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Censorship Government Piracy

The ACTA Fight Returns: What Is At Stake & What You Can Do 82

An anonymous reader writes "The reverberations from the SOPA fight continue to be felt in the U.S. and elsewhere, but it is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that has captured increasing attention this week. Several months after the majority of ACTA participants signed the agreement, most European Union countries formally signed the agreement yesterday (notable exclusions include Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Cyprus and Slovakia). Michael Geist has a full rundown on what is at stake and what you can do, wherever you live."
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The ACTA Fight Returns: What Is At Stake & What You Can Do

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  • Re:Obama! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:02PM (#38844869)

    He signed the treaty, despite it not being ratified by the Senate. I don't think he can weasel out by whining the Senate was ignoring it. The Constitution is pretty clear on this.

    [The President] shall have Power, by and with Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.

  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:15PM (#38845023)

    Actually, the START of the battle was two or three years ago. At the most lenient, the start of the battle was at least a YEAR ago, when the fact that ACTA was being worked on in secret (and partly by our president, who promised his would be the most open administration!) was exposed to the public.

    It's great that people are all freaking out about this in the last few days before ACTA is being signed, but WHERE THE FUCK WAS EVERYONE FOR THE LAST 12+ MONTHS?! I'd been bringing ACTA up to people over most of this time and they just returned with dumb blank stares.

  • Re:What you can do? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jonner ( 189691 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:29PM (#38845195)

    I'm fairly certain the "signing" was legally meaningless in the US at least. Only the US Senate has the power to approve international treaties. Of course, the fact that US Congress hasn't declared war since WWII hasn't prevented US involvement in countless wars.

  • Top down; bottom up (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:31PM (#38845225) Homepage

    Ok, but it hasn't all been a top down government and corporate conspiracy.
    Normal people (aka the yahoos) have played their role by placing their entire digital lives in highly centralised web-based services, (facebook, twitter, etc). This makes regulation, censorship and monitoring child's play. Even the "blogosphere" was a better model than this.

    Something new? I can tell you there won't be any modern day miracles. A bunch of anti-social intellectuals will increasingly use darknets to communicate, and everyone else will stay in their gilded cages; secure beneath the watchful eyes.

  • by iMadeGhostzilla ( 1851560 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:52PM (#38845503)

    They are pressured by the US (mostly). In Serbia (where I'm from) for example, Biden attempted to force Serbia to allow importing of GMO food, currently forbidden by the Serbian law. Here's a statement made by the American ambassador in Serbia during a speech to the Serbian Chamber of Commerce: ( (emphasis mine)

    "Our Foreign Agricultural Service, for example, facilitates a U.S. Department of Agriculture Technical Assistance Program to assist Serbia in its WTO accession process. This support aims to help Serbia establish a trade regime consistent with the WTO and other international standards-setting. Our Foreign Agricultural Service office is currently assisting the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture to amend the new Law on Genetically Modified Organisms – or GMO’s -- to bring Serbia's GMO regime into WTO compliance and advance Serbia's WTO negotiations."

    They are doing their job -- pushing interests of big corporations, we have to do ours -- defend against it.

  • Re:Obama! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @06:00PM (#38845565)

    Here is what the Feds say []

    But it seems to me that an "Executive agreement" as it is defined in that reference is pretty much unconstitutional.

    I think your average reasonable man would say that a Treaty, duly ratified, has the force of law and is applicable to all citizens.

    An Agreement, on the other hand, would have the parties conduct themselves in a certain manner (follows certain protocols or procedures) with respect o the subject matter. but do so within the framework of the law.

    So, while an "Agreement" would have the Feds use the existing U.S. laws to enforce the goals, they would still have to follow the law (i.e. get a court order to shut down a site).

    A Treaty, on the other hand, would have the force of law and presumably not require the government to get a court order.

    That's my guess anyway. But only a fool relies on internet posts for their information eh?

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