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
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: The DMCA was the start
2/26/2010 5:21:07 PM
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
This is exactly the problem these days. I tried to convince my dad to run for a state office. he's certainly wise enough for it, but he refuses. There are many good men out there that won't run for any office, yet complain about the government spending too much and spending on wrong stuff.
We need to get out there and figuratively smack the existing parties upside the head with the proverbial newspaper. (I actually had a rolled up newspaper attached to a string attached to the entrance of my cube at one time, just as a warning of stupid ideas.) The Tea Parties might be a start, but will the current politicians listen?
I don't think so. I think the only thing that will get them to listen is to outright revolt.
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
ACTA Plan to Destroy Citizens' Property Without Warrants is Illegal Says EU Official
February 23, 2010, 10:38 AM
WikiLeaks Temporarily Shuts Down Due to Financial Problems
February 1, 2010, 12:21 PM
Senate Passes Piracy Legislation, Creates ‘Copyright Czar’ if Enacted
September 28, 2008, 2:34 PM
EFF, Public Knowledge Sue for Access to Secretive ACTA Treaty
September 19, 2008, 7:31 AM
U.S. Border Patrol Gains Power to Seize iPods, Laptops
August 3, 2008, 8:46 PM
Quick Note: Amazon UK Offers £10 Back on Any Order £50 or Over
August 3, 2015, 12:05 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Mozilla and Facebook to Adobe: It's Time to Kill Flash
July 20, 2015, 6:30 PM
Instagram Bans "Curvy" From Hashtag Searches, Provokes "Plus Sized" Outrage
July 16, 2015, 1:20 PM
Mozilla Promise Punctual Windows 10 Firefox Release, Teases at iOS Arrival
July 7, 2015, 3:08 PM
Netflix Announces 7-to-1 Stock Split, Eyes Explosive Overseas Growth
June 23, 2015, 8:18 PM
Most Popular Articles
Samsung Gear S2 Borrows Circular Icons From Apple Watch
August 21, 2015, 2:48 PM
Kentucky Man Faces up to 10 Years in Prison for Shooting Drone Trespasser
August 13, 2015, 2:58 PM
Future of Lumia Uncertain as Microsoft Lays Off 2,300, Closes 1 of 3 Finnish Offices
August 24, 2015, 6:14 PM
Microsoft's Windows 10 Leaves Lumia 530 Behind w/ 8 GB Storage Requirement
August 25, 2015, 4:02 PM
Exclusive: If Intel and Micron's "Xpoint" is 3D Phase Change Memory, Boy Did They Patent It
July 29, 2015, 10:52 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information