Wikileaks, known for stirring up controversy, leaked secret plans by the U.S. government to enter into a far-reaching new internet monitoring and regulation act known as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) with Japan, the European Commission, and Switzerland. The new act was known in some circles as a "Pirate Bay killer", referring to the Swedish torrent site The Pirate Bay, as the new act criminalized nonprofit "facilitation of copyright infringement". However, the bill also included provisions which would make many commonly used privacy tools illegal and would demand that ISPs provide the government with complete user histories.
Amid public outcry in the U.S. and Europe, a new country is looking to get into the fray. News site Canada.com reports on details of the act's effects on another partner nation, Canada. International Trade Minister David Emerson announced in October that Canada will participate in ACTA. Canadian officials view the act as a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of sorts, this time focusing on copyright instead of trade.
Additional ramifications of the deal of interest to American and Canadian citizens are the new restrictions on travel. The new act will make border agents essentially "copyright regulators". They will be authorized under current provisions to search those crossing for illegal copyright materials. Laptops, iPods and even cellular phones are among the devices that would be searched for illegal content.
If they found infringed content such as ripped copies of DVDs or CDs they could detain the person. The penalties are still being ironed out, but a fine for any materials found is planned. It would be at the discretion of the border agents to determine what infringement is and what isn't. Under the new act, even legally copied DVDs or CDs would be open to scrutiny.
David Fewer, staff counsel at the University of Ottawa's Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic is very alarmed at this development. He states, "If Hollywood could order intellectual property laws for Christmas what would they look like? This is pretty close. The process on ACTA so far has been cloak and dagger. This certainly raises concerns."
The leaked ACTA documents indicate that the new agreement marks a dramatic departure from previous anti-infringement efforts in that it authorizes government action against suspected infringers without any request from the copyright holders. In the past the copyright holders, or organizations that represented them such as the RIAA or IFPI took action again infringers. The new act gives government officials "authority to take action against infringers", essentially making them a government RIAA of sorts.
For some users the new act may be "bye bye" to their iPod or laptop. Under the new act the border agents could destroy any devices found to hold copyright content that is deemed infringed.
The new agreement states that it’s oriented towards increased "civil enforcement" measures. And don't plan on having a lawyer present; the act includes "authority to order ex parte searches" (searches without a lawyer present) and "and other preliminary measures".
At Canada's borders, agents already search for child pornography. The new act would expand the frequency of these searches and put iPods, computer discs, and laptops under the search auspices of the border patrol.
Fewer takes issue to the secrecy in the international community surrounding the act. He states, "We knew this existed, we filed an Access to Information request for this but all it provided us with was the title. All the rest of it was blacked out. Those negotiations can take place behind closed doors. At the end of the day we may be provided with something that has been negotiated which is a `fait accompli' in which civil society gets no opportunity to critique it."
The new act has also been criticized as it operates outside other international trade organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or the United Nations. Under the agreement a governing council consisting of representatives from member nations would be created and make policy decisions.
Michael Geist, Canada research chair of Internet and E-commerce law at the University of Ottawa and expert on Canadian copyright law says that the government's behind doors behavior is quite ominous. He states, "That's what happens when you conduct all of this behind closed doors. The lack of consultation, the secrecy behind it and the speculation that this will be concluded within a matter of months without any real public input is deeply troubling"
Fewer and Geist both agree though, that once the act is adopted it will be difficult to back out. If Canada does not comply, it may face big financial penalties as well, similar to those imposed during the Softwood Lumber trade dispute.
