Duke’s Note: In a disappointing turn of events surrounding copyright law, the Obama Administration has begun to show signs of the same police-state mentality exemplified by the Bush (i.e. Cheney) Administration.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is shrouded in secrecy, although it was leaked by notorious whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks back in May 2008; since then ACTA’s proponents have been better at keeping the lid on. For instance, the WikiLeaks page on ACTA has been deleted.

The shocker for me was the denial of a Freedom of Information request from Knowledge Ecology International by the US government (citing “national security” for some reason).

What can I say? I’m easily surprised.

Definition of the ACTA

Canadian Government’s official position and news feed on ACTA

story by Cory Doctorow

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is a proposed copyright treaty that contains provisions that criminalize non-commercial file-sharing; require net-wide wiretapping for copyright infringement and border-searches of hard-drives and other devices; and disconnection from the Internet for people accused of violating copyright.

The actual text of these provisions is a secret, though, as the treaty is being negotiated away from the UN, behind closed doors; the Obama administration denied a Freedom of Information Act request for it on the grounds that it is a matter of “national security.”

The NGO Knowledge Ecology International pressed the US Trade Rep on this, and received a reply stating that 42 DC insiders — including some reps from activist groups — have been shown the treaty, after signing a vow promising to treat it as classified. KEI has researched the 42 people and their bios and corporate affiliations.

Read the rest at Boing Boing

Technorati Tags: , ,

Print This Post Print This Post