Since When Did We Give Lobbyists From The Tech, Entertainment And Pharma Industries Security Clearance?

from the the-RIAA-gets-national-security-clearance? dept

With the new administration sticking by the old one in declaring negotiations over the ACTA treaty somehow a matter of national security as a way of avoiding revealing any info about the proposed treaty or its ongoing negotiations, the folks over at KEI have pointed out the long list of corporate lobbyists who have been involved in the negotiations, including those from the RIAA, MPAA, ESA and a long list of tech, telco and pharma companies. So... can anyone let us know if these folks have security clearance? After all, if they're a part of such sensitive matters concerning national security that are so touchy the public can't know about them, then, surely, the administration is being careful about who it provides that info, right? Or is the national security issue the fact that these folks don't want anyone to know they're writing the rules that will bind Congress (and legislatures in dozens of other countries) to adjust copyright law without any real leeway. And, just watch, these will be the same lobbyists who will spout off about how we have to make these changes to meet our treaty obligations. leaving out the fact that they wrote the treaties themselves to force through exactly this type of legislation.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 1:14pm

    Matters of security (national or otherwise) do not neccessarily equate to the need for a security clearance.

    Some items can be classified as simply "not to be released to foreign nationals". Just as it says, it is information that we don't want other (maybe even only certain other) countries to know.

    This type of information is not in a security clearance category, but limiting it's distribution is required to help ensure that foreign nationals do not gain the information.

    That being said, even classified information can be provided to people whom do not have the proper clearance... if they have a true need to know and the proper channels/authority gives the go-ahead.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 2:01pm

      Re:

      That being said, even classified information can be provided to people whom do not have the proper clearance... if they have a true need to know and the proper channels/authority gives the go-ahead.

      Wouldn't that eliminate the need for security clearances? Why spend all the time and money for background investigations and so forth if all that are needed are "go-aheads"? That doesn't make any sense.

       

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      Mike (profile), Mar 17th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

      Re:

      This type of information is not in a security clearance category, but limiting it's distribution is required to help ensure that foreign nationals do not gain the information.


      That explains why the information was shared with representatives from 27 other countries...?

       

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      rwieck, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 2:46pm

      Re:

      Ann the people of the USA don't "have a true need to know"?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 1:18pm

    Of course, my above comments have nothing what-so-ever to do with why the information in those meetings is so secretive.

    I personally don't see a need for such measures with this type of information/discussion.

    Then again, if I had the need to know then maybe I would understand.

    ...chicken...egg...chicken...

    Circular logic always gives me a headache.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 1:31pm

    The only one that makes any sense at all:

    Francis (Frank) Z. Hellwig, Esq.
    Senior Associate, General Counsel
    Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.

    Because when the others are done and you are sued out of house and home for Tivo'ing your favorite show. Pisswater american beer is the only thing you'll be able to to beg money for...

     

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    Overcast, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 1:51pm

    Corporate... Government...

    Is there a difference anymore?

    For many - the only question is: Does Government Control Corporations - or do the Corporations Control Government?

    I vote "none of the above"!

    It's the elite bankers and their ilk... controlling both!

     

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    AGENT, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 2:15pm

    NOTICE

    ACTA IS A MATTER OF SUPREME CONCERN TO NATIONAL SECURITY! CEASE ALL DISCUSSIONS OF THIS TOPIC AT ONCE! YOUR IMMEDIATE COMPLIANCE IS EXPECTED! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

     

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    Matt, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 2:23pm

    Lawsuit?

    Would someone have to sue after their FOIA refusal or something, to get a judge to be willing to open this up?

    and/or is there some method?

    this is just flat out shady and has been the whole time.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 2:35pm

    At least I can say I didn't vote for "Obama, Champion of Entertainment Industry"

     

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    hexjones, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 2:46pm

    Why do lobbyists have any power again?

    (or pull or leverage or any place in a Democracy?) Seriously, I don't understand why it isn't illegal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 3:23pm

    Why are *ALL* the chicks on the list not married?

    Hate to be a Chauvinistic Pig, but... what cunts

     

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      Azrael, Mar 18th, 2009 @ 2:07am

      Re:

      Have you seen them ? If not, and you're willing to give it a try please use a welder's mask, it will dull the horror.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2009 @ 5:08pm

      Re:

      I don't know why I'm replying, since you obviously don't have the wit to walk and talk at the same time.

      Professional etiquette means that women are addressed as 'Ms.'. Since their marriage doesn't actually have anything to do with their qualifications, and shouldn't have anything to do with their job.

       

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    All our secrets r pwned, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 3:31pm

    Sec Clearance

    Maybe the government doesn't want to share its information about the ACTA with the public because the likes of the EFF or ACLU will lock it up in courts for an indeterminate amount because of the unconstitutional information contained. I'm also thinking that it might become a big stick of "diplomacy" that the U.S. gov't and others can use against other countries who aren't "meeting" their obligation to protect those old business models who want this passed.

    As for why they need a security clearance, they don't. I work in a secure environment and there is no need whatsoever for them to have it unless it has been granted to them so the ACTA can be shrouded in government secrecy. I seriously wouldn't want to see some idiot member of any of the AAs visiting my facility because of all the security breaches they would do. Hell, if our politicians can't even keep their mouths shut what do you expect one of those boneheads will do? UNLESS there is some financial benefit in it for them. They understand money.

     

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    Kevin (profile), Mar 17th, 2009 @ 3:38pm

    And My Angry Afternoon Rant of the Day

    State Secret my ass. How is that possible when we have traded the language with foreign powers, lawyers, and industry lobbyists. ITS NOT. Its just something that the administration can hide behind and not have to answer any more questions on the subject. Its crap

    All the governing bodies are run by older men/women who think myspace and an Ipod are the same damn thing. They may say that they understand the digital world but do not fully grasp how it works or even understand how to use it to their advantage. They do not seem to get that the internet has no borders. But still they want to control it as if its a physical place with actual limits to what is possible.