The final decision on the acts adoption is believed to be made at the upcoming G-8 international summit in July 2008. The agreement marks the most dramatic piece of international law enforcement and copyright to date. If adopted it will truly transform the electronics world and touch the lives of many citizens.
quote: There are many cases of people caught carrying $10,000+ in cash across the border, which by law must be declared. If you are caught by customs, they just take your money, even if there is no evidence of criminal intent.
quote: How would they determine whether my ipod music was illegally downloaded or imported from a CD I own but didn't bring with me (hence the point of an ipod)?
quote: There are only so many mp3 encoders and so many settings.
quote: So then all a person with illegal songs would have to do to foil this identification method is to run their mp3's through some sort of re-encoding process?
quote: I am also getting even more tired when i buy a game i have to download 5 GB to be able to play it. The entire game was already on the dvd, but had to be decrypted first.
quote: Sorry I guess I read it wrong. The title mentions Canada and I saw the list of countries.
quote: having that company award
quote: but they're definitely stealing a lot of profit relating to oil production that once belonged to Iraq (since oil was becoming a nationalized resource at the time).
quote: I suppose you also don't consider the the forced relocation and slaughter of Native Americans in the name of American expansion a form of theft either
quote: Just because you're not stealing the commodity itself doesn't mean some form of theft isn't happening.
quote: Ahh, and if we never went into Iraq, please inform me how the people of Iraq would have benefitted from the oil production.
quote: But dont give me this "its all for stealing oil" crap, that is obviously false
quote: LOGCAP, a contract the US Army signed with KBR in 2001 included orders to repair oil facilities in Iraq. This was almost TWO YEARS prior to the invasion. This contract was signed way before the decision to invade Iraq was final, before an invasion strategy was even laid out. This was even before Powell got up before the UN and started preaching about WMD in Iraq.
quote: they are much better off now than they were under Saddam.
quote: That remains to be seen. There is no conclusiveness among Iraqis whether or not they are better off- which I think is shown by the daily occurrences of violence.
quote: Stability is one area where Iraq benefited under Saddam.
quote: There is very little confidence in the leadership or the forces that put them into place. And who knows how many human rights violations have occurred under the CPA? Saddam and his child rapist kids may be gone, but this only made way for atrocities by American/Coalition forces.
quote: The violence is hardly carried out voluntarily by the Iraqi people, but rather people from other countries forcing them at gunpoint to do it.
quote: But then again, I'm sure you dont want to think about what the mass graves are, and why those people are there do you? And Stability - what about gassing the Kurds?
quote: So you mean to tell me that every Iraqi is happy with the US invasion and occupation, and all these "terrorists" are coming from other countries to force Iraqi's to commit violence?
quote: you ignore the fact that 30 years of American involvement in Iraq produced Saddam AND the current situation. You also ignore that George H.W., Cheney and Rumsfield supported Saddam and his actions in the 80's.
quote: can you acknowledge that Cheney and George W. don't have Iraq's interests at heart?
quote: As a majority - yes, the average Iraqi is happy now that Sadam is out and they are going to start over with their own (hopefully peaceful) government.
quote: Slightly more than half of Iraqis — 51 percent — now say that violence against U.S. forces is acceptable — up from 17 percent who felt that way in early 2004. More than nine in 10 Sunni Arabs in Iraq now feel this way.
quote: I dont expect them to have Iraqs best interests at heart.
quote: Ah, but you're forgetting a major issue, it seems that:
quote: The point is, most Iraqi's do not want the U.S. there, it WAS more stable under Saddam, and they are not being pressured to rebel due to outside pressures.
quote: With over 4 million Iraqi's displaced, and refugees still fleeing the country, you cannot say they are happy
quote: Besides, you can't blame Iran for supporting some of the groups engaged in violence against the Coalition.
quote: Which was exactly the point of the whole discussion of where oil profits were going and whether things are better for Iraqi's.
quote: On a policy level, the US is taking control over Iraqi resources.
quote: And obviously, there's plenty of evidence suggesting that the administration had resource and strategic issues that concerned them more than freedom and democracy.
quote: I suppose you also don't consider the the forced relocation and slaughter of Native Americans in the name of American expansion a form of theft either (if not a form of genocide in the very least).
quote: Thanks for the backup Reclaimer, I thought I was the only one seeing that lol
quote: Anyone who seriously uses it is someone not worth debating with any further.
