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Here is the room where the European Commission's ACTA negotiations occurred. The EC says the negotiations are too sensitive to share with the public or even EU Parliament.  (Source: Torrent Freak)

U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush both supported keeping the treaty secret from the U.S. and EU public. The treaty looks to criminalize bypassing DRM to make backup copies, prevent free speech on piracy.  (Source: SodaHead)
Pirate Party EU Parliamentarian leaves ACTA meeting disgusted after he was denied right to inform public

The plans of the RIAA and MPAA to end the pirate rebellion have almost come to fruition.  After spending millions in lobbying money to build support in the U.S. government, their new government friends have built ACTA, a secret treaty which looks to offer unprecedented legal actions against citizens who pirate.

The treaty will likely make it a criminal act to develop P2P or BitTorrent technologies.  It will also turn DRM circumvention (the RIAA says making backup copies is theft) from a civil offense under the DMCA to a criminal offense.  And in Europe, there are already secret plans to potentially jail millions of everyday filesharers.  Free speech is also on the chopping block in the EU and possibly the U.S.

Amid that dire backdrop, Pirate Party MEP Christian Engstrom, an elected member of the EU Parliament from Sweden, optimistically attended an European Commission ACTA meeting, hoping to gain details to share with the public.

Afraid of public outrage at the punitive treaty it is crafting, the U.S. government – under President George W. Bush and U.S. President Barack Obama -- pushed its allies, including the EU, to keep the treaty secret.  Only last April was the partial (redacted) text of the treaty released.  And even now secret meetings continue, such as the one Engstrom attended in Lucerne, Switzerland.

So it was perhaps unsurprising that Engstrom was told that he would not be allowed to share details of the meeting -- with the implied threat of prosecution if he failed to comply.  Engstrom states, "At first the Commission seemed unwilling to answer this question with a straight yes or no, but after I had repeated the question a number of times, they finally came out and said that I would not be allowed to spread the information given.  I then left the meeting, since I am not prepared to accept information given under such conditions in this particular case."

Engstrom concludes that the negotiations are a sham -- a corporate scheme designed to punish everyday citizens perpetuated by the U.S. government, and now embraced by the European Union, as well.  In the process the governments are willing to sacrifice the very principles they are founded upon, abandoning democracy, freedom of information, free speech, due process, and public participation in government. 

He states, "There is no sensible reason why the ACTA negotiations should be carried out in secret, or why Members of the European Parliament should not be allowed to discuss information about ACTA with their constituents.  In a democracy, new laws should be made by the elected representatives after an open public debate. They should not be negotiated behind closed doors by unelected officials at the Commission, in an attempt to keep the citizens out of the process until it is too late."

The meeting also appears in clear violation of one of the EU's central governing documents -- the Lisbon Treaty, which states that European Commission will inform the EU Parliament fully of any actions.  The secret oral meeting without any documents being handed out, represents a complete lack of providing any info the EU Parliament, and his hence illegal according to Engstrom.

He concludes, "That is disgraceful."

Unfortunately, barring a dramatic change in course, it appears that both EU and the U.S. will abandon legality in their quest to combat piracy.  In their eyes abandoning citizens' legal rights and adopting a cloak of secrecy are a small price to pay for combating what they view to be an egregious blight on society -- piracy.

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Very Scary
By tigz1218 on 7/14/2010 11:58:00 AM , Rating: 5
As an American, and avid reader of our history and founding fathers...this infuriates me, and makes me feel ashamed that we citizens, yes WE, have let it come to this (I did not vote for Obama, for I knew he would just accelerate the process, but he is not the only one to blame). This plague has been growing for decades now.

I can only hope that things do not get out of hand before we can fix this course of tyranny.

My children deserve a better place than this.

Hope everyone has a wonderful evening.

RE: Very Scary
By jabber on 7/14/10, Rating: -1
RE: Very Scary
By The Raven on 7/14/2010 12:59:59 PM , Rating: 2
Good point. We have it too good here to get anyone to do anything even if our freedom depends on it. We trade freedom for convenience constantly, when our country was born out of a respect of the former above the latter. Things feel too good now, when in reality, they are not.

How did we get here? I believe it was a mix of valuing economic growth (republicans) and convenience (democrats) over freedom.

RE: Very Scary
By Exodite on 7/14/2010 3:56:42 PM , Rating: 5
We trade freedom for convenience constantly, when our country was born out of a respect of the former above the latter. How did we get here?

Sadly it's a trait all the so-called democracies of the world share at this very moment, to various extent but the trend is clear.

The 'why' is a lot simpler than left- or right-wing politics however.

It's fear.

Fear of injury, fear of estrangement, fear of strangers, fear of neighbors. Fear of losing your job, of not being able to sustain your own lifestyle - let alone support a family.

Fear makes us do stupid, irrational things - like accept our liberties being taken away in exchange for the unspoken promise of more security.

Fear will always be around, it's part of human nature, but our society - as a species - won't be improved much until our response to those fears changes from 'flight' to 'fight'.

Looking back through our history there's a clear tendency for societies to grow more complacent with age, inevitably turning into corrupt police states when we let them. Followed by bloody revolution and a new start of the cycle.

