UK Agrees That ACTA Secrecy Is Not In The Public Interest

from the as-if-it-were-ever-meant-to-be? dept

Michael Geist notes that the UK government appears to be unhappy with the lack of transparency in ACTA negotiations, stating:
"More broadly with respect to ACTA the UK considers that transparency is crucial to ensure the legitimacy of the agreement and to stop the spread of rumours. We believe the lack of transparency is unhelpful and do not believe that it is in the public interest."
Of course, the folks pushing for ACTA have no concern, at all, about "the public interest." Their only concern, all along, has been about further protecting their business models. The public interest might go against that, hence their opposition to such transparency.


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  1.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:05pm

    The only problem I see is that this is a general answer to a leading question / inquiry from a citizen, and not a specific policy statement or anything like that. It almost reads more like a placating "leave us alone" as opposed to any great change of heart.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:24pm

    Please

    ACTA = And They Cover Their Asses

    Transparency is the opposite of that.

     

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  3.  
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    Overcast (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:07pm

    "the public interest."

    Didn't realize most 'industry organizations' and 'government' had anything to do with that anymore.

    Now if it sais "the corporate interest" - I could see that.

     

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  4.  
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    The Sarcastic-Mike, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 8:28pm

    Why are you guys so worried about a treaty that covers counterfeiting? It's not like it will have anything in it about copyright or the internet.

    Sheesh.

     

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  5.  
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    Henry Emrich (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:36pm

    I'm pretty sure this *is* from some sort of official source

    Back-tracking the links yields THIS:

    http://arebentisch.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/and-the-draft-of-the-acta-reply-to-me-in-englis h/

    Pretty sure that the "working party on information" and "council of the European union" are official sources.

    True, it's in response to an "inquiry by a citizen", but the mere fact that the original quote does derive from an offial European Union council reply indicates that the quote itself is NOT from "a citizen", but from an official source.

    But hey, Anti-Mike, don't feel bad. All it took to find that out was following two links. I can see how that would be difficult for you, given your other, fairly serious shortcomings (such as semi-randomly swapping the words "could" and "would" so as to completely obscure whatever argument you were trying to make, being excessively concerned about whether I kick my imaginary dog, random hamburger-related comments, etc.....

    Glad I could help :)

     

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    Henry Emrich (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:42pm

    Clarification to the above:

    From the web-page Anti-Mike couldn't be bothered to examine:

    "So here is a Council draft document in English to the reply to my secondary request for document access related to an ACTA criminal provisions document. The draft is dated 17 Dec and (mostly) identical with the German language reply document I received around Christmas 2009 (also uploaded here). Interesting is a dissenting opinion of the UK delegation."

    Notice: FROM THE U.K. DELEGATION

    Dunno if that qualifies as "UK Government", but an official delegation is hardly merely a group of "citizens" in the way Anti-Thought tries to portray.

     

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  7.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:45pm

    Re: Clarification to the above:

    Wow, you guys missed my point entirely.

    I am not suggesting the reply is from a citizen or group of citizens, but rather a UK official REPLYING to a citizen, in a manner that is pretty much a brush. They agree that "secrecy is bad, m'kay" but they aren't doing anything about it.

    I suspect if the citizen had said the deal is bad for cows, the reply would have been some sort of agreement about cows.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 10:10pm

    Re: Re: Clarification to the above:

    So you're saying that the UK Government will agree with whatever I send them?

    Sweet, time to start requesting private islands.

     

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  9.  
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    tim, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 10:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Clarification to the above:

    Man, I dont like the ani-mike, but you guys are ridiculous. All he said was a straight out 'this sounds like a reply to citizen asking' rather than 'I'm goign to make sure something happens about this', and then, knickers = knotted. Give me (and him) a break. when he acts like a douche, call him out on it. When he doesnt, GTFO.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 11:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Clarification to the above:

    ...so you mean the UK government won't give a cow, man?

    Darn, stop getting my hopes up Anti-Mike.