quote: The comparison is valid- part of the reason why Iraq was invaded was control over resources- this was the same reason why native Americans were displaced, control over land/resources. This is not some random argument, it is a valid comparison.
quote: The only reason why you're not debating the other substantive points
quote: Your a moron, because all Indian card pullers are morons. Aka. Liberals.
quote: you can't just reject a large part and claim it didn't influence what came thereafter.
quote: It's all relevant, you just don't understand how or choose to selectively ignore that
quote: Iraq rakes in oil profits selling to China.
quote: It's American companies drilling and refining the oil in Iraq, and then subsequently selling it off. Iraq isn't making as much as you might think.
quote: But, if you're truly concerned about a president lying- why not focus on George W. and his lies about Iraq? Those are more serious than lies about a BJ. He lied to everyone's faces, but it's perfectly legal because he wasn't under oath. Wow, that's one hell of a moral compensation on your part
quote: And, if you're truly concerned about wasted tax payer time and money, you should be concerned about the wasted effort in prosecuting Clinton over a blow job.
quote: But no, you're just more interested in your party being better than the other rather than a consistent opinion.
quote: Im going to try to find you a video of all these dem's back in 98 - Kennedy, Dean, Rangel, Clinton, etc all saying how Iraq was trying to obtain, or had already obtained, WMD's. This all before GWB was even in office. The entire Democrat senate thought the same exact thing as GWB - before he was even in Office!
quote: In Cairo, on February 24 2001, Powell said: "He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours."
quote: Sorry to misinform you, but I am not a GWB follower, nor am I a John McCain follower at all. I am not a Republican, I consider myself a Reagan Conservative. Mostly aligning myself with Mitt Romney and Duncan Hunter.
quote: You seem to be defending GWB an awful lot for someone who doesn't follow him.
quote: Blaming one person when the decision to go to war was a near unanimous vote by bypartisan congres and for the intel that was given to him is a partisan cop out. Its a way to bash the republican party, while not takign responsibily when your own actions (democrats) helped promote the war to begin with.
quote: "i was for it before i was against it" ring a bell?
quote: Blaming one person when the decision to go to war was a near unanimous vote by bypartisan congres and for the intel that was given to him is a partisan cop out.
quote: You're saying that having a less competent company do the task at a slower rate is a good idea as to avoid the possibility of something inappropriate?
quote: Sometimes people like you make me wonder how the human race has lasted this long...
quote: Cheney earned forty-four million dollars during his tenure at Halliburton. Although he has said that he “severed all my ties with the company,” he continues to collect deferred compensation worth approximately a hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year, and he retains stock options worth more than eighteen million dollars.
quote: Yes because we've gained so much since the war in Iraq started. International hatred. Higher oil prices. Higher food prices. Billions spent to rebuild what gets destroyed while Iraq rakes in oil profits selling to China.
quote: There was ONE (multiple) attack on US soil.
quote: n short the belief that the government needs to take care of people
quote: I had to work for what I have
quote: And also that money being spent on foreign aid when we have enough problems here at home. The world has made it abundantly clear that they do not like us so why should we give them anything?
quote: And why shouldn't it? Believe it or not, there are people that, for one reason or another, can't take care of themselves as well as we would hope. And no, neither can their family, if they even have one. Surely we should just leave them to suffer and die, those pathetic useless parasites, no?
quote: Doesn't matter if you paid for them, other people also had to work for what you have,
quote: you think the people/kids that made your shiny Nike shoes got paid fairly for their work?
quote: If everyone in your country were as charming as you are, nobody should be surprised they don't like you.
quote: i hope you realize that the amount of people on welfare & umemployment have no physical reason NOT to be working.
quote: Whoa whoa. Wrong. You couldn't be more wrong.Those people do not also work for what I have, they are working for the money I am paying them. Its a cycle, and it works well. I work, I make money, I spend the money. The money I spend, goes to the people who work, in turn they make it, and then spend it, and so on and so on...