One would hope we'd become better than this, learned from our mistakes perhaps, but alas...

Until we start responding to oppression and abuse, whether it's at a personal, national or global level, with anger rather than fear this is the way things will turn.

Do note that anger doesn't necessarily mean violence, all it takes is the citizenry, us, standing up for ourselves.

RE: Very Scary
By tastyratz on 7/14/2010 4:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
Inspirational, and true.

RE: Very Scary
By quiksilvr on 7/28/2010 12:35:34 PM , Rating: 2
It is time for us to fight with our computers.

If they want a war against piracy, they got it!

RE: Very Scary
By Akrovah on 7/14/2010 6:24:01 PM , Rating: 3

I'd vote you up myself if I hadn't already responded to a previous post.

RE: Very Scary
By Myg on 7/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: Very Scary
By Wiggy Mcshades on 7/16/10, Rating: -1
RE: Very Scary
By raumkrieger on 7/27/2010 9:00:21 AM , Rating: 1
No, god taught "Kill everyone who believes different from you" and "Don't use your brains just be my sheep".

RE: Very Scary
By YashBudini on 7/29/2010 1:41:37 AM , Rating: 1
That's not God talking, that's just the justification used by some fundamentalists.

RE: Very Scary
By The Raven on 7/19/2010 11:38:49 AM , Rating: 2
Well said. That is exactly what I was saying except that I did not spell out what I meant by convenience. To have a corporation or a gov't eliminate the fears that you mention it is out of convenience. That is what I meant.

And though it isn't a Dem v. Rep thing but I mention those two parties because the majority of Americans identify themselves as such.

But I can tell you as a libertarian that we would not be in this mess if there were more libertarians in office. It is a party which values freedom over convenience.

But anyway, my sentiments exactly. Nice post.

RE: Very Scary
By jmunjr on 7/28/2010 1:48:05 AM , Rating: 2
I dunno about you, but I have it "good" and live very well, but I am also armed to the teeth in the chance, no the expectation, that our government will become too tyrannical.

I have other reasons for my defensive posture but my biggest fear is our government. I wish every citizen would do the same as me. Maybe our government would fear us enough(like it did prior to the 20th century) to not pull this kind of BS...

If push came to shove I wouldn't hesitate to give my life if it could make a difference...

RE: Very Scary
By jmunjr on 7/28/2010 1:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
With the above said, I certainly prefer by far a peaceful solution...I just don't think in the long run that will be possible any more...

RE: Very Scary
By MojoMan on 7/14/2010 1:01:17 PM , Rating: 5
The group you're pointing at (gun totin' people) are almost completely non violent. Your judgment of them assumes they are ignorant, violent people, and that they are ready for war. Things are bad for sure. The government needs to be shaken up for sure. We do not need a war yet though. We can still save this REPUBLIC (tired of people thinking we live in a Democracy) WITHOUT killing people. An informed public is the key, not us "gun totin' people" getting violent. That, rightly, should be avoided if at all possible! :-)

RE: Very Scary
By EricMartello on 7/15/2010 6:19:14 AM , Rating: 5
I think it's worth reminding everyone that America was built on war and bloodshed. We didn't just sail over here and thing suddenly went well for us. A lot of people died to lay the foundation for this country, and now most people are so complacent and unwilling to take action even when it is necessary.

The longer we allow the bloated US Government to spread its tentacles the more likely the only solution is going to be somewhat of a Civil War 2 - the US government vs its citizens. The US is quickly becoming the oppressive regime that originally motivated its split from Britain back in the colonial days.

Bottom line is that the public needs to remind the US Government that they work for us and should always act with the best interest of its citizens and not in the interests of companies or organizations with their own agendas.

RE: Very Scary
By Lerianis on 7/27/2010 3:23:14 AM , Rating: 2
WE do live in a DEMOCRACY ! The fact is that the Founding Fathers of the United States (you know, George Washington, John Adams, etc.) meant for us to be a democracy when it was TECHNICALLY POSSIBLE to be a total democracy, where everything was voted on by the AMERICAN PEOPLE AS A WHOLE!

The whole "Republic" thing was a TEMPORARY thing made up because the Founding Fathers realized that with current technology and means, it was impossible for the people to vote on every single law themselves.

They fully expected that at some point in the future, we would be able to do that and meant for us to change the Constitution from a Republic to a total Democracy, getting rid of Congress except as people who PROPOSED the laws and wrote the laws.

RE: Very Scary
By raumkrieger on 7/27/2010 9:03:17 AM , Rating: 2
We do have the means for everyone to vote. But the corruption runs so deep in the government that anyone with two brain cells to rub together never gets to a position of any power.

I wish this Republic was salvageable, but nothing is going to change unless it's a total change.

RE: Very Scary
By cmdrdredd on 7/27/2010 4:25:04 PM , Rating: 1
They fully expected that at some point in the future, we would be able to do that and meant for us to change the Constitution from a Republic to a total Democracy, getting rid of Congress except as people who PROPOSED the laws and wrote the laws.


RE: Very Scary
By jmunjr on 7/28/2010 1:59:17 AM , Rating: 2
What you wrote about our founding fathers is absurd.

