How did I not know of this? The struggle to get ACTA up and running has been ongoing for years… yet we were all duped into believing the real and only threat was PIPA & SOPA.
I received a call today from a friend informing me that Mr. Barry Sotoro (you likely know him by his alias Barack Obama) laid the foundation for Chinese-like control over the internet under the guise of protecting intellectual property. Once again, we are reminded that our government works not for the people, but works instead for the corporation and its lobbies. I have zero doubt that the endgame of such intent is far from protecting IP’s; I believe that in the end the aim is to control and topple the one, and only, source of free information that is available to nearly all Americans (and others as well of course) that largely lacks corporate and political filters… as well as the major means citizens have in organizing, both in action and in ideology – the internet.
No one owns the internet. There doesn’t exist central servers through which all global internet activity and information must pass through. But, apparently, the powers that we allow be, along with their corporate masters, wish it were so and aim to manifest just that.
There is hardly anyone speaking about ACTA on the net; everyone that was caught in the hysteria of PIPA and SOPA are possibly either burned out now or are post coital in their naive belief that the threat to the internet was defeated… who knows, but not many people are speaking about ACTA.
“Months before the debate about Internet censorship raged as SOPA and PIPA dominated the concerns of web users, President Obama signed an international treaty that would allow companies in China or any other country in the world to demand ISPs remove web content in the US with no legal oversight whatsoever.”
“The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was signed by Obama on October 1 2011, yet is currently the subject of a White House petition demanding Senators be forced to ratify the treaty. The White House has circumvented the necessity to have the treaty confirmed by lawmakers by presenting it an as “executive agreement,” although legal scholars have highlighted the dubious nature of this characterization.” (The administration is actively applying pressure to your Senators)
“Under the provisions of ACTA, copyright holders will be granted sweeping direct powers to demand ISPs remove material from the Internet on a whim. Whereas ISPs normally are only forced to remove content after a court order, all legal oversight will be abolished, a precedent that will apply globally, rendering the treaty worse in its potential scope for abuse than SOPA or PIPA.”
“The same industry rightsholder groups that support the creation of ACTA have also called for mandatory network-level filtering by Internet Service Providers and for Internet Service Providers to terminate citizens’ Internet connection on repeat allegation of copyright infringement (the “Three Strikes” /Graduated Response) so there is reason to believe that ACTA will seek to increase intermediary liability and require these things of Internet Service Providers,” reports the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“The treaty will also mandate that ISPs disclose personal user information to the copyright holder, while providing authorities across the globe with broader powers to search laptops and Internet-capable devices at border checkpoints.
In presenting ACTA as an “international agreement” rather than a treaty, the Obama administration managed to circumvent the legislative process and avoid having to get Senate approval…”
Here is a few things from a TechDirt piece from March of 2010!:
“One of the talking points from ACTA supporters was always that it wasn’t a “treaty” but an “executive agreement,” claiming that this meant something different. However, as we discussed back in February, this is misleading. Executive agreements are generally a way to sneak treaties through without Congressional approval. That post linked to a great legal analysis by Andrew Moshirnia for the Citizen Media Law Project — but some ACTA supporters in our comments claimed that since Moshirnia was “just a second year law student,” his arguments were meaningless (of course, this commenter also ignored all of the legal citations Moshirnia raised (funny, that…)).”
A Washington Post piece raising concerns about the Constitutionality of ACTA written by Harvard law professors:
“The president has no independent constitutional authority over intellectual property or communications policy, and there is no long historical practice of making sole executive agreements in this area. To the contrary, the Constitution gives primary authority over these matters to Congress, which is charged with making laws that regulate foreign commerce and intellectual property.”
“These mostly secret negotiations have already violated the Obama administration’s pledge for greater transparency. Embracing this deal by sole executive agreement would repudiate its pledge to moderate assertions of executive power. Congress should resist this attempt to evade the checks established by our Framers.”
Here is some from a piece at International Business Times:
“ACTA, meanwhile, would set up an international legal framework to deal with issues of counterfeiting, piracy and other crimes. Instead of dealing with national laws regarding these issues, these nations would be able to adjudicate alleged crimes in a new governing body that would exist outside of the purview of the United Nations and other international institutions.”
“But the ACTA treaty is being negotiated almost entirely behind closed doors. If it were not for the advent of WikiLeaks, which released documents revealing details of the negotiations and draft versions of the treaty, the world would still have very little knowledge of what exactly the treaty might entail.”
“ACTA… …was already signed by the United States on Oct. 11, 2011, and President Obama was not required to get the approval of any outside authority to do so. Under the U.S. Constitution, the Senate is required to ratifty treaties. At least one critic, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), has objected about this, claiming in an Oct. 12 statement that it needs to be brought up for ratification in the Senate:“It may be possible for the U.S. to implement ACTA or any other trade agreement, once validly entered, without legislation if the agreement requires no change in U.S. law,” Wyden writes. “But regardless of whether the agreement requires changes in U.S. law…the executive branch lacks constitutional authority to enter a binding international agreement covering issues delegated by the Constitution to Congress’ authority, absent congressional approval.”” (Wonder what the “Change we can believe in” people think about this?)
“ACTA, on the other hand, is largely off most people’s radars, though it has been under official negotiation for about five years. Protest efforts against it in the U.S. are modest at best. But they do persist, as a petition on WhiteHouse.gov with more than 6,000 signatures is currently on file with the Obama administration, calling on it to “end ACTA and protect our right to Internet privacy.””
There is more information out there, and you should do YOUR part to inform yourself… it doesn’t take a lot of effort to use a search engine.
Sen. Ron Wyden definitely deserves some kudos for being one of the only individuals in the Senate adhering to the Constitution… but he can’t and shouldn’t be alone. There were so many people out there coming out against PIPA and SOPA; we need all of these people and those resources aimed at killing ACTA… not deflating it, not getting it stuck in debate in the Senate or the House… it needs to be put down like a bad habit. We must not only stop ACTA, we also must sever the power of lobbies at the least… but if it were up to me lobbies would be banned, illegal, and unconstitutional, for all they do is purchase political favor and redirect our government’s energies away from the people it should be serving.
Sign the “White” House petition, if only to send a message – End ACTA…
Share with others and inform them of ACTA and the threat it poses.