USTR Continues To Lie: Claims ACTA Release Proved Internet Rumors About ACTA Were False
from the lies,-damned-lies,-and-sticking-up-for-lobbyists dept
This is pretty funny. After working really hard to keep ACTA negotiations a secret (even ridiculously claiming it was a national security issue), the USTR finally was pressured into release the draft text which showed, in fact, that the online leaks were exactly correct. Yet, the USTR is sticking to its earlier talking point that all the concern about ACTA in the online community was due to “misrepresentation” and “misinformation.”
USTR boss Ron Kirk, at a World Intellectual Property Day event earlier this week, claimed that the official release of ACTA text had shown that there was “a lot of the misinformation about ACTA.” Except, no, that’s not true. While there had been some misinformation about it last summer (mainly due to Kirk’s own actions in keeping the document secret), the leaks that started coming out late last year appear to have been 100% accurate. In fact, the significant changes to the officially released copy appear to have been driven by concerns brought forth due to these leaks. He went on to say that it’s too early to “judge” things:
“We’re still in the middle of the process,” Kirk said, adding that “let’s not prejudge anything.” He also said his office has “gone to great lengths to hear” from all the stakeholders involved in the ACTA debate and will continue to do so.
But that’s wrong on a variety of fronts. While the USTR had shown some snippets of the documents, under NDA and only for very brief periods of time, to consumer advocacy groups, that was significantly less access than many industry lobbyists had to the document and the negotiations. As for “pre-judging” the document, the issue isn’t “pre-judging” the document, it’s about actually listening to the stakeholders. To date, Kirk and the USTR has shown no interest in doing so. That’s why they seem to only be publicizing letters from industry lobbyists who support ACTA, but not the concerns of pretty much everyone else about ACTA.
The issue isn’t “pre-judging,” it’s making sure that by the time anyone’s allowed to “judge” the document, it isn’t too late.