Two US senators demand publication of secret copyright treaty

Two US Senators, Bernie Sanders (I-VI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), have written to the US Trade Representative demanding that the text of the secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement be made public. This is the treaty that allows for criminal sanctions against noncommercial file-sharers, demands border-searches of laptop hard-drives and personal media players and phones for pirated material, requires ISPs to spy on their users, and gives movie and record companies the right to take whole households off the Internet with unsubstantiated allegations of piracy.

We are surprised and unpersuaded by assertions that disclosures of basic information about the negotiation would present a risk to the national security of the United States, particularly as regards documents that are shared with all countries in the negotiations, and with dozens of representatives of large corporations. We are concerned that the secrecy of such information reflects a desire to avoid potential criticism of substantive provisions in ACTA by the public, the group who will be most affected by the agreement. Such secrecy has already undermined public confidence in the ACTA process, a point made recently by Dan Glickman, the CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) – a group highly supportive of the ACTA negotiation, as well as by the members of the TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue — a group more critical of the negotiations.

We firmly believe that the public has a right to know the contents of the proposals being considered under ACTA, just as they have the right to read the text of bills pending before Congress.

Go, Sanders and Brown! Americans, call your senators and get them on this bandwagon. Citizens of other countries, find out why your elected reps aren't asking their governments to publish ACTA!

Senators Sanders and Brown ask White House to make ACTA text public

(via /.)