (#29770535) Homepage

      Speaking of....

      I CLEARLY remember an emergency session being called right after they went into recess a few years back (4-8 years ago I believe) because they passed a budget that contained a provision that removed privacy protections from tax return information.... and of course.... nobody read the bill.

      Of course, as much as many hate the idea, it could be REALLY BAD for political figures, big businessmen etc, so they held an emergency summer session, and fixed it.

      Anyway, I clearly remember it.... maybe my brain is broken in a way that makes it not interface seamlessly with google, but I can't find a single article or reference to this incident, which is too bad, because it is a link that could be really useful in say.... discussions like this.

      Anyone remember this? Anyone have a link?

      -Steve

      • ...I can't find a single article or reference to this incident, which is too bad, because it is a link that could be really useful...

        Wipe it from Google, wipe it from history.
      • The only thing I could find was HR 1226, which was passed by the Senate on 8/7/97... this may or not have been during the August recess...

        HR 1226 made it illegal for IRS employees to "browse" tax returns.
        • by TheCarp (96830) *

          No way. It had to be more recent than this. (in 1997 I had just left HS, was in college, and my head was way too far up my own ass to care). I am pretty sure I know where I was working when it happened, which places it somewhere between 2000 and 2005... possibly somewhat later, but no earlier.

          As far as I understand the law now, Law Enforcement can ask the IRS to review a return for fraud. However, the IRS (this is my understanding now, please correct me if I am wrong) can review it and decided fraud was com

    • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:28PM (#29770611) Journal

      Isn't anyone bothered by government asking commentators to "sign a non-disclosure agreement" about a proposed law disturbing?

      This makes republishing a law that's "copyrighted" look like a free and open society.

      Back-room, off-the-record, tit-for-tat haggling over laws' formation is bad enough as it is. The only possible reasons for this NDA are precisely the reason it should be blasted out over public loudspeakers.

      • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:37PM (#29770719) Journal
        Isn't anyone bothered by government asking commentators to "sign a non-disclosure agreement" about a proposed law disturbing?

        Anyone else suspect that it won't be much longer before we just ignore the dictates that come from central authority utterly? I'm looking forward to it, personally...
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Come gather 'round people
          Wherever you roam
          And admit that the waters
          Around you have grown
          And accept it that soon
          You'll be drenched to the bone.
          If your time to you
          Is worth savin'
          Then you better start swimmin'
          Or you'll sink like a stone
          For the times they are a-changin'.

          Come writers and critics
          Who prophesize with your pen
          And keep your eyes wide
          The chance won't come again
          And don't speak too soon
          For the wheel's still in spin
          And there's no tellin' who
          That it's namin'.
          For the loser now
          Will be later to win
          For the ti

        • by mhajicek (1582795) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:12PM (#29772437)
          The trouble is whether or not law enforcement ignores them. It's hard to ignore law enforcement officers.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Hurricane78 (562437)

            You mean it's hard for 307 *million* people to ignore the few LEO amongst them? Even with the 1,473,900 active personel in the millitary, they still vastly outnumber the cops/soldiers.

            And you should never forget, that even a soldier with a tank is likely to join a giant group of so many protesters, that he does not see any chance other than dying inside that completely locked down tank.

            The real problem is the retards out there, who are acting like passive, easily influencable cattle.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Isn't anyone bothered by government asking commentators to "sign a non-disclosure agreement" about a proposed law disturbing?

        No, and anyone who is could only be motivated by racism.

      • by Late Adopter (1492849) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:10PM (#29771773)
        It's not a proposed law yet. It's a pile of paper that may someday become a proposed law. When it becomes a proposed law it'll be up there on Thomas with everything else. Meanwhile it's just a thought, an intermediate position in international negotiations, and negotiating requires a party to be mum about its desires and willingness to compromise until it decides it's in its interest to reveal them.

