Obama Administration Claims Copyright Treaty Involves State Secrets?!?
from the openness,-transparency dept
When the Obama administration took over, there was a public stance that this administration was going to be more transparent -- especially with regards to things like Freedom of Information Act requests. The nonprofit group Knowledge Ecology International took that to heart and filed an FOIA request to get more info on ACTA. The US Trade Representative's Office responded denying the request, saying that the information was "classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958." This is a treaty about changing copyright law, not sending missiles somewhere. To claim that it's a national security matter is just downright scary. As KEI points out, the text of the documents requested have been available to tons of people, including more than 30 governments around the world and lobbyists from the entertainment industry, pharma industry and publishing industry.
But when the public asks for them, we're told they're state secrets? This is transparency? This is openness?
As Declan McCullagh points out at News.com, Executive Order 12958 only allows material to be classified if revealing it would do "damage to the national security and the original classification authority is able to identify or describe the damage." Can the US Trade Representative please describe the damage to national security if the public gets to see what's being proposed that would require governments around the country to enact significantly more draconian intellectual property laws?