A pure democracy won't work, nor will it be fair to the states. In a pure democracy 4 or 5 states collectively could dictate everything that happens in this country... It would only take 9 states to have 50% control..

"A democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner."

The problem with our republic today is the states have almost no power left - not even close to what they had prior to the Civil War. We're less of a Republic now and more of an oligarchy... The elite run this country by exploiting the ignorant masses.

RE: Very Scary
By MojoMan on 2/8/2011 1:36:34 PM , Rating: 2
Old post, but yes. This is correct. This is why we're a Republic. I wish people would read more history instead of spouting what they've been told in history class or the news. This is the way the founding fathers intended it.

RE: Very Scary
By tigz1218 on 7/14/2010 1:38:29 PM , Rating: 5
Jabber, I will vote for people who I believe in that can break this cycle and educate those around me. I clearly said in my post that I hope things don't get ugly. Way to take my post and manipulate it to your liking.

You also do a terrible impersonation of an American. Please do not contribute to this post unless you have something useful to say. In which I will reply back with an even more useful response.

RE: Very Scary
By iNGEN2 on 7/15/2010 11:17:08 AM , Rating: 2
Your disbelief or frustration, whichever, is understandable. I can only answer your question by qualification. When abuses are insufferable. Much like the Christian concept of Just War, American tradition is such that abuses that are sufferable should be suffered. Revolutions, are often co-opted by tyrants just as oppressive as those they ouster.

I have personally witness the collapse of a failed state. I've been there when the politicians personally attack each other in public forum. I've been there when politicians, and the bankers, and the industrialists, and the soldiers, and the mobsters, and foreigners all tie themselves together in bonds against one another. I've been there when the government arrests people en masse, charged with "crimes" in which the only injuring is to the governments ability to control or oppress the people. I've been there when the bombs and the guns start going off.

Some people fool themselves by thinking America can have a non-violent revolution. From what I've seen there's no difference between the things. I saw what I saw by choice. I volunteered. Friends, their children, and mine have asked about what I have seen. From revolution in America my children would learn of such things with their own eyes. Not on a television screen, but in their school, on streets outside our home, and in our own living room.

I have bled and I have killed. I know these things well. I, for one, will suffer. I will suffer until the abuses are insufferable. That's all I've got to say about that.

RE: Very Scary
By ClownPuncher on 7/14/2010 12:44:45 PM , Rating: 5
"Piracy" "Terrorism", just more scapegoats to infringe upon citizens rights to freedom. ACTA is such a massive scam, probably the sorest subject for me in current politics.

RE: Very Scary
By MadMan007 on 7/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: Very Scary
By MadMan007 on 7/15/2010 12:54:06 AM , Rating: 1
hmm *Cold War ended empire for an edit within 5 minutes of posting button!

RE: Very Scary
By stirfry213 on 7/14/2010 1:44:45 PM , Rating: 2
I think its painfully obvious the general American public want representatives that don't even come close to representing their prime directive as I see it.

"... of the people, by the people, for the people... "
-Abraham Lincoln - Gettysburg Address

"... That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."
-Declaration of Independence

RE: Very Scary
By GeorgeH on 7/14/2010 4:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
As an American, and avid reader of our history and founding fathers...this infuriates me

You obviously haven't read very much if you think you've let it "come to this" with secret negotiations. Hysteria aside, this treaty would have to be ratified by the Senate if it made any changes to current US law, so as an American you really don't have much to worry about yet.

RE: Very Scary
By Mojo the Monkey on 7/26/2010 1:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
Oh really? Several international leaders meeting and agreeing on this issue is not something to worry about?

I will say, however, that much of the uber fear mongering is a bit over the top. Things wont ever get super out of control (imprisoning millions, etc) like this and the article suggests for one simple reason - money.

Do you know how much it would cost to carry out these doomsday-esque scenarios out? It would bankrupt well... everyone.

RE: Very Scary
By Looey on 7/14/2010 9:17:44 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you 100%.

We do have our guns but it hasn't come to that yet. If we go bankrupt mimicing EU healthcare and other liberal policies you will see them then. At that point everyone's savings are worth zero and there will be a reason. At the rate we are going buried in liberal policies the US will be bankrupt by 2020. Our debt payment will be unsustainable.

RE: Very Scary
By MadMan007 on 7/15/2010 12:57:28 AM , Rating: 1
Policy is only one aspect of the balance sheet. Implementation is the other one. The Scandanavian social model seems to work pretty well, aside from the general downturn those countries, and Norway in particular by virtue of not being tied down by the EU, have done reasonably well. Iceland is a mess but they didn't really follow a fiscally conservative path...too much leverage and banking sector as an 'industry.'

RE: Very Scary
By gorehound on 7/15/2010 10:07:57 AM , Rating: 2
I am very angry at ACTA and at our government.until all democrats and republicans are voted out it will always be business as usual.
well i vote for a complete boycott of all big content products.i have not bought one for a year nom.they will never get a dime out of me and when i need something i can always buy it used.

RE: Very Scary
By jive on 7/16/2010 3:45:37 AM , Rating: 2
you are fooling yourself if you think your dollars are not going to go into the hands of the corporates by buying used items.