        Maybe that's not how *governments* should negotiate (at least not ours), and if I heard a strong enough argument I might even agree with that position. But it's not a sign of sinister intent. It's the status quo for treaties.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Applekid (993327)

          It's not a proposed law yet. It's a pile of paper that may someday become a proposed law. When it becomes a proposed law it'll be up there on Thomas with everything else.

          With all the crying about the health care reform bill text, they want to minimize the text of the law's exposure to the public. It'll be proposed and voted on a late night Friday, whisked quickly through the other chamber, rubber stamped through the Prez, and, poof, instant gestapo, paid for by the taxpayers whose necks they'll have their knees against.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by clem.dickey (102292)

        Isn't anyone bothered by government asking commentators to "sign a non-disclosure agreement" about a proposed law disturbing?

        How does the government prosecute someone who broke the law? Make the jury sign NDAs? Or maybe use a military court?

    • by Wowsers (1151731)

      They want to send the Internet back to 42BC.... (basterdised content).

      All they see is (devalued) Dollars, and (devalued) Euros in front of their eyes.

      The uneducated politicians pander to these people, because they give out campaign contributions / BIG brown envelopes. Maybe we should start demanding politicians with REAL degrees who understand the REAL world, not worthless cr@p subjects like English, law, art, history that politicians seem to specialise in.

      • by tagno25 (1518033)

        They want to send the Internet back to 42BC.... (basterdised content).

        All they see is (devalued) Dollars, and (devalued) Euros in front of their eyes.

        The uneducated politicians pander to these people, because they give out campaign contributions / BIG brown envelopes. Maybe we should start demanding politicians with REAL degrees who understand the REAL world, not worthless cr@p subjects like English, law, art, history that politicians seem to specialise in.

        English, Law, and History help so that you can see when a coup d'e'tat is imminent. That then allows you to run and hide in your bunker.
        But seriously [most of] our current politicians are useless idiots that are almost as bad as a dictator

  • by Akido37 (1473009) on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:16PM (#29770435)
    I'm most curious as to why nobody's yet sued to see a copy of the draft treaty. It seems that "national security" is a bit of a stretch.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:16PM (#29770441)

    So much for having a truly transparent administration. This president operates the same as all the others.

    • by jhfry (829244) on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:39PM (#29770749)

      This has nothing to due with the current administration. The ACTA was formed in 2007 and is an international organization. Sure the administration could try and force them to open up... but who knows how high on their list this issue is.

      People seem to forget that Obama hasn't even been if office for a year yet. Very few presidents accomplishments are visible in their fist TERM let alone their first year.

      If you work for the government, or even a large corporation, having the president say "We will do this" results in several months of people writing and implementing policies, changing the way things have been done, etc. Then you need to break the habits of folks who have been doing it differently for years. Finally you need to fix everything that no one thought of. I could be several years before Obama's transparency promise truely begins to be noticeable... though I have been reading of a lot of things that show of a shift in that direction since he came into office so the trend is in the right direction.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by aicrules (819392)
        Posting all versions of the Healthcare bill currently under consideration in a place where the public can review would be a start. His transparency promise will go the way of every other nebulous fuzzy warm feeling promise that gets made. "Read my lips! No new taxes!"
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by salesgeek (263995)

          You missed the memo. This bill is perfectly transparent. It's so clear no one can see it. Just like a living room window that birds fly into.

        • by epee1221 (873140)
          Is thomas.loc.gov not public enough?
          • by aicrules (819392)
            Where are the reported five versions of the bill that are currently being whittled down to two?
      • by cmiller173 (641510) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:00PM (#29771681)
        ACTA is not an organization, it is the name of a (currently proposed) treaty being negotiated by Office of the United States Trade Representative which is part of the US State Department (which is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States). Even though the negotiations started before the current administration, they are being carried on by THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION! Since this is a part of the US government that is under the purview of the president he could simply by executive order make this public. So far he has not. That a trade agreement could be kept secret as a mater of national security is utterly spurious.
    • but what really compounds the issue is that the Press is still enthralled with Obama and Co that they press on nothing. The Administration showed their hand, using their own people to bash news companies that report in a manner they don't like, while patronizing wholly sold out organizations like MSNBC.

