Print 15 comment(s) - last by Fnoob.. on Sep 22 at 9:09 AM

Groups demand their FOIA request be fulfilled

Public liberties groups the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge are now asking (PDF) a Washington, DC federal court to enforce their requests to view information on the secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement treaty (ACTA), which is due to be signed by the end of the year.

The groups say they filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for information on ACTA last June, but have yet to receive anything.

ACTA, parts of which earned it a reputation as “The Pirate Bay killer,” seeks to unify anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting efforts between the U.S. and its trading partners, including Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia, Mexico, and the European Union. Leaked information on the treaty, which appeared last May on Wikileaks, indicates that it could be used to compel ISPs to spy on users’ activities, criminalize P2P file-sharing, allow customs agents to search travelers’ iPods for illegal music, and hold pharmaceutical ingredients makers liable for the use of their products, among other things.

The EFF and Public Knowledge’s lawsuit seems to request nearly all data available on the ACTA treaty-making process, including meeting agendas, briefing notes, presentation documents, correspondence, analysis, and records on USTR meetings with ACTA negotiators.

Furthermore, since ACTA's negotiators are pushing for completion before the end of 2008, the rights groups’ petition asks the courts for special urgency in processing their original FOIA request.

Earlier this week, both the EFF and Public Knowledge joined more than 100 other concerned groups around the world in signing a letter that demands access to ACTA’s draft materials. Many of the letter’s other co-signers hail from countries not involved in the negotiation process, and represent a wide variety of public and private interests – including the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights,, and the Malaysia-based Third World Network.

The United States Trade Representative’s office did make inroads with critics, however, by releasing a four-volume compendium of comments late last July from the private sector. Totaling more than 170 pages, the letters it contains come from an equally varied group of stakeholders, including the MPAA, National Association of Manufacturing, and decorating-industry supplier G. G. Marck & Associates. Observers called this release a feeding frenzy of wishes, with groups all over the U.S. providing practically listing what they’d like to see inserted into the ACTA's text.

World leaders provided a ringing endorsement of ACTA at the annual G8 summit last July, stating in their “Declaration on the World Economy” intentions to standardize IP-related customs enforcement and increase related data sharing between nations.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By FITCamaro on 9/19/2008 8:06:36 AM , Rating: 2
hold pharmaceutical ingredients makers liable for the use of their products

What does this have to do with stopping piracy? Somehow I think this is something a senator is trying to slip in under people's noses if its in there.

And so pharmaceutical companies are supposed to be held liable for people abusing their drugs? "Well they sold it to me so obviously its supposed to be safe."

I hope this isn't actually in there.

By Master Kenobi on 9/19/2008 8:26:53 AM , Rating: 3
I would bet good money that it is in there. The shit that gets pushed through riding on the ends of bills is insane. I hope Bush Veto's this POS.

By phxfreddy on 9/19/2008 8:30:04 AM , Rating: 4
Bush should have vetoed alot more than he has over the past 8 years. He'd be held in higher regard. Congress is pretty much a crap factory.

By FITCamaro on 9/19/2008 8:46:55 AM , Rating: 2
Definitely agree.

By Lord 666 on 9/19/2008 9:57:21 AM , Rating: 2
The restrictions on psedoephedrine sales are defined with the PATRIOT act.

That being said, anything is possible with recent legislation.

By sweetsauce on 9/19/2008 12:11:56 PM , Rating: 4
I think its time for term restrictions in congress. Only way to solve half the crap going on in congress is to get these people that are in power for decades out of there. Too much time for lobbyist to influence one individual. I live in Washington and I would love to have an option other than the GOP candidate to vote on since i tend to vote Dem. I'm tired of what both parties provide currently, i want some fresh blood.

By the goat on 9/19/2008 8:44:28 AM , Rating: 4
Somehow I think this is something a senator is trying to slip in under people's noses if its in there.

The USTR is part of the executive branch of the federal government. This has nothing to do with Senators or Representatives sitting in Congress.

By chmilz on 9/19/2008 10:50:02 AM , Rating: 1
What next?
Papercut = I's suez teh paper company and Staplez!

This could set a dangerous precedent where abuse of any product could lead to liability from the manufacturer. Lame in the first degree.

By Drexial on 9/19/2008 3:01:27 PM , Rating: 1
where have you been?

McDonald's was sued and lost cause a woman burned her legs on coffee she was holding between her legs in a flimsy cup, and sued for the burns....

this has been happening for years.

By TomCorelis on 9/19/2008 2:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
The official reason is that it stops the spread of counterfeit pharaceuticals, by holding the ingredientmakers responsible for who they distribute to.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

Most Popular ArticlesAMD, Zen Processor might power the upcoming Apple MacBook Pro
September 30, 2016, 5:00 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Are you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
Apple’s Siri Speaker is a Game Changer
September 26, 2016, 5:00 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki