On TechDirt, Glyn Moody reports the outrageous news that the Australian government refuses to release any substantive information on the secret copyright enforcement meetings it held, redacting nearly the entirety of the documents before releasing them to a Freedom of Information request. The government also claims that it can't release a list of attendees because it doesn't have such a list -- that is, the government doesn't know who was invited to its secret, eyes-only copyright meeting. Most orwellian is this, though, from the Attorney General's office: "Disclosure of the documents while the negotiations are still in process, would, in my view, prejudice, hamper and impede those negotiations to an unacceptable degree. That would, in my view, be contrary to the interests of good government -- which would, in turn, be contrary to the public interest."
What this really means is: "All hell will break loose when the public finds out what is being discussed behind closed doors. So what we're going to do is to come up with an agreement in secret, and then present it as a fait accompli, without offering citizens any options to change anything substantive. By contrast, to release the documents, and allow the public to have a say in how they should be allowed to use a critical 21st-century technology, would be contrary to the interests of this very good government, which by definition is identical with the public interest."
Australian Gov't: Not In The Public Interest For The Public To Be Interested In Secret Anti-Piracy Negotiations
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s merciless mashup of the UK’s bumbling pound-shop Thatcher with Monty Python’s classic work of historical documentary is bound to infuriate the reactionary wing of the Pythons, but it brought a lasting smile to my face. (Thanks, Robbo!)
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