      What does that leave us with? A bunch of right wing talk show hosts? They are even easier to box than the traditional broadcasters because if they truly do become a threat they will diversified/regulated ou

  • Coincidence?!

    Yes.
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      Okay, but I have a serious point too: The "Big Content" and other companies are the ones that have a stake in anti-counterfeiting legislation, of course they are going to have primary input. If they were drafting an agreement seeking to protect whiny sensationalist articles on the Internet I'm sure Slashdot would be given advanced versions of the draft.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SomeJoel (1061138)

        If they were drafting an agreement seeking to protect whiny sensationalist articles on the Internet I'm sure Slashdot would be given advanced versions of the draft.

        If you think this, you are wrong.

      • by spun (1352) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `yranoituloverevol'> on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:34PM (#29770687) Journal

        Okay, but I have a serious point too: The "Big Content" and other companies are the ones that have a stake in anti-counterfeiting legislation, of course they are going to have primary input. If they were drafting an agreement seeking to protect whiny sensationalist articles on the Internet I'm sure Slashdot would be given advanced versions of the draft.

        What. The. FUCK?! I'm a citizen of a country covered by this treaty, I have a stake in this treaty. "Companies" are just groups of citizens, they are not actually citizens. Companies don't have a stake in this, it is the individuals who have a stake in those companies that do, as this will affect their profits. Does their right to profit trump my rights as a citizen? I think not, but you've got the unmitigated gall to call this a whiny sensationalist article and imply that we, the citizens, don't have a right to complain or even see this bill. What patronizing garbage. Companies shouldn't have rights, and they certainly shouldn't trump the rights of citizens. Companies should not get to dictate treaties to the rest of us. They shouldn't get preferential treatment, and you shouldn't go around kissing the ass of Big Content and telling the rest of us we need to bend over and take what's coming to us, you anti-democratic toady.

        • The reality is, corporations are the ultimate form of citizenship. A morally void entity whose only purpose is to make money at all costs, free from individual responsibility.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dissy (172727)

        Okay, but I have a serious point too: The "Big Content" and other companies are the ones that have a stake in anti-counterfeiting legislation, of course they are going to have primary input.

        Hate to break it to you, but not a single "Big Content" company would even exist in the first place without citizens of a country.

        That places us citizens at the top of the food chain when it comes to what is best for us.

        So no, it's not 'of course' they get primary input. They get LAST input.
        That is why the outrage.

        Remem

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Znork (31774)

        Of course, from an economic view, IP legislation is very similar to taxation, except the tax rates on the specific monopoly products are set by private interests. (And with 5-20% efficiency, it's also a whole lot less efficient than most government run tax-financed programs).

        IP isn't free. The wider it's applied and the harder it's enforced the more it costs the economy and IP is one of the reasons the west has difficulty competing with low-cost countries.

        Just calling a taxation form 'property' doesn't make

    • Please, don't insult Douglas Adams.
  • by KidCeltic (130804) on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:23PM (#29770533)

    I love my country, I hate my government (because it is no longer "my" government). We need a change. We need to break the stranglehold the Republican and Democratic parties have on the machinery of government. We need the populous to wake up and act...vote. Vote for repealing rights that the federal government has usurped from the state governments. We need to limit federal legislation of states and depend upon each state to make the decisions that affect the people that they know better than the federal government (you know, they way our founders intended it to be). I'm going to stop here and get ready for the onslaught of all of the knee-jerk, anti-American flames aimed squarely at me.

    • by TheCarp (96830) *

      You sound like my kind of patriot.

