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The latest round of negotiations on the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement started last week in Mexico.  There was a public session to start off, but several amazing things happened.  First, the negotiators told everyone at the public session they had to sign a non-disclosure agreement.  The attendees from the public protested angrily, and that was dropped.  
When Geraldine Juarez was making comments on the negotiations, she stated that file-sharing was not contraband or counterfeiting, & two lobbyists booed her (actually, she notes they went "grrrrgooooggr".)  Later, when she tried to twitter about what was happening at the public session, the lobbyists complained & had a guard escort her out.

Folks, we need to call our congressmembers and senators to tell them we want hearings on ACTA and what its' provisions are.  The treaty, by its' title, is supposedly to stop counterfeiting of goods (Rolexes, DVDs.)  But from leaks onto the internet, we know that the treaty would require governments to eavesdrop on the internet, require laptops to be searched at borders, force ISPs to police content, & would throw whole households off the Net on suspicion of copyright infringement.  This secret treaty needs to be watched closely.

For more info, go here and here.

Originally posted to Friendlystranger on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 07:20 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  In America, the lobbyists would just have (3+ / 0-)

    Fred Phelps and his 'Church' dog this poor woman to death.

    Air America listeners, check this out

    by shpilk on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 07:25:00 PM PST

  •  The problem (7+ / 0-)

    with this treaty, in addition to its lack of transparency, is that it's being negotiated as an executive agreement. It floored me to find that out. Once signed it's a done deal, like it or not.

    A second major concern with ACTA’s very nature is that it is being designed as an "executive agreement," rather than as a "treaty." Executive agreements do not require Congressional approval before they may take effect. As a result, there is little to keep the signatories accountable to the public, especially in an election year that will see the departure of the current executive.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 07:34:07 PM PST

    •  That's insane (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ActivistGuy, sceptical observer

      "Executive Agreement"?

      How do we stop this shit?

      Ban torture, they call torture "smacky fun-time" and says "you never banned smaky fun time!".

      Constitution says only the Senate can declare War, so call it a 'Police Action'.

      Constitution says the Senate has to ratify treaties, so call it an 'Executive Agreement'.

      All your witch-hunt are belong to us!

      by JesseCW on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 07:59:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My guess is that it would require a lawsuit (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ActivistGuy, ER Doc, polar bear

        or a concerted action by Congress but either would have to be done prior to the signing.

        Take a look at Britain's Digital Economy Bill to see a precursor to what may transpire here.

        As Cory Doctorow observed at Boing Boing,

         This is as bad as I’ve ever seen, folks. It’s a declaration of war by the entertainment industry and their captured regulators against the principles of free speech, privacy, freedom of assembly, the presumption of innocence, and competition.

           This proposal creates the office of Pirate-Finder General, with unlimited power to appoint militias who are above the law, who can pry into every corner of your life, who can disconnect you from your family, job, education and government, who can fine you or put you in jail.

        "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

        by sceptical observer on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 08:33:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We ask the Obama Administration... (5+ / 0-)

        to halt negotiations.  This is purely executive in nature and it can stop at the next cabinet meeting by Obama telling Ron Kirk (the cabinet level trade negotiator) to stop negotiating in secret.

        Moreover, we can ask Obama to insist that Ron Kirk stop classifying the negotations as "secret" under executive order 12958 (the national security one).

        This sounds easy enough and it doesn't require a congressional vote to do it.  But be warned: there are powerful corporations that advise the USTR on A.C.T.A. and they will not be happy if their secrets are revealed.

        Where are the "better" Democrats?

        by lalo456987 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 09:06:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another handover to Corporate America... (3+ / 0-)

    US Corporations sit on the "advisory" committees that receive the classifed documents concerning proposals for A.C.T.A.  Ordinary citizens who want to find out what the US position is regarding these negotations are denied access.

    Think about that for a moment.  If you are a corporation with a financial interest in the outcome of the negotiations, you are invited to RECEIVE CLASSIFIED INFORMATION and to advise the trade negotiator.  As of last year, Obama's trade rep. (cabinet level) is Ron Kirk.

    Read Sen. Bernie Sanders' letter to Ambassador Kirk.
    http://keionline.org/...

    I suppose a treaty negotiated in secret affecting 1.2 billion people and $40 trillion in GDP is par for the old BushCo, but why now with Obama?

    Where are the "better" Democrats?

    by lalo456987 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 08:55:54 PM PST

  •  I get the feeling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sceptical observer

    the clampdown is accelerating.  

    What can be said for the old-time European totalitarian states is that the cops were polite:  "Citizen! your papers please!"  I have a hard time imagining American cops carrying out the same task without at least two or three snarled demeaning expletives.

    "99% of the battles and skirmishes that we fought in Afghanistan were won by our side." ~ Marshall Akhromeyev

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 10:21:59 PM PST

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