Another One Bites The Dust: Australian Parliament Committee Recommends Rejecting ACTA

from the too-many-secrets dept

While most of the attention on ACTA has been focused on the growing likelihood that Europe will reject the treaty, it appears that something similar is happening down under as well. The Australian Parliament’s “Joint Standing Committee on Treaties” is now recommending that Australia reject ACTA as well.

“The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has thoroughly examined the text, the arguments and the positions taken by other governments and sees the writing on the wall; there appears a very real possibility that ACTA will not be ratified by sufficient countries in order to come into existence,” said Senator Ludlam.

“The Greens would welcome ACTA being ruled out completely because the content of this treaty is fatally flawed and the process that brought it about was shamefully and unnecessarily secretive. While our government did hold consultations they were farcical because those being consulted did not have the secret text and therefore couldn’t provide advice and feedback.

“Australia’s parliamentary committee is not alone in its detailed criticism of this Agreement. No less than five European Parliament Committees have recommended it be rejected. Several EU countries have suspended consideration until further notice and the Dutch Lower house has recommended its rejection outright. Hundreds of thousands of people have come out in demonstrations against ACTA throughout Europe and the United States.

What struck me as most interesting in this was the fact that Australia is also one of the major parties involved in negotiating the TPP agreement — which is even more secretive than ACTA. Indeed, Senator Ludlam spoke out about that as well, comparing the two agreements:

“ACTA may well go down if governments listen to their people and parliamentary committees, however, many of the interests that drove ACTA are currently driving the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – the obligations of this Agreement being negotiated in secret will affect very similar areas such as affordable medicines, Australian content and digital copyright issues.”

If this keeps up, ACTA is going to end up being an agreement between the US and Morocco and that’s about it…

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Comments on “Another One Bites The Dust: Australian Parliament Committee Recommends Rejecting ACTA”

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51 Comments
BeaverJuicer (profile) says:

The Greens would welcome ACTA being ruled out completely because the content of this treaty is fatally flawed and the process that brought it about was shamefully and unnecessarily secretive. While our government did hold consultations they were farcical because those being consulted did not have the secret text and therefore couldn?t provide advice and feedback.

I absolutely love this quote. Australia just went up another notch in my books.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 I'm Confused

indeed. they’re Annoying.

and Americans seem generally obsessed with them ๐Ÿ˜›

usual practice here (so far as i’ve seen, and in written form) is to use the full term the first time the thing appears in a given document/article/whatever and mark the abbreviation in parentheses immediately after, then use it. (or, if the abbreviation is in wide circulation as the common term, the other way around)

of course, eventually, if used enough, such abbreviations sort of morph into words in their own right and that stops happening… but they also stop getting written in all caps ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous Coward says:

what was the name of the Aussi attorney general or whoever that recently signed to accept some agreement without consulting anyone? if she cant get ACTA through, then Gillard will find a way of getting it brought into law. from what i gather she is a bought and paid for entertainment industries backer and US arse licker

Anonymous Coward says:

it’s also politicians JOB to disagree, and argue, and complain, if they did not do that, they would not have a job..

just like it’s laywers job to find loopholes and ways around something..

Therefore you saying, ‘politicians’ are arguing, is pointless, we know they argue, it’s their job..

Just like your job is to misrepresent the truth !!!..

DogBreath says:

Re: Re:

it’s also politicians JOB to disagree, and argue, and complain, if they did not do that, they would not have a job..

just like it’s laywers job to find loopholes and ways around something..

Therefore you saying, ‘politicians’ are arguing, is pointless, we know they argue, it’s their job..

Just like your job is to misrepresent the truth !!!..

Just as it’s your job to have a misspent youth. I can see it is still working out well for you. Which politician are you?

Cerberus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

What do you think? It is like saying, “Six fruits are needed. If three more fruits drop out besides this fruit basket and the apple (both of which have already dropped out), there won’t be enough fruits left.” In this case, the “basket” is conveniently subsumed under “Europe”, because both Switzerland and the EU are already likely to drop out.

Cerberus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Oh, yes, according to poster “Open ACTA Mexico”, the Mexican senate have the final say, so it seems likely that you will drop out.

The only caveat seems to be that they only ask/tell the president to “suspend participating in the negotiations” (“suspenda el proceso de las negociaciones de nuestro pa?s”): so there is a theoretical chance that they will in the end, perhaps after new elections, resume negotiations.

However, the fact that they want all sorts of academics and other groups to analyse the treaty, and that they express strong concern about violations of civil rights, means that they will probably drop out. So yay, only two more drop-outs required…

DogBreath says:

It's all beginning to make sense now...

If this keeps up, ACTA is going to end up being an agreement between the US and Morocco and that’s about it…

Morocco is the sidekick for who? None other than… “Secret Squirrel”.

In the military community, the term “Secret Squirrel” refers to military projects that are classified TOP SECRET or higher. It can also refer to any project that is abnormally secretive.

Anonymous Coward says:

US, Morocco and Canada, since Harper is such a tool.

He basically begged the US to let him suck their dick just to get into the TPP clubhouse. In an agreement that requires Canada to just blindly say ‘Yep’ to whatever was in there before hand.

Harper is making Canada the hat for the US that everyone thinks it is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Personally I think all the rejections of ACTA at this point are mostly a farce for show.

Why bother fighting the fight to get ACTA into law? Wouldn’t it just be easier to try to work most of the provisions into TPP. I mean, how long can the people sustain their “righteous ire”, and hopefully by the time we’re ready to roll out TPP most of the people have gone “back to sleep” and we can slide it under the door like we tried to do with ACTA.

The sad part is that is an exact quote uttered by someone involved in the entertainment industry.

Violated (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Multiple organizations wanting to control, monitor, regulate, censor or attack the Internet will be a very long battle indeed.

I see things like this when to begin with the Internet was just between college and university nerds where few much cared. Then it opened to the general public and then became a major economic forum.

Only now have those bad organizations began to realise certain facts like the trillion dollar industry, how Internet activism can overthrow Government policy or like the Arab Spring the very Governments, there is of course crime beyond infringement, then as they now realise the Internet contains a vast array of data for billions of people which only needs the right tap.

To put it directly the Internet and life as we know it is under great threat. All these people with traditional power have woken up and their eyes gleam as they pondering cutting out out their own slice of the Internet pie and how doing so would give them immense power like never before.

Do you really think your average Net citizens would sit and do nothing while the Internet as they know it now is torn apart? I can certainly tell you that more people read these technology pages for the politics of the Internet than other people do for all other forms of politics combined.

I would claim that the Internet is the greatest creation of our generation where more and more people are getting empowered as they come to realise that their actions can make change. The great War over the Internet and the revolution if not total independence is yet to come but people are indeed awake, arming up and growing in numbers by the day.

Anonymous Coward says:

In and of itself, this isn’t terribly meaningful.
http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/briefs/brief04
“The role of committees is to investigate and to draw attention to what they find. They throw ?light in dark corners? and give advice.”

It’d be nice if this report meant our current Government was forced to abandon ACTA, but it doesn’t. Not yet. Politics and such can still rear it’s ugly head and ignore this committee’s recommendation(s).

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

a system which has it’s upsides and it’s downsides:

on the one hand, it’s harder to buy votes (how much so depends on how the party is organized. NZ’s Labour party, for example, you’d basically have to buy off the majority of it’s MPs, minimum. some of the others you’d actually have to buy off their constituents, the rest, their leadership, which is always more than one person) even before getting into other regulations.

on the other hand, the ‘party line’ can be quite problematic in it’s own right. i’m sure there’s been a few bills that, if conscience votes (that is, the members are free to vote independently, rather than by party), would have had Very different results.

of course, Officially, anyone can ‘cross the floor'(metaphorically speaking) at any time… they just have very good odds of loosing all support from their party… which for electorate MPs means their odds of winning the next election, if they even run, plummet, and list MPs aren’t getting back in at ALL (unless they pull off something awesome. and i’m not entirely sure if they get to keep their seat for the rest of the term as independents having got in on the party list if the party throws them out for such actions.)… but that doesn’t happen.

conscience votes are usually saved for constitutional questions, which mostly means things that affect the election process, and occasionally issues with a significant moral aspect where the public will is hard to read and guessing wrong will screw the party over… so they make it a conscience vote, bailing on any responsibility for the outcome… (which also has odd results. the ‘anti-smacking bill’ which, despite it’s ‘think of the children’ type goals (not just rhetoric, though there was plenty of that) for example, was a highly problematic piece of legislation which there was great public outcry against… was introduce as a ‘private member’s bill’ (which means it was not submitted by way of party policy and the like, but by an individual acting as an individual, went through a lottery process, and was pulled as one of the issues to be considered), voted on as a conscience vote… don’t think it quite got 100% of parliament, but it came damn close… despite it’s many issues and the fact that for most, in the public mind, it was not ‘pro child welfare’ or ‘anti abuse’ but ‘anti-parent’ or ‘pro state control of individual’s home lives’ so you didn’t even have that ‘no one wants to vote against laws to stop child porn’ type effect going on…

ultimately, representative democracy, isn’t…
and governance under such a system i one of the very few jobs in the world where the skills required to attain it have NOTHING to do with the skills required to perform it.

(winning popularity contests is not the same as making wise choices for the long term well being of a nation.)

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