      I swear, NOTHING has radicalized my views, like reading about the ideals of the radicals that started the American Revolution and founded this country. Nothing has so quickly shown the current system to be one of utter hypocrites.

      Frankly the only place I disagree is in that this would even be useful. I think my state, and the few that surround it, should all consider secession. Then we can go and sign our own treaties.

      As was pointed out at the time, even on the republican s

      • And no federal government yet has represented California's interests. Hell we don't even get 80 cents on the dollar back in federal tax money, and what we do get is so wrapped in pork and idiotic regulations it costs almost as much as we get to use. Hell without the drain of the federal government California would be a profitable state (and yes, that includes if we hired our own army)

        We are tired of subsidizing the rest of the country as they tell us we cannot live the way we want to.

        Secession! *waits to ge

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by TheCarp (96830) *

          Hmmm Northeast leaves.... and CA leaves (probably taking the rest of the west coast with it).... I have to imagine that the midwest/south would then split.

          For some reason this leaves me with the image of Texas becoming the Lone Star State again and being overwhelmed by a rush of Mexicans looking to take their land back.... and that makes me giggle and want to see this even more!

          -Steve

          • by i_ate_god (899684)

            Canada would welcome the north east states as provinces btw. I'm sure at least Vermont would gladly be Canada's 11th province, and with New York being such a tax happy state, they would fit right into Canada too.

        • by Shakrai (717556) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:00PM (#29770963) Journal

          And no federal government yet has represented California's interests. Hell we don't even get 80 cents on the dollar back in federal tax money, and what we do get is so wrapped in pork and idiotic regulations it costs almost as much as we get to use.

          I hope you realize that's your own damn fault for voting for politicians that seek to expand Government.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by amplt1337 (707922)

            And no federal government yet has represented California's interests. Hell we don't even get 80 cents on the dollar back in federal tax money, and what we do get is so wrapped in pork and idiotic regulations it costs almost as much as we get to use.

            I hope you realize that's your own damn fault for voting for politicians that seek to expand Government.

            I hope you realize that this is completely irrelevant to the parent's point.
            "My government is not representative" != "My government is TOO BIG! [google.com]"

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Shakrai (717556)

              How is it irrelevant? He's complaining about the fact that his state is paying out more in taxes than it takes in. Why do you suppose that is?

        • by tsotha (720379) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:01PM (#29772325)

          And no federal government yet has represented California's interests. Hell we don't even get 80 cents on the dollar back in federal tax money, and what we do get is so wrapped in pork and idiotic regulations it costs almost as much as we get to use. Hell without the drain of the federal government California would be a profitable state (and yes, that includes if we hired our own army)

          Probably not. I see people throwing around numbers like that, but like every other kind of accounting the number you end up with depends on what you include in your analysis. Some things they tend to forget about:

          • Water. California receives, at essentially no cost, a hell of a lot of water from the Colorado river. If we actually had to pay for that water we'd be worse off than we are now. Assuming, of course, it was actually available for purchase. You think low flow toilets are bad? Imagine a California in a permanent state of drought and with virtually no agriculture.
          • The bank bailout. We've got a pretty big financial center in San Francisco, and a lot of other states ended up ponying up part of that $700B bank bailout that isn't going to help them. Not directly, anyway. I'm sure New York ended up with the lion's share of that money, but I'll bet California was #2.
          • Intellectual property. The US is constantly trading other things away in international agreements in order to make sure Hollywood gets its cut when movies are watched around the world. If Cali was off on its own, how much leverage do you think the state would have, and how much incentive would the other 49 states have to browbeat and cajole other countries into respecting film rights?
          • Real Estate. 50% of the non-performing real estate loans are in California. Because of FHA and Fanny Mae, the federal taxpayer is going to wind up writing off untold billions as a result.
          • Transportation. The biggest discrepancy between the states tends to be transportation funding. States with small populations get disproportionate amounts of money for highways and bridges. But who does it benefit when California produce is shipped through Nevada to some other state for sale? Not the people of Nevada.