On one thing you're absolutely right. If the people really think capitalism is the way to go, they should let it's laws work it's magic. Stop buying those things. Let the demand steer the supply and not the other way around.

I also think that US needs Conservative and Liberal parties to balance out the Democrats and Republicans. Maybe some other small parties too. Nowadays it's always with us or against us attitude.

I don't know who said this or if the citation is corret but it was something along these lines:
"If a society is willing to give up some liberty to gain security, they deserve neither."

By bubbastrangelove on 7/14/2010 11:38:12 AM , Rating: 5
I love the new found transparency!

RE: .
By Reclaimer77 on 7/14/2010 12:07:09 PM , Rating: 5
Yes despite Mick's constant attempts to associate Bush with ACTA, that doesn't change that fact that Obama could simply announce the United States is no longer taking part in it. Of course, we all know that won't happen.

RE: .
By nafhan on 7/14/2010 12:24:21 PM , Rating: 5
Biggest difference between the two administrations: better grammar!
It really blew my mind during the election that a lot of people seemed to believe that having a different president would drastically change things. Sure some of the money got shifted around and some of the blame for problems got shifted around, but the way things worked sadly stayed the same.

RE: .
By OUits on 7/14/2010 12:58:18 PM , Rating: 5
It really blew my mind during the election that a lot of people seemed to believe that having a different president would drastically change things.

Uhhh hello? White House vegetable garden?

RE: .
By Daniel8uk on 7/14/2010 1:11:49 PM , Rating: 4
Better grammar, with pre-word statements of course, but with out a Teleprompter Obama is utterly stupid, he cannot even string a sentence together;

This is the guy who is running your country, partly anyway.


RE: .
By nafhan on 7/14/2010 4:28:20 PM , Rating: 4
Really, I feel like we place way to much emphasis on how our leaders look and act on TV. Debates mostly consist of candidates regurgitating pre-written statements, and regurgitating is what watching a debate usually makes me want to do. TV is so ingrained in our culture, I'm not sure how we could get around that problem, though.
It makes you think, a good actor + a bunch of smart copywriters and policy gurus could probably do a pretty good job getting someone in office...

RE: .
By Steven Morgan on 7/14/2010 4:37:05 PM , Rating: 5
Ronald Reagan

RE: .
By Solandri on 7/14/2010 6:02:37 PM , Rating: 4
Doc Brown: No wonder your president has to be an actor, he's gotta look good on television.

RE: .
By MadMan007 on 7/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: .
By BarkHumbug on 7/15/2010 3:37:41 AM , Rating: 3
It's pronounced 'nucular'. Nucular.

RE: .
By Reclaimer77 on 7/15/2010 11:19:35 AM , Rating: 2
I have a friend who brings that up constantly whenever we talk about Bush vs. Obama. In fact the left in general seems to think how good someone is at public speaking is directly proportional to the persons intelligence therefore proportional to the quality of leadership. Setting themselves up to be suckered by snake oil salesmen again and again.

I think it's sad how shallow people are. Substance over style, I say.

RE: .
By YashBudini on 7/23/2010 7:35:38 PM , Rating: 1
Change always bad under Obama. Oh look here's change promoted by W as well. All of a sudden this change must be good.


RE: .
By inperfectdarkness on 7/14/2010 1:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
this is no different than nationalized healthcare.

all i can add is that if i were in christian's position, i would still have attended & went public with the info. sue/proscute me if you will. publicly elected officials have no right to any legislative movements other than public ones.

we already have a f**king bilderberg group. we don't need another.

RE: .
By erple2 on 7/14/2010 4:01:20 PM , Rating: 2
Technically, if they can spin it as an issue of "national security", you can keep it secret from the public. At least, that's the case in Merrka.

Or, I suppose that the details may still be being hammered out. There are plenty of "back room deals" that go on in American Politics (on all sides of the spectrum) that aren't really "public" until policy is voted on. Whether that's right or not (I don't think it is, at least in the case of policy that's developed that doesn't directly relate to "national security").

By littvay on 7/14/2010 12:41:13 PM , Rating: 1
Would it be possible to file a freedom of information act request for documents from meetings we know took place, for the treaty in preparation?

I am less concerned about this. The courts is the place to get recourse. The lack of transparency will not be OK for the courts. On the other hand the US Supreme Court is quite business friendly, we will probably lose if it goes up there. (We can always hope for a change in the courts but for that we need Alito, Robets, Thomas, Scallia or Kennedy to drop dead, not something I feel good about wishing for.)

I have a little more faith in the EU courts.

So lets not burry liberty just yet. There are multiple branches and these processes take time. (By the way, nothing Obama is doing is as bad as the crap in the USA PATROT Act. Where was the Tea Party yelling and screaming about that?)

RE: Action?
By DigitalFreak on 7/14/2010 1:36:23 PM , Rating: 4
With the pro big business decisions the Supreme Court has made lately, I have very little faith in them declaring this unconstitutional.

RE: Action?
By acronos on 7/14/2010 1:40:07 PM , Rating: 2
"By the way, nothing Obama is doing is as bad as the crap in the USA PATROT Act."