    We have a new president that wants to change things (All hes changed is the amount the government spends on NOT getting things done). We have an ancient Supreme Court and a tired and geriatric House and Senate that is riddle with corruption and back door deals that there is almost no hope of CHANGE to actually occur. We have no one to blame but are selves. We keep electing the same OLD, TIRED, and CORRUPT incumbent lawmakers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 3:51pm

    I'm down with #14

    Get the torches and lets start burning this bitch down to the ground! We built it up once, we can for sure do it again! That is if the aliens don't come get us first.. 2012 is right around the corner.. ;)

    (and I can't wait!)

     

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    Tina, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 3:54pm

    Welcome To The Elite Party

    This is how the elite work. To make more cash they don't believe in hard work, but rather, fooling the masses and redistributing your wealth.

    I have come to admire Representative Gary Peters, a freshman. Maybe we could help fellow freshmen out around the country with furthering their careers!

     

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    hartzjd, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 5:56pm

    What's new

    Lobbyists are actually the forth branch of government. Special interest groups kick a$$

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 6:17pm

    I'd like to note that the discussions of ACTA began in 2007... a full two years (okay, probably year and a half-ish) before Obama became president. And the last negotiations took place in December 2008 (or as I like to call it "before January 20, 2009"). It's possible that there are a few bigger things going on that the administration is focusing on that any ACTA decisions that have been made (perhaps those regarding its secrecy) have not worked their way up to anyone's attention.

    This probably is not something to get your panties in a bunch about regarding Obama. Maybe (duh, probably) regarding the negotiators, but not Obama. In fact, perhaps all countries involved in discussing the treaty ave an agreement not to talk about it. That's not right, but also not something to pin on Obama.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 8:38pm

      Re:

      It's possible that there are a few bigger things going on that the administration is focusing on that any ACTA decisions that have been made (perhaps those regarding its secrecy) have not worked their way up to anyone's attention.
      ACTA is very important, despite your attempts to minimize it and deflect attention from it. And if Obama's administration isn't aware of it then he's just plain incompetent.

      This probably is not something to get your panties in a bunch about regarding Obama.
      Has nothing to do with the Obama administration, Huh? http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090313/1456154113.shtml

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2009 @ 5:02am

        Re: Re:

        "Has nothing to do with the Obama administration, Huh? http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090313/1456154113.shtml"

        Executive order 12958 was signed in 1995? By a different President? And like I said the negotiators probably have an agreement with the other countries to hide the info? I also said it's "not right, but also not something to pin on Obama." And I stand by that.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2009 @ 8:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Executive order 12958 was signed in 1995? By a different President?
          And is being used on ACTA by the Obama administration. Yes, this president.

          And like I said the negotiators probably have an agreement with the other countries to hide the info?
          Like you said? Do you have some source for that or are you just making stuff up? Do you know what agreements with other countries are called? Treaties. Show me the treaty that makes the negotiations for this one "secret". And hide it from whom? They don't seem to be hiding it from entertainment industry lobbyists.

          Now Obama did have an agreement. It was with with the American people. To be open and transparent. That's the agreement that's being broken.

          I also said it's "not right, but also not something to pin on Obama." And I stand by that.
          And I hold the administration responsible for their own actions and stand by that.

           

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    Dan, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 6:33pm

    What we do need is a congressional investigation of the underhanded, backroom tactics involved. This as important or more so then Cheney's energy Kabul.

     

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    Jesse, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 8:02pm

    Hopefully this blatantly ludicrous use of national security will stimulate a backlash on how the national security defense is used.

    Hopefully.

    Jesse

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 8:40pm

      Re:

      "Hopefully this blatantly ludicrous use of national security will stimulate a backlash on how the national security defense is used."

      More likely it's a template for the future.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2009 @ 9:09am

    From the post you linked to in post 27, here's an interesting response:

    "Guess what, Obama probably wasn't even aware of the request or its refusal, Peter Allgeier, the Deputy US Trade Rep, appointed by Former President Bush would have been the one to receive and act on the FOIA request, and that he acted totally in line with the Bush administration's policies is about as shocking as being told water is wet.

    Obama has yet to shake up the USTO, so relax, and stop blaming a man for actions that staff appointed by the old boss made. Obama is not omniscient, unless there's evidence that Obama knew about this FOIA request and did nothing to stop it being blocked, you people need to stop tossing around red herrings."

    The Bush dig isn't necessary, but there you have it: this isn't under Obama's nose yet and it wasn't his staff hiding the info. I'm not saying this isn't an important issue (Would I be reading Techdirt if I didn't somewhat agree with the positions posted? answer: no).

    Re transparency: it's been 8 weeks. Give him some time before the cynicism kicks in. If in 3 or 4 more months this isn't addressed, then I'll be on the other side of the argument. Until then, people need to make sure the issue is brought up repeatedly (but unnecessary pointing of fingers isn't exactly constructive).

    "And like I said the negotiators probably have an agreement with the other countries to hide the info?
    Like you said? Do you have some source for that or are you just making stuff up? Do you know what agreements with other countries are called? Treaties. Show me the treaty that makes the negotiations for this one "secret". And hide it from whom? They don't seem to be hiding it from entertainment industry lobbyists."

    I'm obviously making a generalization. Yes, agreements with other countries are treaties. Yes, this is an agreement with other countries... as in the very wording that could possibly be responsible for the hiding of the agreement could be hidden in ACTA... the thing we can't read. That's why I used a conditional word like "probably." To obviously disclaim any factual evidence I don't have. So internet-sue me. I'm going to go back to being a nerd now.

     

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