Senator Wyden Demands ACTA Details Be Revealed

from the good-for-him dept

Late last year, we noted that Senator Bernie Sanders had questioned why ACTA negotiations were being kept secret well beyond normal -- even to the point of being classified as a state secret. The USTR gave the usual non-answer in response, and it appears that other Senators are beginning to worry about this as well. Senator Ron Wyden is now demanding that the USTR confirm or deny the various leaks about ACTA that have raised so many concerns.

Wyden also pointed out that "objectives behind the negotiations still remain inadequately clear to the American public." I actually don't know that this is true. The objectives seem abundantly clear from what's been leaked: to put up artificial barriers to help prop up an industry unwilling to adapt to changing times. The letter itself (pdf) includes 11 questions for the USTR including asking for assurances that ACTA would neither force changes on US IP laws nor would it constrain Congress from adjusting such laws in the future.

Update: Looks like politicians around the world are starting to wake up and question all this ACTA secrecy.

Filed Under: acta, copyright, secrecy, senator ron wyden, transparency

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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 8 Jan 2010 @ 6:26am

    Ah, you can see them begin to get it...

    Finally, it appears that a combination of factors is FINALLY starting to put the fear of God into some of our "representatives". The factors as I see them are:

    1. Nat'l attention in new media is highlighting the pros and cons of current and speculative IP laws as never before. This combined with the new and genuine interest of the younger generations has created an interest in what many previously considered the "dry" topic of IP law.

    2. Combined with the above is the widespread reach of internet, people of voting age are more informed than ever about the things their government and industry are doing.

    3. For some reason I have yet to be able to identify, young people are more involved in the voting process than perhaps any time since the Vietnam War era.

    What this all culminates in is the very real possibility that an interested public will vote out their local and congressional reps if they're in office when something harmful is done. This doesn't appear to apply to the Presidency so much (likely because the eventual candidates for that job are choreographed by some higher powers so that neither choice ever really serves the people), but at the local level we still have a voice.

    Some of the members of that political body are finally starting to understand that we can take away their jobs, and it looks like some of them are starting to get scared....

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