          I suspect if you included all this in the analysis you'd find California a net beneficiary of federal largess.

      • I think my state, and the few that surround it, should all consider secession.

        While I understand your sentiment, I'm not really eager for another Civil War. The first one was bloody enough. (And make no mistake... there would be another Civil War.)

    • by aicrules (819392)
      I agree. Though some state governments are almost as big and out of touch as the federal government with large parts of their constituency, there are no cases where the federal government is more in touch. Hopefully that will provide a small buffer between you and the flames. Actually, I'm not sure why you think you'll get flamed...unless it's by people who think that an equal measure of push back should happen at the state and local government levels who feel left out of your argument.
    • by pwizard2 (920421)

      I don't think voting is going to be enough at this stage. I agree that the federal government needs to have its power diminished severely and be given back to the states. The problem is that most career politicians see big government as a way to increase their own wealth and personal power, and these people have built such safe districts for themselves that the chances of getting them voted out are slim to nil unless they do something bad enough to wake up the average uninformed voter. At this point, I'm af

    • I'm going to stop here and get ready for the onslaught of all of the knee-jerk, anti-American flames aimed squarely at me.

      So what you are saying is that any criticism of your ideas must not be well thought out, and must be anti-American. Wow.

      • No, what he's saying is that most critcism of his ideas have been, and unfortunately continue to be of the knee-jerk "love it or leave it" crowd who consider any critical assessment of the current government situation in the US to be unpatriotic and slander. That should shock you as much as it does me. The ACTA treaty shenanigans simply illustrate quite clearly we the people are no longer the boss. It's been that way for decades, but we're getting the bitter pill of the results of that coup only in the la
    • Hey, don't blame me. I voted for Kodos!

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      You just got a Change(tm), with some free Hope(tm).

    • by joeyspqr (629639)
      IMHO, the problem with the "stranglehold the Republican and Democratic parties have on the machinery of government" is the result of corporate influence on those parties ...
      "We need to limit federal legislation of states and depend upon each state to make the decisions ... "

      when some corporations have revenue (and sometimes profits) greater than entire nations (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/01/business/worldbusiness/01iht-exxon.4.9679416.html [nytimes.com]), state budgets (http://www.nasbo.org/Publications/PDFs/FSS [nasbo.org]
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Maybe you should get involved. You know actually go places and meet people.

      It is our government, and I've seen it in action, i've seen it change, and it does.

      Our founders intended the constitution to be adaptable.
      States ahve rights, but the politician are afraid they might lose money so they just cave to the feds.
      That is entirely different then the feds taking away states rights.

      "anti-American flames aimed squarely at me."
      see, that's your problem. you thing by my government means they should do what you say

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:25PM (#29770559) Homepage Journal

    $100 to the first person to post the fully draft here or on wikileaks. Seriously we can leak SpiderMan movies, crack supposedly uncrackable digital encryption schemes and share giant files, but nobody is willing to post perhaps 60kb of text? IANAL but, Considering the type of legislation, leaking this sort of thing isn't likely to follow with litigation against the mole.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      the whole thing will be over once we do.

      I can't believe Patry didn't remove his traces of it and send it to wikileaks for them to make further anonymous.

    • Considering the type of legislation, leaking this sort of thing isn't likely to follow with litigation against the mole.

      Then you truly are naïve.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      since your examples our widely circulate it's not a fair comparison.. I can go to any store, pick up spiderman and put it on a torrent.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There is an older (2007) version available on Wikileaks. [wikileaks.org]

      The reason that the newest draft hasn't been leaked is that the only people who have access to it are politicians and greedy corporate lobbyists, and neither group particularly likes freedom of information. If they were the only ones allowed to watch the Spiderman movies then we wouldn't be able to download those either.

