Mexican Senate Calls On President To Reject ACTA
We recently wrote about efforts in the Mexican Congress to get that country to refuse to sign onto ACTA. Geraldine Juarez, who wrote that last post for us, alerts us to the news that after a few weeks of discussions with various parties — including hearing directly from citizens (rather than just the industry), the Senate has officially asked the President to reject ACTA. That link is in Spanish, but Juarez kindly translated the statement for us. The highlighted parts are by me, calling out some of the key points:
Since the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) would be contrary to various individual guarantees contained in the Constitution, Senators of the working group that monitor the process of the negotiations of such agreement, the Senate considers relevant to urge the Federal Executive power not to sign the agreement.
A statement released by the PRI senator Eloy Cantu Segovia, who heads the group and where the reasons for not signing the treaty were discussed, says that ACTA would violate the principle of presumption of innocence in our country. This – which is explained in the text – is because of the ambiguity of some provisions of the commercial project (the agreement) that would be contrary to the security and certainty of Mexicans.
Also, specifically, the process of negotiating this agreement violated the Law on Approval of Treaties on Economic Matters, as its provisions were not implemented in a timely and sufficient way for the agencies involved in the negotiations. This generated opacity and impediment to the Senate to provide adequate follow-up to this negotiation, highlighted in the text. Similarly, the Senators in this group argue that the implementation of ACTA would be a limitation to the “universalization of Internet access desirable in Mexican society.” Instead, it would widen the digital divide and lessen the possibility that the country is inserted into the so-called information and knowledge society, they said.
They warned that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement could lead to a censorship of Internet content and therefore a restriction on freedom in its operation and neutrality that the internet should have. They also noted that (ACTA) would put at risk the development of “legitimate commerce, digital creativity and legitimate cultural diffusion” of Mexicans.
In this regard, they stressed that one of the issues discussed was the possibility that “under the justifiable argument” of the protection of intellectual property rights, it could create rules that restrict freedom and neutrality of the Internet. However, they also stated that intellectual property rights are the best mechanism to encourage research, innovation, technological development, creativity and culture, so the Internet is a new scenario for the protection of these rights.
Therefore, we believe, it requires a specific legal framework for the protection of intellectual property must be made carefully, “so you have the necessary efficiency without generating a regression , or limitations on the reach of internet services in general and the right to their access. ”
The statement said that after making several public hearings and meetings with the authorities responsible for these issues, the diverse group “enriched the information and knowledge on the subject with the views and comments of various participants.” That – highlights – allowed a comprehensive view of the contents of ACTA, its purposes and possible effects of its application.
The document was submitted to the Political Coordination Board.
It’s become quite clear at this point that Mexico is no fan of ACTA. It’s unclear if this will eventually matter, but for now it’s nice to see a large group of politicians stand up against not just the ridiculously secretive ACTA process, but also the end results as well