     

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  11.  
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    Henry Emrich (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 1:38am

    Yet again, Anti-Mike worded something badly

    "Man, I dont like the ani-mike, but you guys are ridiculous. All he said was a straight out 'this sounds like a reply to citizen asking' rather than 'I'm goign to make sure something happens about this', and then, knickers = knotted. Give me (and him) a break. when he acts like a douche, call him out on it. When he doesnt, GTFO."

    Clarify please:
    When exactly *doesn't* he "act like a douche?"

    MIke's original post was that this qualifies as the UK admitting (in however "noncommital" of a fashion) that Acta-related secrecy is "not in the public interest". Did he say they would actually *do* anything about that? No. Different question entirely.

    "Anti-Mike" wanted (as per usual) to make a big effort to find some kind of "gripe" with what Mike had posted. As per usual, he failed. What possible relevance was it whether the original question the statement responds to was "leading" or not?

    Furthermore, what exactly would qualify as a "non-leading" question? Questions are, by their very nature, at least somewhat "leading", in that they EXPLICITLY REQUEST A SPECIFIC PIECE OF INFORMATION.

    I guess by "leading question", Anti-mike could mean that the guy had asked whether Acta secrecy WAS "in the public interest" or not....but that wasn't the issue.

    Personally, I'll cut Anti-Mike a break when it stops "acting like a douche" (in other words, when it decides to leave.)

     

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  12.  
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    cc, Jan 6th, 2010 @ 2:18am

    Re: Yet again, Anti-Mike worded something badly

    I agree that Anti-Mike often acts like a douche and sometimes borders on being plain rude (e.g. to Nina Paley). He also carries the name of a douche that only makes things more complicated. Maybe he's trying to build rapport, but maybe he's actually decided he needs to be civil -- we'll see.

    But, in this instance he didn't say anything wrong, so please leave him be for now. In fact, I wholly agree with him: it's a reply to an inquiry by a concerned citizen, and what they said basically is, "Yeah, you're right. The secrecy is bad for you. Signed, F. Off"

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: Yet again, Anti-Mike worded something badly

    It's really too bad that a few individuals are down to debating the person rather than debating ideas. It's one of the reasons I use to post with about 100 different handles, just to stop people going personally negative all the time.

    You got it right, I suspect that Mr F. Off writes a lot of non-committal government correspondence.

     

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    Derek Bredensteiner (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Yet again, Anti-Mike worded something badly

    Despite the personal attacks, I think Henry Emrich really is criticizing your approach more than anything else.

    "Anti-Mike" wanted (as per usual) to make a big effort to find some kind of "gripe" with what Mike had posted. As per usual, he failed. What possible relevance was it whether the original question the statement responds to was "leading" or not?

    Take out the personal attacks ("as per usual"), and I think it's a rational concern that he raises to your response.

    I'm still having trouble finding the "fuck-off" tone in their response. The exact quote in question seems to indicate "We believe the lack of transparency is unhelpful and do not believe that it is in the public interest." Why can't that be taken literally? The UK delegation said that, in context to a question asking about said transparency (or lack thereof)?

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Yet again, Anti-Mike worded something badly

    Derek, the answer is an absolutely vapid piece of writing, because it offers nothing. If they were truly offended by the level of secrecy around the talks, they would be in public being vocal about it, and not wanting to negotiate until things are put in public. They are not doing that.

    Their reply is just one of those "we gently agree with you, now leave us alone" type of answers that tells you that absolutely nothing is going to come from it. They have no intention of action, no real sympathy, just a pat on the head and please go back to your room sort of answer.

    As I said, if someone had said that the secrecy was bad for cows, their response would be some sort of bland sympathy for the impacted cattle, and "have a nice day". It's a non-answer, not some major policy statement.

    If they have gone public with a major policy statement, had a press conference, summoned leaders, invited cameras, whatever, it would be something of action. This is just a buried comment that wouldn't have existed without the leading question asked by the citizen.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2010 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Yet again, Anti-Mike worded something badly

    I find it pretty amusing that someone whose entire purpose is disagreeing with A PERSON no matter what he says is whining about "debating the person."

     

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