  • by BabyDuckHat (1503839) on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:27PM (#29770579)
    The lack of mainstream media coverage of this issue is telling. They're not afraid to pass up a story if it's in their best interest to do so. I propose we force them to report on ACTA by kidnapping Kanye West, stripping him naked, tattooing "SETEC Astronomy" on his forehead, and launching him in a homemade balloon purchased by John Gosslin with the money he stole from Kate.
    • by tobiah (308208)
      ha!
    • The major news corporations report the news that they think will get them viewers, readers or listeners. The only possible conclusion from this is that not enough people in the US are interested in that kind of news.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tlhIngan (30335)

        The major news corporations report the news that they think will get them viewers, readers or listeners. The only possible conclusion from this is that not enough people in the US are interested in that kind of news.

        It hit the newspapers here a long time ago - they called it "Is your iPod illegal?"

        That is what's needed to get the public interested - tell them how ACTA will hurt them.

        Since there's been nothing but bad news coming out of the way, how about full page ads saying stuff like:

        "Jailed for copying t

  • *sigh* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:27PM (#29770581)

    You know the world's in trouble when the Business Software Alliance is at the head of a list of representatives privy to secret international treaties about the Internet that the US is going to sign off on.

  • I see 36 people who one one at all would miss.

    • by Jaysyn (203771)

      Oops, I meant "no one".

    • by griffjon (14945)

      The list isn't accurate, because I'm pretty sure they would have to at least hat-tip to F. Kafka , expert on the process of making and enforcing laws using mysterious agencies and refusing to share the details about how one might go about breaking (or not breaking) the law.

  • by raddan (519638) * on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:32PM (#29770659)
    I am no government scholar, but I was under the distinct impression that legislation was required to be made public. Am I wrong about this? Or is it the fact that ACTA is a 'treaty' make it substantially different? People signing NDAs to participate in the legislative process is not a good thing. Whose eyes are they shielding this from? Us?
    • A treaty is not legislation despite the fact once signed it acts as such. It's a little constitutional loophole the government loves to exploit.

    • by langelgjm (860756) on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:49PM (#29770849) Journal

      Or is it the fact that ACTA is a 'treaty' make it substantially different?

      Yes. It wouldn't become law until ratified by the Senate, and they are still in the stages of negotiating the draft text. Right now it's just a piece of paper, which apparently no one is allowed to see, despite FOIAs that have been filed, because both administrations have argued it's a matter of "national security." That's BS of course; the real reason is probably a combination of 1) public interest groups wouldn't like what was in the draft and 2) parties involved in the negotiation feel that opening up a draft text will impede honest negotiations.

      Both of those are probably true, however I think that fewer people would be up in arms of the secrecy of the draft text if some public interest groups were among the stakeholders allowed to see it. As it stands now, the groups being allowed to see it are not at all representative.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:50PM (#29770871) Journal

      It's actually a fairly old tradition that treaties are negotiated in secret. In most democracies, that's not supposed to be the point at which things are scrutinized. It's when you bring the treaty back that whatever branch of government responsible for ratifying the treaty does so and then the legislative branch passes laws to enact the treaty.

      That's why I'm not exactly losing sleep yet. Before most countries sign on to it, there's going to have to be a debate. Even in the UK, where the Queen technically is the ratifier, an Act of Parliament is required, and her ratification is going to be based on the advice of Her Ministers. In the US, the Senate does the ratification, so the terms are going to be heard anyways.

      • by selven (1556643) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:56PM (#29771629)

        So by the time the democracy part actually happens the negotiations are finalized and it's just a "take it or leave it" situation? I say screw that tradition and give us openness and accountability.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shentino (1139071)

        Yes...after we've already committed ourselves by making a binding international agreement to enforce it.

        Once it's time to vote on it we will have little choice as a nation to reject it without some international repercussions.

