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Government The Internet

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

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 Akido37 ( 1473009 ) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:16PM (#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 TheCarp ( 96830 ) * < minus pi> on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:23PM (#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?


  • by raddan ( 519638 ) * on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:32PM (#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?
  • Evens out in the end (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:40PM (#29770753)

    That's OK. People don't abide by secret laws (by definition)

    So since this will make me a criminal, and I can be punished for doing nothing defined as illegal, I might as well live it up and break all related laws. I mean, if I am to be imprisoned for years for breaking a law that isn't even a real law (a law has to be public to be followed and enforced) then I will ensure I perform all the crimes that I will be paying for with my incarceration.

  • by FiloEleven ( 602040 ) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:41PM (#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 [] 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.

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

    by cats-paw ( 34890 ) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:42PM (#29770775) Homepage

    to post something to wikileaks

  • incorrect:
    "we the people are no longer the boss"
    If that was true, they wouldn't need to hide it.

  • 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.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <`dadinportland' `at' `'> on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:12PM (#29771119) Homepage Journal

    I wold imagine they want to keep the lid on the techniques they are looking at for anti-counterfeiting.

  • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:13PM (#29771145) Journal
    ...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.
  • Really. Show me on single 'love it or leave it' comment directed at the state's rights types. It seems to me that we had eight years of the right wing claiming any dissent was unpatriotic, and we lefties should 'love it or leave it.' But now that the left is in power, they are whining that we are doing it to them. Even if we were, which we aren't, turnabout is fair play.

    Funny thing, when the left criticizes the government, we are unpatriotic commies bent on destroying America. However, when the right criticizes the government, they are being patriotic. Our criticisms are 'knee jerk' while theirs are calm and rational. Do you not see the utter hypocrisy?

  • by Znork ( 31774 ) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:34PM (#29771395)

    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 it so. So where's the representatives for those who will see their taxation burden increased even more?

  • by selven ( 1556643 ) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:58PM (#29771655)

    Kidnapping two people is enough where I come from []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:13PM (#29771785)

    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 times they are a-changin'.

    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don't stand in the doorway
    Don't block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There's a battle outside
    And it is ragin'.
    It'll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin'.

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don't criticize
    What you can't understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin'.
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can't lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin'.

    The line it is drawn
    The curse it is cast
    The slow one now
    Will later be fast
    As the present now
    Will later be past
    The order is
    Rapidly fadin'.
    And the first one now
    Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin'.

  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:28PM (#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,


  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <> on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:35PM (#29772051)

    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 their CD to their iPod"
    "Jailed for recording last's night TV"
    "Jailed for singing in the shower"
    "Jailed for using Windows XP" (... because it lacks the Copyright Protections in Vista/7)
    "Jailed for quoting a book" (... magazine article, newspaper article, movie, TV show, etc. Extend with "writing a bad review of" too).
    "Flying with electronics? Please arrive 6 hours prior to departure for electronics (including iPods, cameras, laptops) screening"
    "Purchased a new TV? Guess what? You can't use it anymore!"
    "Own a TV bigger than 42 inches? It's too big - you'll need a performance permit to use it"
    "Friends over for the Superbowl? Hope they're not staying to watch - it's illegal"

    A bit of hyperbole, yes, but given it's ACTA we're talking about, there's a good chance it's true. People are calling for no format shifting and no timeshifting without payment. And while the border patrols say they won't scrutinize iPods and the like, it's an ever-present threat.

    A simple marketing campaign directed at stuff people do every day without a second thought. Don't bother with crap like downloading music or anything, just stick with stuff that's perfectly legal today and not contentious. Hell, if you want to add some fun FUD, add stuff like "Copyright taxes for iPods, blank media, hard drives, computers, internet service".

    And yes, I mention iPods specifically, because the general public knows iPods. They don't know MP3 player.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @04:10PM (#29772421)

    I think the only way to stop ACTA now is to engage in FUD.

    We must engage in a long and nasty FUD campaign, of which the likes no one has ever seen. If they will not reveal information on ACTA, we must slander it until we utterly destroy it. The only way to counter this campaign would be to release information on ACTA, which would also be a victory.


  • by I'm not really here ( 1304615 ) on Friday October 16, 2009 @04:55PM (#29772905)
    This was ripped off from a Star Trek TNG episode "Remember Me" in which Beverly ends up in some sort of warp bubble universe where people keep disappearing and the universe shrinks but as the universe shrinks, no one remembers that there were ever more than how ever many people there currently are on the ship. Even when it ends up just Beverly and the Captian... he says "The computer handles everything. We've never had more than just a captain and a doctor."

    Interesting episode, but obviously the scifi genre is running out of new ideas (and ST TNG probably ripped it from somewhere else, no doubt).

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard