US Proposals For Secret TPP 'Son Of ACTA' Treaty Leaked; Chock Full Of Awful Ideas

from the exporting-protectionism dept

We've mentioned a couple of times that now that ACTA is "complete", if not yet approved, USTR negotiators have moved on to what many are calling the son of ACTA in the form of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). The USTR has shown what it's learned from the ACTA negotiations: which is that it can absolutely get away with unprecedented levels of secrecy. It has no problem sharing details with industry representatives, but the public and consumers who will be most impacted by the intellectual property rules found in TPP are kept completely away. However, as with ACTA, there are leaks. KEI has been able to get a leaked version of the current proposal from the USTR, and as we'd been hearing, it really is another industry wish-list of stricter anti-consumer intellectual property rules, that go well beyond current US law. This is the entertainment industry and the pharma industry trying to bypass the actual law-making process and using "friends" within the USTR to get such rules in place via secretive, non-democratic, treaty making processes. It's really a sickening display of crony capitalism and regulatory capture at work. Anyone working in the USTR should be ashamed of this document.

The early reports on TPP was that the USTR would only consider ratcheting up intellectual property laws to more draconian states. It would not even consider the idea of decreasing the already too strict levels of intellectual property laws. It also would not bother with increasing consumer protections or important exceptions to stronger intellectual property law -- even if it's been shown that those exceptions have a much greater impact on the economy than the IP laws themselves.

Some key points:
  • It would require that countries participating ban parallel import for any copyright holder who wants it. That is, if a copyright holder says no, countries would have to block your ability to purchase legal and authorized products in one country and import them into another. This is the so-called "grey market" which should be perfectly legal, but which many companies would like to block so they can price things much higher in some countries.
  • It would require criminal enforcement for certain cases of circumventing DRM even when there's no copyright infringement, going beyond existing treaties even when there's no copyright infringement. There are some exceptions, but rather than allow countries to determine their own exceptions, it defines the exceptions and actually says countries cannot go beyond those.
  • It would impose liability on ISPs for dealing with infringing works that goes well beyond the DMCA. Yes, Hollywood may finally be able to force ISPs to act as their personal business model cops -- something they've been unable to do in the US.
  • Along those lines, there would be "legal incentives" for ISPs to go above and beyond that in helping copyright holders.
  • Forget privacy. ISPs would be required to identify users on request, going well beyond existing law.
  • Expand what is considered patentable, going in the opposite direction of what's needed. Most troubling, it would allow patents on inventions even if the inventions do "not result in the enhancement of the known efficacy of that product." This seems to go against the very purpose of patent law, but the USTR has already shown it couldn't care much less than actually obeying the Constitutional underpinnings of patents or copyright law.
  • Continues the troubling and problematic idea that patents must be assumed valid, even if they were only briefly reviewed.
  • A requirement to forbid third party opposition of patent applications. This is particularly ridiculous. Allowing third parties to oppose patent applications (as is allowed with trademarks) would certainly help prevent some really bad patent applications from getting through. How can the USTR justify not allowing such a basic concept of letting third parties point out bad patents before they're approved. Especially when you combine this with the "presumption of validity" in patents once granted, it looks like the USTR is trying to increase the rubber stamping of patent approvals.
It's basically a checklist of how to make both copyright and patent law even more anti-innovation. It's pretty much a travesty. No wonder the USTR didn't want this to get out. It's a joke, and they must have known that anyone who actually understands what this really means would laugh at this. That must be why the document is declared classified until four years after the TPP is agreed upon.
Declassify on: Four years from entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement enters into force, four years from the close of the negotiations.

* This document must be protected from unauthorized disclosure, but may be mailed or transmitted over unclassified e-mail or fax, discussed over unsecured phone lines, and stored on unclassified computer systems. It must be stored in a locked or secured building, room, or container.
Oh yeah, as for things like consumer protections or safeguards for competition? KEI correctly summarizes that they are "weak, meak or missing." That's because this document isn't about enabling competition, innovation or consumer benefit. It's about helping out a few legacy companies who don't want to compete, and who have plenty of job openings ready for the folks involved in these negotiations down the road.

