Few Nations Support U.S. Decision to Keep Piracy Pact Secret
February 25, 2010 2:19 PM
comment(s) - last by
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.
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 (
Google 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
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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RE: Enough is enough
2/25/2010 7:33:37 PM
How US Tax dollars are spent.
(Does not include "special spending")
We spend a 251 Billion a year to service our debt. Almost 1,000 dollars per citizen is spent paying interest.
RE: Enough is enough
2/26/2010 4:32:13 AM
The majority of US government debt is held by US private interests (individual or coprorate).
Basically interest payment on government debt is the transfer of money from American taxpayers to other Americans who either have large amounts of money or who profit from the control of money.
If the government goes "bankrupt" as per the libertarian/supply side ideal; that means we go back to a feudal "natural order" where the majority are serfs paying for the maintainance of a small elite who enjoy "economic freedom".
RE: Enough is enough
2/26/2010 11:52:29 AM
Then you'll love that one.
And like the article says, if interest rates rise the interest on the debt balloons like crazy because it's so big (what i didn't see mentioned is that most of it is short term too, meaning you have to renew it against the current day interest rate each, on average, 1-3 years.)
Then consider this history of interest rates:
Honestly you people should be revolting about now. I know i'm not supposed to say that, as a non american, but even stevie wonder can see this disaster waiting to happen.
RE: Enough is enough
2/26/2010 12:00:53 PM
I'm sorry to add to my own post, but i thought this might be the time to share another link i've been following periodically for the past 2-3 years.
Purely because it facinates me. I'm not a christian so i'm skipping that part, but the economics are sound as far as i can tell. It's also where i got the above picture from before the original source ^^
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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