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The U.S. has fought to keep the ACTA treaty secret. The treaty allows monitoring of citzens online and warrantless search and seizures at border crossing, of electronics suspected to be carrying infringed content.  (Source: PuppetGovernment)
The U.S. Government insisted that the terms of its privacy and rights-trampling treaty were too sensitive to expose to the public

ACTA, short for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is an all-reaching proposal that may represent an epic victory for the film and music industries in their fight against piracy, a victory that comes at the high expense of citizens' privacy and rights, if it is upheld.  

Championed by both former President George W. Bush and current President Barack Obama, the proposal is the child of countless millions in international lobbying money from the media industry.  It aims to enact constant monitoring of citizens' online activities -- even perfectly legitimate ones -- and grants border agents in the U.S. and many member states the power of warrantless search and seizures -- provisions that would grant them the power to destroy U.S. citizens' laptops, iPods, or CDs, if the agents suspected that they might contain infringed content.  And the best part?  The cost of the bill will be footed by the taxpayers themselves -- without even giving them a clue as to what's happening.

With its Big Brotheresque terms, it's little wonder that the U.S. wanted to keep the agreement under wraps.  What was unknown until now, though, was just how few nations support the U.S. in keeping the agreement secret, or the fact that the Obama and Bush administration negotiators overpowered other major nations to keep the treaty out of the public eye.

Officials in the Netherlands, a nation pushing for the treaty to be exposed to the public, "accidentally" leaked (DutchGoogle English translation) a memo from a secret ACTA negotiation meeting in Mexico, which detailed who supported keeping the treaty secret from citizens of member nations.

Only a handful of European nations -- Belgium, Portugal, Germany, and Denmark -- and two other nations -- South Korea and Singapore -- supported keeping the treaty a secret.  Denmark was reportedly the most vocal supporter of secrecy.  

The majority of the other participating nations -- the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, and Austria, the UK, and Japan supported releasing details to the public.  The UK and Japan, two of the world's biggest powers, reportedly were particularly vocal about transparency.  Other nations, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, were not listed in the memo, but have been advocates of transparency.

Despite the vast majority supporting openness, the U.S. fought to silence these voices.  With the help of the handful of nations supporting secrecy, it successfully prevented the ACTA terms from being aired to the public, even as the U.S. government considers warrantless border searches for "pirate materials".

Of course, a vast body of information regarding ACTA made it to the public eye anyways, thanks to the internet and leaks sites like Wikileaks.

The treaty and the recent information on how the U.S. fought to keep it secret raises alarming questions about politicians at the highest level on both sides of the political aisle.  Why would our nation's leaders plot and champion a treaty that would raise citizens' taxes in order to violate their constitutional rights, as a favor for major corporations?  And more importantly, why would these leaders fight to keep the treaty secret, when transparency and public participation form the foundation of our nation?  

It's all to protect you -- even if you don't know about it.  At least that's what your elected officials say.

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Innocent until proven guilty....
By tigz1218 on 2/25/2010 2:56:55 PM , Rating: 5
Welcome to the land of Guilty Until Proven Innocent.

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By geddarkstorm on 2/25/2010 2:59:27 PM , Rating: 5
Wasn't that one of the grievances Q had against the human race, for which he put Picard on trial? There's a lot one can learn from Star Trek! Really! I swear it!

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By amanojaku on 2/25/2010 3:04:57 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know how much you can learn from Q. The man-god had bad judgment. He was hot for JANEWAY!!!

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By Brandon Hill on 2/25/2010 3:10:02 PM , Rating: 2
I always had a crush on Dr. Crusher from season 3 onward.

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By Anoxanmore on 2/25/2010 3:36:19 PM , Rating: 5
Oh come now Brandon, Jadzia Dax was the sexiest of them all

(I don't count 7 of 9 as regular starfleet officer)

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By Brandon Hill on 2/25/2010 3:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but I never watched DS9 -- I was strictly TOS and TNG :-)

Maybe it was the red hair or maybe it was the whole MILF thing, but Beverly had it going on ;-)

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By Anoxanmore on 2/25/2010 5:11:52 PM , Rating: 1
Aww.. that is sad DS9 was one of the better spin-offs.

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By Akrovah on 2/25/2010 7:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
Very much so.

I love me some Star Trek, but DS9 was something totally different. It was the least "Trek like" of the Trek shows, and was better for it. It was like Bablyon 5, but in Trek land. How could you go wrong?

By Jellodyne on 2/26/2010 11:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, not so coincidentally -- JMS pitched Babylon 5 to Paramount and they decided to rip him off and try to make it without him as a Trek property.

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By messyunkempt on 2/25/2010 6:56:38 PM , Rating: 3
With the added bonus that you could offer wesley crusher your fingers and say 'smell your mum'.

...too far?

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By Brandon Hill on 2/25/2010 7:12:22 PM , Rating: 2
Damn dude...LOL

By messyunkempt on 2/25/2010 7:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'm going to hell.

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By Camikazi on 2/25/2010 3:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
Count or not 7 is HOT! I also got a thing for T'Pal, I think I am attracted to the ones who can kick my ass and find a logical reason for doing it :)

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By Oregonian2 on 2/25/2010 5:38:48 PM , Rating: 3
T'Pol was good. Something "similar" in a different vein would be Ziva on NCIS.

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By Camikazi on 2/26/2010 11:44:22 AM , Rating: 2
Yes love Ziva as well, I see a trend in the fictional women I am attracted too. Although my geek side tells me I need an Abby type, but then again she has done enough ass kicking herself.

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By JediJeb on 2/26/2010 4:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
Samantha Carter, need I say more.

By Camikazi on 2/26/2010 5:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
She is hot and badass enough, but I prefer the others more... I think I am very messed up, prefer the ones who would kick my ass, not care and let me die... Sam doesn't exactly fit that profile.

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By Fenixgoon on 2/25/2010 4:20:52 PM , Rating: 2
Leeta >> *

By Anoxanmore on 2/25/2010 5:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
My good sir, you are wholly incorrect... B'joran was not cute enough to warrant any true attraction.

I think my favourite quote is definately.

"How far down do those spots go?"

Jadzia: "All the way"

By Akrovah on 2/25/2010 7:46:59 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely, Jadzia was Hawt. Ezria not so much.

And as far as 7, yeah, she was sexy, but I'd still take Crusher or Jadiza over her.

Talk about off topic though, lol.

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By McGixxer on 2/25/2010 4:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
I always had a crush on Dr. Crusher from season 3 onward.

Dude's should not use the word "crush" when talking about girls. ;)

By Brandon Hill on 2/25/2010 4:14:41 PM , Rating: 2
For a kid that was 7 when TNG started, you can call it a "crush" :)

RE: Innocent until proven guilty....
By rs1 on 2/25/2010 3:43:55 PM , Rating: 2
You're being too optimistic. If the IP companies have their way, it will simple be the Land of the Guilty.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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