I strongly disagree. The freedom of speech (1st amendment) is THE most important right in any society. The ACTA threatens the freedom of speech - both in how it's being created, and in the consequences of it being passed. The Patriot act was about surveillance (4th amendment). While these rights are very important, they don't hold a candle to the freedom of speech.

RE: Action?
By HotFoot on 7/14/2010 4:30:41 PM , Rating: 4
They're both just... awful. And surveillance/intimidation is perhaps the best way to destroy freedom of speech, so I don't see the two being so different.

Currently, I believe ACTA will be severely watered-down before it's passed into law. Further, I do think it will be thrown out by the courts if/when pressed. I'm not hugely concerned about ACTA in and of itself.

What I am deeply concerned about is this process. Our democratically elected leaders of the free world gather together and hold discussions in secret. I would argue that the only such discussions that need to be secret are military in nature. This is a law about a certain section of commerce.

How would you feel if this same approach was taken on the next subject, say carbon trading and taxing? The politicians show no respect for the citizenship.

It's not an isolated trend, either. For one cause or another I see continued degradation in transparency and accountability in the conduct of public office. Sadly, I'm not able to find a candidate I think will be different.

RE: Action?
By Solandri on 7/14/2010 6:34:40 PM , Rating: 2
Currently, I believe ACTA will be severely watered-down before it's passed into law. Further, I do think it will be thrown out by the courts if/when pressed.

That's just it. The whole point behind doing it as an International treaty is so individual countries cannot water it down. It comes up for approval in a country's legislature and it's a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. They can't amend it because the treaty in its given form is what all the other countries are considering, and changing it means that country would not be passing the same thing as the other countries.

That's precisely why this whole initial phase needs to be open and transparent. Because now is the only chance the public will have to weigh in and propose changes.

I would argue that the only such discussions that need to be secret are military in nature. This is a law about a certain section of commerce.

The international agreements on preventing counterfeiting with modern technology was done in secret. Most people still don't know about it. They came up with a pattern of yellow circles which is imbedded into the artwork on currency. All modern scanning and copying equipment and photo editing software will balk if it sees that pattern and refuse to operate. I don't think copyright enforcement is important enough to warrant this level of protection. But just wanted to point out that this sort of stuff has been negotiated in secret before for reasons of commerce.

RE: Action?
By cmdrdredd on 7/27/2010 4:34:45 PM , Rating: 2
I strongly disagree. The freedom of speech (1st amendment) is THE most important right in any society.


Without the second amendment to PROTECT all other rights given, you would have ZERO free speech. Hitler did it, Stalin did it, Mao Zedong did it, they used it in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Labanon, Somalia, Lybia, Venezuela, Cuba.

As the saying goes... Those who exchange their guns for hoes will be rules by those who keep their guns. Without the means to oust the ones who abuse power, you will always be powerless. They could trample all your other rights with one fell swoop.

RE: Action?
By hoosier on 7/14/2010 5:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
By the way last March the Democratic congress and president reauthorized the Patriot Act with no changes. As far as Tea Party folks go, I think if you would talk to most they would be equally appalled by either the Patriot Act or ACTA.

The dirty secret that is not reported by the mainstream media is the Tea Party movement is not some front for the Republican party or some Neo conservative movement. Most Tea partiers are much more Libertarian in their beliefs. Most are disgusted and feel they are not being represented by either party.

The Main message of Tea Partiers is they want less Federal government control period. Go back to how the founding fathers and the constitution intended it. Very little federal power and let the states and local governments run most things, keeping the power much closer to the people.

The original 13 states were intended to be 13 individual experiments in governing, where people and businesses and wealth would gravitate to the states with the policies that created an environment most condusive to each individuals lifestyle and beliefs.

The truly evil secret is now most politicians in Washington (Both Parties) know this and do everything in their power to strip away state and local governments power little by little. Some are even looking for more of a global Governance , these folks are even scarier. Things like ACTA are an example of global governance and you should look very carefully at any politician that supports this and especially if they are in favor of it's secrecy.

This is all about accountability and responsibility, the politicians know the bigger and further away from the people the government is the less each of them can be held accountable for things. This way they always have someone else to blame.

RE: Action?
By MadMan007 on 7/15/2010 1:05:50 AM , Rating: 2
Just to play devil's advocate because reading indepth and balanced (no particular slant to them) books on early US history, not because I entirely disagree with you, I would have to say that to claim the states were meant to be individual entities with little federal power and therefore imply that all the early US political theorists ('fathers') thought this way is not true. The Federal versus States debate is pretty much the oldest one in American political history that's continued to ebb and flow throughout the entirety of US history.

A book I like that outlines this without focusing exclusively and dryly on it is 'John Adams' by David McCullough.

RE: Action?
By gamerk2 on 7/15/2010 7:59:42 AM , Rating: 1
The original 13 states were intended to be 13 individual experiments in governing, where people and businesses and wealth would gravitate to the states with the policies that created an environment most condusive to each individuals lifestyle and beliefs.

Hence, the Articles of Confederation, which failed because none of the states could decide to actually DO anything.

Hence the Constitution, which essentially gave any power that would apply across multiple states (Border Secutiry, Commerce, Defense, etc) to the Federal Government.

RE: Action?
By KCjoker on 7/14/2010 6:40:54 PM , Rating: 2
You mean the Patriot Act that Obama voted for and continues to support? oh yea that

Doesn't make any sense
By skildner on 7/14/2010 1:25:24 PM , Rating: 3
It's not like they are going to ammend the Constitution. If a ridiculous law like this is enacted and someone gets arrested for it, it will eventually make its way to the Supreme Court. At which point it will be ruled as un-Constitutional. That's why we have checks and balances. They can do whatever they want behind closed doors, but when it comes down to it, they have to get the courts to go along with it or it's just a waste of time.

RE: Doesn't make any sense
By surt on 7/14/2010 2:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
Oh man, you had me laughing out loud, believing the supreme court is going to back the peasants on this. Hilarious!

RE: Doesn't make any sense
By YashBudini on 7/23/2010 7:37:56 PM , Rating: 1
"Oh man, you had me laughing out loud, believing the supreme court is going to back the peasants on this. Hilarious! "

Especially after it ruled corporations are people too.

RE: Doesn't make any sense
By omnicronx on 7/26/2010 3:01:24 PM , Rating: 2
We are talking about the first here.. If there was ever an instance where the Supreme Court would step in, this would be it..

RE: Doesn't make any sense
By rs1 on 7/14/2010 2:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
I hope that you're right, but fear that you may be wrong.

RE: Doesn't make any sense
By marvdmartian on 7/14/2010 3:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, long before it gets to that, it has to be approved by the Senate, just like any other treaty the president wants to enact. While the present sitting Senate might be willing to pass this, we do have 1/3 of those senators coming up for re-election in November. Vote with your brain instead of your heart, and ask the candidates how they will vote on ACTA, then let them know they neither they nor their opponent will get your vote if they support it.

So far as SCOTUS goes, their only decision is whether the law is constitutional or not. If a lawsuit reaches them that argues the point well enough that it is not, they will overturn it. They don't get to decide by what's in their heart, so much as what they believe the constitution says is right or wrong. At least, that's how it's supposed to work!

RE: Doesn't make any sense
By Solandri on 7/14/2010 6:21:26 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately the SCotUS passed up an opportunity to rule on a similar issue back in 2004.

In that case, some cities enacted a certain private building code as law. Financially and professionally this makes sense since the private company knew a heckuva lot more about construction than the legislature and were already published. If you built a house, they had to be built according to those codes. But to see the code, you had to buy the codebook from the private company.

Essentially, there was no way to see the law unless you paid for it (cost a couple $thousand if I remember right), so you could be found guilty of violating a law which you couldn't see in the first place without paying lots of money. Veeck in the case bought a copy of the code and made it available on a website in PDF format for anyone to see. Southern Building Code Congress sued claiming that was a copyright violation. Veeck's argument was he was publishing a public law, and if the company had wanted their code to remain copyrighted they shouldn't have allowed it to become law.

Lower court decisions on the case were split before the SCotUS refused to hear an appeal on it. So there's really no telling which way it could go.

RE: Doesn't make any sense
By ClownPuncher on 7/14/2010 3:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
Tell that to the new healthcare bill and the DEA.

RE: Doesn't make any sense
By Jaybus on 7/14/2010 4:15:48 PM , Rating: 2
They don't have to amend anything. Congress has for years been using treaties with foreign powers to circumvent constitutional restrictions. Has there even been one treaty that the Supreme Court ruled was illegally entered into?

This is what we get from "progressive" politicians in the US (and in Europe). The Progressive movement is not new. It has just changed over the last century. Their principle belief is still that the good of the state supersedes the good of the people, or of the individual, and the elected elite, due to their superior intelligence and abilities, get to change the rules (ie. constitution) as they see fit.

A basic premise of the US Constitution is that government is only given those powers or rights specifically granted to it under the Constitution, and all other powers or rights are left up to the states or the individual. In fact, the 10th Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights for no other reason than to reiterate and make clear that premise. In basic terms, modern progressive politicians want exactly the opposite. They want all powers and rights not specifically granted to the individual to be given to the state.

Conclusion: Progressive politicians are by definition at odds with a constitution that limits their ability to change the way we (the people) behave. Since they see the constitutions or charters of their respective states as the "problem" preventing them from outright banning the writing of P2P software, they are attempting to circumvent the "problem" by use of international treaty.

Same old story. Governments left unchecked gravitate toward tyranny.

RE: Doesn't make any sense
By MadMan007 on 7/15/2010 1:20:45 AM , Rating: 1
Just to nitpick a little here...

the elected elite, due to their superior intelligence and abilities, get to change the rules (ie. constitution) as they see fit

Please don't kid yourself by romanticizing the past and thinking that every single 'founder' was a salt of the earth self-made man who came out of nowhere. While there were certainly 'regular people' among them, just as there are among leaders now, there were also plenty of 'elected elite' by education and wealth, not all of it coming from nothing (ie: family wealth.)

By superkdogg on 7/14/2010 12:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
Finally, a united American people!

Bush started it, Obama won't stop it, and it's not supported by many of us outside the interest of the group it protects (allegedly).

I wonder how Linux distros and many other legit offerings will be distributed if it's illegal to develop P2P tech? Who's going to catch somebody doing it, Skynet? This sounds like BS, and I also fail to see the authority of this treaty to actually be enforced (at least in the US) without congressional support and endorsement. It may be distorted when it gets introduced, but I think it should still be subject to debate on the floor and votes in order to be ratified, no? Maybe I'm wrong on that but interested to hear if somebody has more knowledge than I do.

RE: Secretism
By The Raven on 7/14/2010 1:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah this is rediculous.

From what I remember, Skype was born from Kazaa using the same P2P tech. Does this mean that Skype is SOL?

RE: Secretism
By Pjotr on 7/14/2010 1:45:03 PM , Rating: 4
Skype uses P2P, Voddler uses P2P, Blizzard (World of Warcraft) uses P2P, Spotify uses P2P. Making one or more of many internet technologies illegal is madness! There's is nothing illegal in technology itself, only the misuse of it, like with guns, cars, knives and your bare hands. Shall we make hands illegal and cut them all off too?

RE: Secretism
By The Raven on 7/14/2010 2:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
<in Rambo voice>
Those companies are expendable.

Rambo: To survive a war, you gotta become war.
Co: That why they pick you? Because you like to fight?
Rambo: Nah... I'm expendable.
Co: Expendable... What mean expendable?
Rambo: It's like... someone... invites you to a party, and you don't show up; doesn't really matter.

RE: Secretism
By asuffield on 7/14/2010 4:39:14 PM , Rating: 2
Email is the original internet peer-to-peer filesharing technology. Everything else is just improving performance.

RE: Secretism
By Akrovah on 7/14/2010 2:13:10 PM , Rating: 2
Hell, Blizzard's update software for World of Warcraft uses P2P tech.

Are WoW updates going to be illigal now?

Clearly, it has begun....
By Breathless on 7/14/2010 11:44:54 AM , Rating: 1
RE: Clearly, it has begun....
By Obujuwami on 7/14/2010 12:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
You link is broken.....or.......

...this is obviously proof that the government, along with their fat cat allies in the RIAA/MPAA, have forced Google to break that link in order to prevent people from learning from our past. Next you will see history rewritten by the giant corporations, schools will be given a boring doctrine that limits math and science teaching and enforces teaching to the lowest common denominator, and eventually school will only be a place to drop your kids so parents can work a 12 hour day for just above slave wages.

DO we need to read our history? Yes! Should we learn from it? Most definitely, but I am sure that we, as a people, should point out to our administration what happens to leaders that make decisions without input from their people: not getting re-elected.

RE: Clearly, it has begun....
By zmatt on 7/14/2010 1:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
actually youtube is having some major server issues today. A lot of videos have been giving me errors.

RE: Clearly, it has begun....
By MadMan007 on 7/15/2010 1:23:11 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah so we elect the 'other side.' :-/

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"

RE: Clearly, it has begun....
By YashBudini on 7/29/2010 2:05:08 AM , Rating: 2
"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"

Really? The old bosses where this ruthless?

The problem is Foreign Policy...
By dreddly on 7/14/2010 12:48:17 PM , Rating: 2
Foreign Policy is the last bastion of kings. Despite the backlash after WWI about secret negotiations, people have forgotten the dangers, especially when the agreements are directed against the populace.

Foreign Policy remains the dominion of kings and autocrats and needs to have input in the process, not a pass/fail at the end of negotiations.

Criminal laws should never be part of foreign policy, as the right of prosecution comes from the community not foreigners. As long as Obama is for this law he is as corrupt and manipulated as everyone before him...

Hell yeah
By bug77 on 7/14/2010 2:21:24 PM , Rating: 2
I will gladly waive any privacy as long as that gets me access to a constant stream of Justin Biebers, Avril Lavignes and Robert Pattinsons. I mean, who is freedom to stand in the way of such "high value content"?

Missing Something?
By TheHarvester on 7/14/2010 3:25:27 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps I'm missing something, but aren't most treaties negotiated behind closed doors? All kinds of diplomatic communications are private... it's not like the legislative process, where that stuff is generally in the public eye. Treaties in and of themselves aren't binding, are they? I mean, even if Obama signs this when the language is finalized, it still has to be ratified by the Senate, and even after it's ratified there probably would have to be domestic laws put in place to enforce the provisions of the treaty. It seems to me like the fact that this is being negotiated in private, while I might not like the fact and I (potentially along with a ton of other American citizens) may disagree with it, simply finalizing the language doesn't make it enter into force. Somebody tell me if I'm missing something here.

By Stublore on 7/14/2010 3:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
The meeting also appears in clear violation of one of the EU's central governing documents -- the Lisbon Treaty, which states that European Commission will inform the EU Parliament fully of any actions....
So it was perhaps unsurprising that Engstrom was told that he would not be allowed to share details of the meeting -- with the implied threat of prosecution if he failed to comply.