If you find this to be a disgusting display of regulatory capture, done in secret, for the benefit of a few companies, against the basic principles of the free market and consumer rights, you should speak up. The EFF has put together details of which elected officials should be contacted to pressure the USTR to open up these proceedings and to hear from the public on their proposal. They've also set up a form to let you contact your elected official, though I recommend you write your own version of any letter, rather than sticking with the boilerplate. None of my elected representatives are on the target list, but if yours are, please contact them.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    crade (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 8:37am

    Why can't you guys just leave us alone? Cease your infernal copyright naging. Take off, you hoser.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    How old is this saying?

    Off topic, I'm reminded of a saying from my days in the army: "As the size of an explosion increases the number of problems it's capable of solving decreases."

    Also: "meek" not "meak"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 8:51am

    Ah, but if they close the grey market, then they become liable for price-fixing. And that6's a criminal offence in the UK. So that would, theoretically, mean that they could be charged with aiding and abetting under both thew UK and US penal codes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      G Thompson (profile), Mar 12th, 2011 @ 1:10am

      Re:

      They would also be liable for third Line Forcing under Australian Consumer and Trade laws which is only one of two criminal provisions in the act that is a jailable to any and all business entities (directors, managers, board members etc) who had knowledge of it

      Also some of the provisions create a situation where the sovereignty of the country and citizenship is beholden to the USA Govt which I will be one of the the first Aussie's and definately not the last to declare war on the USA. And no that's not a joke. If the USG wants to associate us with terrorists for that. So be it.

       

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    Steven (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 9:16am

    I suspect they are just trying to throw as much ridiculousness into this is possible so they can 'compromise' to something that is still ridiculous, but doesn't seem as bad because of where they started.

    Still absolutely pathetic and depressing.

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 9:33am

      Re:

      That's a thought. We should send a representative, their opening line to the USTR can be "You will give me the Moon, presented in such a manner that it is fully lodged in the rectum of the USTR representative" and they can negotiate it down to halfway from there...

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm not sure whether it is funny or sad that we feel we need to be negotiate with our own trade representative...

         

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  •  
    identicon
    HothMonster, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    AC madlibs

    Lets play AC adlibs! Your gonna need

    1. An insult
    2. A half-truth
    3. A quote from MM or your favorite poster
    4. A villain
    5. Another insult
    6. and one widely debunked "fact"

     

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    •  
      identicon
      HothMonster, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 9:38am

      Re: AC madlibs

      Lol ___1___! _____2____ duh!

      "_____3____" you keep saying this even though I proved you wrong weeks ago.

      Stop supporting ______4_____ you _____5____.

      ____6____ sorry

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 9:50am

        Re: Re: AC madlibs

        Lol Justin Beaver! The moon is made of green cheese and rocks, duh! "Just like Charlie Sheen" You keep saying this even though I proved you wrong weeks ago. Stop supporting Dick Dastardly you raporist. Elephants have long memories. Sorry.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      HothMonster, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

      Re: AC madlibs

      Lol ___1___! _____2____ duh!

      "_____3____" you keep saying this even though I proved you wrong weeks ago.

      Stop supporting ______4_____ you _____5____.

      ____6____ sorry

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 9:49am

    I'm guessing the fact that it leaked isn't exactly going to make it any easier for its critic's to make their case...

     

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      Steven (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 10:09am

      Re:

      Of course not because that leak wasn't an official release so it's not really accurate. Anything in there you don't like isn't actually in the real one and we're fixing all the bad things.

      Just trust us, we'll give you all the details you need to know!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Starman, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Irrelevant

    As these agencies create laws that are farther and farther away from what the average person considers reasonable the more irrelevant they become in the long run.

    Everyone knows that the consumer is the grassroots part of any economic model and if the grass is not watered properly then it either dies or goes into conservation mode until better weather comes along.

    Considering these rules are really not constitutional in our nation we can freely ignore them and other countries will ignore them the a greater or lesser degree as well.

    What I see this as is yet another way for America to dictate to the rest of the world how trade will work. America, you do not have the right to dictate how the world economic model will evolve, you only have the right to your opinion.

    Some of us here in America have already gotten over it and are happily planning a wonderful future in the current digital age of abundance and the coming real world age of abundance.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Tom Dial, Mar 12th, 2011 @ 7:29am

      Re: Irrelevant - not

      Article VI: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Steve, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Mike, thanks for the link to the EFF site. I will make sure to contact my representative about this issue.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Charles E. Schumer, NY is my (patoi) Senator, I do not expect him to take and action the would be favorable to the general US consumer, after all we don't pad his re-election accounts.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    TPP is why we need an open culture right now, not tomorrow, now! ASAP, let the creeps alone in their corner and people go elsewhere LoL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
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    Uncle Sam (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    The music & movie thieves don't want to be caught

    What this all comes down to is that many people get annoyed with efforts that would prevent then from getting music & movies for free. They hate copyright laws and anytime countries get together to stop them from infringement activities, the torches & pitchforks come out. Is it any wonder these treaties are negotiated out of the limelight? Getting input from those who oppose copyright on principle would be a total waste of time. Because no amount of compromise would ever satisfy them.

     

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      identicon
      coldbrew, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

      Re: The music & movie thieves don't want to be caught

      Maybe you just don't understand what a democracy is or what the founding fathers of the US were trying to create. North Korea has the kind of authoritarian lifestyle it seems you would prefer. Please move there ASAP.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

      Re: The music & movie thieves don't want to be caught

      If you think the main reason for the opposition to these "treaties" is because it would "prevent people from getting music & movies for free", you must be really out of touch.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 10:48pm

        Re: Re: The music & movie thieves don't want to be caught

        Exactly what it is. Man, some like to play dumb :)

         

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    •  
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      crade (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

      Re: The music & movie thieves don't want to be caught

      What this comes down to is people get anoyed when you fuck with shit that isn't yours. Get your dirty ass hands out of our frickin soup! We're trying to make a nice country over here, Uncle Sam. Can you stop "helping" us please? Don't you have something to do in your own damn country?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Sargent Patent, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

      Re: The music & movie thieves don't want to be caught

      Thank you! I've been saying this all along. It's all those little geeks, with their "technology" and the internet that ruined the party.

      That said, we're currently working with Joe Bidden, who's trying to convince Al Gore to uninvent the Internet. Thats right, our scientists have discovered the truth about piracy. As it turns out, the only way to win this war, is to shut down the internet. Many people forget that there was a time before the internet. It's destroyed secrecy, it violated monopolies, exposed corruption and exultantly, the American way of life. It's a tough row to hoe but I believe that with enough money and power we can send pirates back to bootlegging 8-tracks!

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Mr Big Content, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 5:16pm

      Re: The music & movie thieves don't want to be caught

      At last! Someone spewing sense instead of nonsense out of their ass!

      People should be forced to vote for someone like you. That would show them...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 7:20pm

      Re: The music & movie thieves don't want to be caught

      I sense sarcasm here.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Zontar The Mindless, Mar 11th, 2011 @ 11:12pm

      Re: The music & movie thieves don't want to be caught

      No, we simply think that there's got to be a more egalitarian paradigm for compensating contributors to our culture than "Pay out the nose for each act of participation to some self-appointed gatekeeper who's already got more money than most of us will see in any 5 lifetimes, or go to gaol."

      Fairness for creators, fairness for for those benefitting from their creations.

      And diddley-squat for middlemen who are no longer wanted or needed.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      identicon
      Tom, Mar 12th, 2011 @ 7:40am

      Re: The music & movie thieves don't want to be caught

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Tom Dial, Mar 12th, 2011 @ 7:56am

      Re: The music & movie thieves don't want to be caught

      The U.S. Constitution empowers the Congress "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries". There is no reasonable connection between that and securing to large corporations the right to the writings of authors who have been dead for going on 100 years. I expect that almost everyone would agree to copyrights with a lifetime of about one human generation.

       

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      •  
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        Uncle Sam (profile), Mar 12th, 2011 @ 8:15am

        Re: Re: The music & movie thieves don't want to be caught

        And after the Constitution, the Congress passed several dozen changes to copyright law since then. You may not agree with those changes. I certainly think the times involved are WAY too long. But it is the law.

         

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      identicon
      unknown patriot, Mar 12th, 2011 @ 9:29am

      Re: The music & movie thieves don't want to be caught

      Your an idiot, and please remove the uncle sam deal I guess your pay check i paid by some one that actually works so you work for us your cronie. Price fixing is not enforcement of patents, patents with no review has nothing to do with digital media. If the movie and music industry embrace the digital model and use something besides itunes and allow a free market of digital media to emarge then this would not ocur. There are already lawsfor copying digital content. The problem is since they are so ridiculous then you have problems enforcing them.

       

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  •  
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    hmm (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 2:34pm

    eternal circle..

    TPP (which I assume stands for totally pissing-off people)
    leaked....which means..OMG piracy!!!!

    thats (/random) fifty five billion in lost erm..sales....or something.....

    Aside from that, its actually (and this is serious) becoming risky for a consumer to even buy something legally...as there is a risk of getting sued by all these third-party liability wannabees.

    OMG you bought film xyz....but we intend to sue the makers for infringement of our copyright (using light to make the actors visible)....and firstly you WATCHED the film....then you had the nerve to make a copy of it IN YOUR BRAIN....but you added some bits...so you created an illegal derivative work of what we consider to also be illegal.
    Please pay us $1000 under the terms of the hollywood&rich people know best act or we will be forced to pretend to be cops and kick your door in and start confiscating things.....

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Mar 11th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Classified

    > * This document must be protected from
    > unauthorized disclosure, but may be mailed
    > or transmitted over unclassified e-mail or
    > fax, discussed over unsecured phone lines

    Just a technical point, Mike. If the information can be transmitted over unencrypted lines or discussed outside of a SCIF, then it's not classified.

    This would be labeled "Sensitive But Unclassified" information, which is pretty common in the government. Most routine law enforcement information (criminal histories, raid plans, security assessments, etc.) are SBU information. Not classified, but not something you want to boradcast to the general public, either.

     

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      identicon
      Lowly peon, Mar 12th, 2011 @ 5:15pm

      Re: Classified

      Stop trying to nitpick. Do you really think these posts need have any connection to reality? This is King Masnick's domain, and what he says goes.

      If he says it is classified, then it is so.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    monkyyy, Mar 12th, 2011 @ 12:44am

    when is someone going to get it through to those people

    i think its time to send angry emails to every political figure who "represents" ur interests

     

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    •  
      identicon
      monkyyy, Mar 12th, 2011 @ 12:49am

      Re:

      lol didnt rtfa
      "details of which elected officials should be contacted.....Orrin G. Hatch, UT"
      -__-"
      i dont think he reads mail from anyone younger then 80

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2011 @ 3:36am

    wow, the government of the USA really went overboard on this one... This truely is pants-on-head retarted...

     

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    identicon
    Dohn Joe, Mar 12th, 2011 @ 5:00am

    Shame? What shame?

    Anyone working in the USTR should be ashamed of this document.

    ==============================

    Well if they felt shame then they very well couldn't get filthy rich on kickbacks, now could they?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

    tme to form hte internet users party

    and with open medias support on net neutrality and end to draconian copyright laws , we in canada might never have to worry again about it. YOU want our resources and then want to screw us for everything else? SORRY please leave a WHINING at the beep.....