quote: In terms of US dollars and a US standard of living, no. But thats not even a comprable ideal. Take a look at what that money is worth in their societies, and what other opportunities they have. Then go ahead and take away that shoe plan all together, and remove that money out of the system that they could have been paid for that work. Now tell, when are they better off?
quote: As much as I get worked up over idiotic posts like yours, my mind tells me to settle down and that only the freeloaders (like you) think they have a sense of 'entitlement' in this country. Thank god, that is in the minority.
quote: In short the belief that the government needs to take care of people(Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, mortgage bailouts, etc), the government should stifling industries based off ridiculous environmental claim, and other legislations that only make our economy weaker and our people more dependent.I'm tired of tax dollars that the 50% of us who actually pay taxes pay getting spent so that the other roughly 50% of the country has an easier, better life. I had to work for what I have. They should too. And also that money being spent on foreign aid when we have enough problems here at home. The world has made it abundantly clear that they do not like us so why should we give them anything? Let the EU and worthless UN (without our participation) handle the rest of the world for a while. We'll see how long before the next World War breaks out.You can talk all you want. Talk is cheap. Actions actually make a difference. I've no desire to have a Civil War in this country any more than anyone else. But its pretty clear that the majority of the government only cares to appease those who contribute nothing while making life ever more difficult for those of us who do.
quote: If you were wondering why the rest of the world don't like you,
quote: war-mongering people like YOU
quote: Actually, we don't.
quote: You said you were from Europe, correct ? Bold statement coming from a place that was warmongering before the US was even a country.
quote: Your self-importance is staggering!
quote: So, tell us, what happened to you all over there? How come Poland is the only country over there that still gets this, understands it?
quote: If they found it, then they'd probably assume that all of your music was illegally downloaded and ask you to prove that you own it.
quote: But as has been said by many, how exactly are they going to tell if the music on the ipod is legal?
quote: The same way the find out now when searching p2p networks, compare the track to a known database of illegal mp3s. If the signature is identical or very close, chances are you do not legally own it.
quote: They could try to compare the actual audio data, but at the first indication of that, dozens of utilities to inaudibly alter the stream would crop up in a heartbeat.
quote: Under the new act, even legally copied DVDs or CDs would be open to scrutiny.
quote: Stephen Harper might as well be George Bush's lap dog and if I ever see him I'll make sure to tell him so. I pay his damned salary, the least he can do is listen to what I have to say.
quote: First off, you couldn't afford to pay his salary if you worked 24/7/365.
quote: To the previous post of yours: Yes, we're such a major threat! The liberation of Iraq, and helping to keep the French from speaking German show just how right you are. <rolls eyes>
quote: I dont know what exactly you're trying to get at. Unless you're saying democracy needs to force everyone to be tree hugging liberals, who want national healthcare, high taxes, and a socialims reform...then we'd be the true angel of democracy. Then again, you do realize that the US is not a true democracy. We are a representative republic (not true democracy) with a mixed economy (not true capitalism).
quote: unrequested American activities on other sovereign countries
quote: Oh, and FYI, a representative republic IS (supposed to be) a real democracy, just not a direct one.
quote: You must have a very short term memory...we were practically begged to help out against Germany.
quote: they'll just taser you until you can't even remember you had an MP3 player. That's what our current climate in the US amounts to
quote: You only get tazed if you are unruly and either resisting arrest or making antagonistic actions
quote: So trying to protest that your ipod/iphone/laptop/phone doesn't contain infringing materials forcefully is perfectly fine?
quote: Or does this count as being 'unruly' or 'antagonistic'??
quote: In a sane world, this law would never get passed. Sadly I can actually see it happening thanks to apologists like you who justify lost freedoms with the "comply and you will not be hurt" argument. The future is truly a scary place...
quote: don't take any recordable medium with you if you travel