If it's illegal not to inform the EU commission, then how could he prosecuted for telling?
Seems to me that he is blowing smoke, trying to look like the victim, instead of just coming out and telling what he heard.
So much for his principles, eh?

By letmepicyou on 7/17/2010 10:56:36 PM , Rating: 2
They want to do away with end user rights for products they purchase and own? They want to do away with piracy? I say FINE. The best option for a crying baby is to give the baby his bottle. Give them their law. Then I suggest we boycott EVERYTHING. Not just some b.s. "don't buy gas on tuesday" idiocy. I'm talking boycott it ALL. And use our collective net and analog presence to make sure that everyone we know and everyone we see is encouraged to spend NOTHING on them. NOTHING. No going to the movies. No going to concerts. No buying CD's, DVD's, Blu-Ray, don't renew your cable or satellite. Don't even rent a movie at Red Box. Completely rip away EVERY SOURCE OF INCOME THEY HAVE. Maybe a few months in the unemployment line will be good for the heads of music and movie industries since all they seem to want to do is punish, punish, punish people who were once their paying customers.

What about usage of DRM!?
By Pjotr on 7/26/2010 1:33:06 PM , Rating: 2
Will they make it illegal to put DRM on material not under Copyright?

Will they make it illegal for DRM to extend beyond the Copyright expiry time?

Den of Thieves
By zFred on 7/14/10, Rating: -1
RE: Den of Thieves
By LeftFootRed on 7/14/2010 1:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
Before you weigh in on the issue, build a media server/HTPC.

It's the criminalization of legitimate fair use that is the worst part of this.

I don't pirate, but I also don't accept DRM or outlawing the means to circumvent it.

RE: Den of Thieves
By greylica on 7/14/2010 1:32:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well, you are right.
Following your statements, some musicians, video makers, and content producers are abandoning this system to avoid punitive associations with the criminals that make this pact, comsumers will avoid musicians that searches every device to try to find their music, and after it, break the consumer device.
For most of the copyrighted things, a pressure like this one will force a reeducation, and then, I hope population starts to abandon the evil piracy is, including all of the proprietary things, copyrighted, patented or jailed, and because we have new systems with arms wide open for them.
Can you Imagine a world with that people, tired of this BUL****T, starting to share and use non proprietary things exclusively, weakening those ACTA criminals ?
There are lot's of rich things out there, starting with Creative Commons and passing from GNU, to total Free hardware, without free speech restriction.
I hope most of the border guards starts to break absolutely all of devices aquired in USA from foreigners, before they leave, I hope they treat everyone, bite everyone. The more they do, more people will reeducate themselves, anihilating the evil effects of this pact...

RE: Den of Thieves
By Helbore on 7/14/2010 1:37:43 PM , Rating: 2
The real issue isn't billions of dollars (haha, that's joke in itself!) worth of intellectual property being stolen, it's that supposedly enshrined liberties of the people are being stomped on so that big businesses can get the government to do their dirty work for them.

You think some (potentially) lost earnings of some big corporations are what's really important. I think open governments and freedom of speech/information is what's important. If you think that makes me screwed up, I pity you - because it's people like you that will allow our governments to march us into an Orwellian state and thank them for doing so.

It worries me that some people seem so willing to let our freedoms get eroded away.

RE: Den of Thieves
By bighairycamel on 7/14/2010 1:42:18 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, even idiots are calling you an idiot. You don't have to be a pirate to see the glaring issues in regards to loss of personal freedom.

I DO NOT pirate music, I DO NOT pirate games, and I DO NOT pirate movies. Yet I use p2p and torrents quite often. Now suddenly I'm a goddamn criminal because I use those technologies? I also make .ISO backups of all games and store them on my 2TB HDD because I upgrade often and installing from backups is quick and seemless. That USED to be within my rights. For all we know, we won't be allowed to rip MP3s from CDs without a criminal offense.

On top of that, they're holding these meetings in private. What kind of fool are you to not see how corrupt this is? Get off your self-righteous high horse and look at this for what it is. Moron.

By wiz220 on 7/14/2010 2:02:39 PM , Rating: 5
I wonder if the fact environmental regulations have completely destroyed the economy has anything to do with how unpopular Obama is

What?? How did environmental regulation cause banks to make risky bets regarding mortgages given to people that couldn't afford them?

You see, when you make comments like this, YOU look like the partisan hack, not Mick (who, by the way, acknowledged that the current and the last administration BOTH have a hand in ACTA).

You say that Mick hates freedom yet you are willing to sacrifice our freedoms to benefit corporate interests? That's great, you've gone so pro-business that you don't care at all about your own rights. This debate isn't about people stealing. Rather, it's about corporations being able to make illegal what rationally should be (and has been) legal. Like making backups for your own use or just converting from one form of media to another for your own use. And as such a proponent of "freedom" I would think that you would be just as angry about this as anyone since it's being done in secret behind closed doors without any input from the public.

By YashBudini on 7/23/2010 7:42:37 PM , Rating: 2
Repubs never believe they need to live within the stuff they preach, only that everybody else does. Or at least the extremists that cling to this place.

Mick have you considered buying a really good flea and tick collar? The stuff you attract can be very disgusting.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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