Obama administration: releasing details of secret copyright treaty endangers "national security"

The White House is refusing to release documents about the secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a super-maximal copyright treaty that a bunch of rich countries are negotiating behind closed doors to escape the activists who've started to report on their shenanigans at the UN's World Intellectual Property Organisation.

Incredibly, the Obama administration claims that disclosing the details of this secret copyright law would endanger "national security."

But now, like Bush before him, Obama is playing the national security card to hide details of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement being negotiated across the globe.

The White House this week declared (.pdf) the text of the proposed treaty a "properly classified" national security secret, in rejecting a Freedom of Information Act request by Knowledge Ecology International.

"Please be advised the documents you seek are being withheld in full," wrote Carmen Suro-Bredie, chief FOIA officer in the White House's Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The national security claim is stunning, given that the treaty negotiations have included the 27 member states of the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand, all of whom presumably have access to the "classified" information.

Obama Administration Declares Proposed IP Treaty a 'National Security' Secret (Thanks, Javier!)