    BEEP BEEP

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    More Of The Same

    This is yet more of the pattern of providing corporate welfare at the expense of the consumer, by the USTR, that we have seen for many years. Did not the American people vote for change when they put in Obama? Where is it? Public servants are supposed to serve the public. Why is there no sanction against them when they fail to do so?

     

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    identicon
    Josh Taylor, Mar 13th, 2011 @ 4:06pm

    My points that they could add something to the TPP:

    * It would require world governments to mandate Human DRM in a person's brain, preventing him/her from thinking up their own ideas that would be copyright infringement. (Rev. 13:16-18)

    * It would impose liability on phone companies, for dealing with people who's been talking over the phone that Yes, Hollywood may finally be able to force Phone Companies to act as their Phone Police -- something they haven't thought of in a long time.

    * Along those lines, there would be "legal incentives" for phone companies, businesses, to go above and beyond that in helping governments and Hollywood.

    * World Governments would be required to put wireless surveillance cameras in every home and monitor their actions to make sure they obey Hollywood or be blacklisted from society if anything that citizen do is copyright. Everything we do in our everyday lives is illegal under the TPP.

    * A requirement for the UN to ban human rights in favor of protecting copyrights. Allowing Hollywood and corporate businesses to let governments ban human rights certainly help prevent people from criticizing their products.

    This is why I came, to get you all away from your corporate material necessities and into Jesus Christ and His Kingdom where corporate necessities do not exist. The end is near.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Dave, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 7:55am

    Crony capitalism?!

    "Crony capitalism"?! My arse! This is what happens when governments are beholden to corporations and lobbyists, rather than the citizens they represent. The problem here isn't so much the companies as it is the governments that are colluding with them. Were government not so quick to impose regulation on behalf of corporate interests, their desire for DRM enforcement would be little more than noise, and we could be customers instead of consumers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    mdwstmusik (profile), Mar 14th, 2011 @ 1:53pm

    Big Government

    Intellectual Property Rights - Just another example of BIG GOVERNMENT standing in the way of the FREE MARKET.

    "The government that governs least, governs best."

    Isn't that what we're told?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 3:13pm

    SAdly, Benjamin Franklin devoted many decades of his life trying to be a loyal British citizen while fighting constantly for what was right and fair before he "turned traitor" and joined the revolutionaries of the time.

    I wonder if he would weep openly upon seeing the country he helped form repeat almost the same oppressions he spent 30-some years fighting against.

    These days you always here comparisons to Nazi-this or Nazi-that, but for anyone who wants a much better picture of the economic and political climate in modern America they just need a good book of colonial America between 1750-1775.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    Jimmy The Geek (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 9:34am

    My concern is the secret law aspect.

    With this treaty supposed to stay secret for 4 years after it comes into effect, how are you supposed to know what law you are breaking if they don't even tell you? How many other secret laws are we operating under that they are not telling us about?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    TGM, Mar 17th, 2011 @ 2:24am

    Ultimately

    The USA has stopped being a superpower and has become a STUPORpower!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    gggggggg aw, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 10:44pm

    wt t

    war uuy tbuyyh uhu biuihu yyu ih y8u 5iyu8i 5yu uy iuy i5 igsjiesah uy uy 8it i yii ih uyh iuy iuiu u yuuy ti aihyufu euy uy ruy uy yuyg uy8 uy qhuyhe uygh uyg uygh uyg uy uyuywuy u uy uyruyusaufausbfuuwqu uyqagru 7 uu ruqurqu u gug ugug gu guwguuy guugue gugru ug ruy ruyuuygu u urwqeu u u ugureugruuy u8y uruyrwuyuyrurwuy u rugru ugqugur ug uu yuy ruy ruuy uy wuy uy uy uygu yguqguaruuureAueuyuyuy uyuy uy uy guW U UG UG U UGU GU GWUGW Uuy wrU U U wUG U uyguw U GUG WU G fihbteihihtiehifhiehih eIHriHiruhihrIhreIAHii ri IHI Hi hiHIU WHi hiu ih IUh irwhiherIhr*UhreiehiARirehihihi

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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