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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 @01:12PM (#29770405)
    They seem to like to vote on things that no-one has read.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:16PM (#29770441)

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:18PM (#29770481)

    Any more of a stretch than it was during the Bush administration's hiding behind "national security" for 8 long years of freedom-strangling efforts around the world? Nah, I don't think so...

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. You got fooled againnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn...

  • by KidCeltic (130804) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:23PM (#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 Hadlock (143607) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:25PM (#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 SomeJoel (1061138) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:26PM (#29770567)

    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.

  • *sigh* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:27PM (#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.

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:28PM (#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 spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:34PM (#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.

  • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:37PM (#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...
  • by jhfry (829244) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:39PM (#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.

  • 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.

  • by dissy (172727) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:45PM (#29770821)

    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.

    Remember, you might be a big media shill, but there are still more of us than you.

  • Failure (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:50PM (#29770859)

    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 private citizen.

    I could argue on end about how this really started when Corporations were given the same, and possibly more, legal rights than the individual citizen, but dissecting the historical evolution of this actually does a disservice, and distracts from the present.

    The simple fact is, the rights of the individual citizen, be it public or private, if left up to the wills of the legal arm of the Corporate puppeteer, will be made subservient in every sector of society for the foreseeable future. Yes to a degree, that is the case now, but in the near future, any attempts to route, subvert, or even object the will of those who we so gladly pay of incomes to, will bring forth the hammer of the gavel to such degrees, that even infants won't escape innocence.

    You've been warned before, and I warn you now. YOUR future is slipping away! Do you even recognize that?

  • by mastahYee (1588623) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:51PM (#29770877) Homepage

    It would be nice to see this linked from the article but.... the EFF has a page up to send your reps a request to call senate hearings on this issue:

    https://secure.eff.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=383 [eff.org]

    I have been forwarding the link to everyone that I know, I recommend that everyone else who cares about transparency in the legal process to do the same.

    -Steve

    This is super important, thanks for posting. I have also begun sending it to everyone I know. Can we get this as an update to the main article, please?

  • by aicrules (819392) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:53PM (#29770887)
    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!"
  • by KwKSilver (857599) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:59PM (#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 Shakrai (717556) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:00PM (#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.

  • by langelgjm (860756) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:05PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:22PM (#29771257)

    Lately the Legislative branch of the U.S. Government has done a piss-poor job of actually reading and debating anything that has heavy support from industry. There is good reason for public interest advocates to be skeptical of the Senate behaving any better with respect to this "secret" treaty.

  • by amplt1337 (707922) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:56PM (#29771627) 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.

    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]"

  • by selven (1556643) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:56PM (#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.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:58PM (#29771665) Journal

    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 Late Adopter (1492849) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:10PM (#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.
  • by Applekid (993327) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:23PM (#29771917)

    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.

  • by clem.dickey (102292) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:31PM (#29772003)

    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 tsotha (720379) on Friday October 16, 2009 @04:01PM (#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.

  • by mhajicek (1582795) on Friday October 16, 2009 @04:12PM (#29772437)
    The trouble is whether or not law enforcement ignores them. It's hard to ignore law enforcement officers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @06:57PM (#29774009)

    The idea is they don't want people to not file out of fear of possible exposure of nefarious activity. The IRS really don't care what Al does or who he kills for a living, they just want the due percent of profits from his rackets. Law enforcement is another dept's job. The IRS's job is to collect as much cash as they can.

  • by shentino (1139071) on Friday October 16, 2009 @08:28PM (#29774607)

    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 smchris (464899) on Friday October 16, 2009 @08:41PM (#29774695)

    How many Illuminati are there again?

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted&slashdot,org> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:09AM (#29777709)

    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.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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