EFF sues Obama administration for promised access to secret copyright treaty documents

Rebecca from the Electronic Frontier Foundation sez, "The U.S. government is still blocking the release of information about a secret intellectual property trade agreement with broad implications for privacy and innovation around the world, despite the Obama administration's promises to run a more open government. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) could establish far-reaching customs regulations over Internet traffic in the guise of anti-counterfeiting measures, but no one knows for sure the state of this pact, as the government is hiding the details. EFF is calling on the feds to change their minds, and will keep fighting this in court."
EFF and Public Knowledge filed suit in September of 2008, demanding that background documents on ACTA be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Initially, USTR released 159 pages of information about ACTA and withheld more than 1300 additional pages, claiming they implicate national security or reveal the USTR's "deliberative process." After reconsidering the release under the Obama administration's new transparency policies, the USTR disclosed the additional pages last week, most of which contain no substantive information.

However, one of the documents implies that treaty negotiators are zeroing in on Internet regulation. A discussion of the challenges for the pact includes "the speed and ease of digital reproductions" and "the growing importance of the Internet as a means of distribution."

Other publicly available information shows that the treaty could establish far-reaching customs regulations over Internet traffic in the guise of anti-counterfeiting measures. Additionally, multi-national IP industry companies have publicly requested that ISPs be required to engage in filtering of their customers' Internet communications for potentially copyright-infringing material, force mandatory disclosure of personal information about alleged copyright infringers, and adopt "Three Strikes" policies requiring ISPs to automatically terminate customers' Internet access upon a repeat allegation of copyright infringement.

Government Still Blocking Information on Secret IP Enforcement Treaty

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  1. At least the current administration is putting a stop to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What? There’s still a war on? Nvm.

  2. I wonder if its more shameful in this presidency,
    you know because of the “hope”.

  3. Nasty,

    First my disclaimer, I voted for Obama. That being said he is putting things ahead and stopping the war in a reasonable way. It would only compound our culpability if we just left. We need to leave as quickly as possible while giving the populace the tools they need to be successful. If we continue to act irresponsibly as we were by our motives then we will compound the problem. Stick to Iraq’s government’s request to move out, it would be great if we could reasonably and responsibly move out faster.

    That having been said I must admit to being very disappointed in a great many moves by Obama’s administration. The choices made about wiretap continuations, and lack of accountability. The governments 180 on torture accountability. Although they did good in releasing the memos that admit to the torture, we already knew that. Proof is great but not nearly enough. These are just a few of the disappointing moves that Obama and his crowd have made. I wanted and hoped for better, and it looks like he is sliding more and more. What happened to Obama “The great Hope”?!?! It is a rhetorical question, for the most part. Every day we see less and less, I still believe he is better than the options at the time, but I still hoped for better.

    -Tizroc

  4. “At least the current administration is putting a stop to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What? There’s still a war on?”

    Give your head a shake, NASTY. Obama is committing 30,000 additional US troops into Afghanistan

  5. Obama already has a record of abandoning his promises when they are no longer convenient. He’s adopted the Republican technique of “say whatever will get you elected, then do whatever your campaign contributors paid you for.”

    He promised he would accept spending limits and public campaign financing. Then he decided that wasn’t to his advantage anymore.

    He promised he would make all non-emergency bills publicly available on his website for five days between Congress approving them and him signing them. Only one bill in the first 11 was posted online.

    And so on:
    http://www.madison.com/wsj/topstories/449023

  6. He’s adopted the Republican technique of “say whatever will get you elected, then do whatever your campaign contributors paid you for.”

    Um, are you sure that’s really limited to Republicans? Rather, “just about all politicians”?

  7. Maybe we should give our politicians 100 days mandates and no more? (kidding)

    The fact is that democracy is never ‘done’. If the population does not step up to keep its politicians honest (wo! daunting!) it will then live under termed dictatorship.

    Kudos to the EFF and it is for us to support its action by any means necessary.

  8. is anyone really suprised that this administration is dealing under the table? if there is one medium that has the capacity to be used to overthrow this shameful collection of power/control freaks, it is the net.
    beloved leader and his ilk will stop at nothing until they have the power to control ALL the media, because when you control the media, the sheeple accept whatever pap is being shoveled at any given moment.

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