  • by FiloEleven (602040) on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:41PM (#29770763)

    That bill would allow the President to shut down the private internet in the event of an emergency--a phrase so broad as to allow any excuse he chooses--along with unrestricted access to data by the Secretary of Commerce under regular conditions. The EFF has an informative overview [eff.org] of the legislation. It's currently in a committee, but that doesn't mean it should be ignored. Thankfully, the EFF has done a good job of keeping an eye on things like this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by geekoid (135745)

      Guess what?

      The president has the authority to shut down every think else in the event of an emergence.
      How many times ahs the president shut down a freeway? Airline traffic? phones?

      Not very often. It would be political suicide to shut down anything where there isn't a clear public emergency that impacts specifically whatever he is shutting down.

      Yes, t should be open. Lets not get paranoid.

    • Nice. You mean it would be like China shutting various aspects of the Internet for National Day? I have a friend in Shanghai, and it's getting more and more complicated explaining to him why China is bad and the US is better.

  • we need a spy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cats-paw (34890)

    to post something to wikileaks

  • by jdgeorge (18767) on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:42PM (#29770785)

    They have been getting input from a good, broad selection of people? The corporate interests listed have legitimate interests, whether we like them or not. Others, such as the three representatives from Public [publicknowledge.org] Knowledge [wikipedia.org], are EXACTLY who I would want representing various other interests.

    • by langelgjm (860756) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:05PM (#29771033) Journal

      Yes, the corporations listed have legitimate interests. Yes, it's good that there are three PK people and one person from the Center for Democracy and Technology.

      However, four people total from PK and CDT are not enough to constitute adequate representation in the public interest. The reason KEI is making such a fuss about this is because there is a big concern in the access-to-medicines community that any ACTA treaty will include provisions making it easier for customs authorities to seize pharmaceuticals that are allegedly "counterfeit". There's a very active effort to confuse the distinction between counterfeit and generic medicine, and KEI and others are worried that ACTA will make it easier for shipments of generic medicines to be seized as they make their way between countries. This has already happened several times this year, and in no case that I am aware of have the accusations been substantiated - it's always turned out that the medicines are legitimate generics.

      People from PK and CDT have no history of working on access to medicine or public health issues. None of the groups on that list seem to have any relation to public health issues, yet ACTA could have a very real effect on public health.

  • Failure (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Sadly, the blame for this thing goes to everyone. You, me, Big-Content, our elected* Representatives, our 'bought' representatives... It spans across industries, from tech giants like Microsoft, and Google Inc. , to supermarket chains and hobby shops.

    Ultimately, this breaks down to ideological differences on the future of information, and 'Copyrighted Content' (not mutually exclusive by any degree), and whether Capitalism, or Corporatism if you prefer, should remain superior to the rights of the public, and

  • Am I really the first one to point out the obvious reference to "42" and the "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy"? "42" is the answer to everything, you know (it worked surprisingly often in calculus).

    Or did I just miss an earlier reference...?

    -JJS

  • by KwKSilver (857599) on Friday October 16, 2009 @12:59PM (#29770957)
    If ACTA has nothing to hide, why are they hiding. All this secrecy suggests that it is loaded with anti-freedom, corrupt, vile and unconstitutional provisions. What does this pile of ... "stuff" ... do repeal the Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta (insert your nation's equivalent here)? Anyone who values whatever freedom they have should be raising a stink.
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:28PM (#29771967) Homepage

    ACTA will include a section on Internet "enforcement procedures" after all.

    Dear Imperial Overlords,

    Are you familiar with the term "radicalize"?

    Are you aware that the script kiddies of the world are extremely unskilled?

    Do you really think you control, or can control, the Internet?

    You are guests in our world. Try reading some cypherpunk. Me, I'm interested in other things, but keep this up, and an increasing number in our community will begin to get defensive and protect our community from you interlopers.

    Just the facts, not trying to be a dick or anything.

    Have a good day,

    Bob

  • by smchris (464899) on Friday October 16, 2009 @07:41PM (#29774695)

    How many Illuminati are there again?

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