We recently wrote about a 2008 memo and position paper from Homeland Security to the USTR warning that ACTA was a bad idea
that could harm national security, and transfer private civil issues to the government to enforce. The author of the original memo, Stewart Baker, who is no longer at DHS, has now commented on our coverage of this issue, stating that DHS did not like ACTA
as it was drafted:
It seemed like a sweetheart deal for a few intellectual property owners, who’d get free government enforcement of their private rights, potentially to the detriment of security and traditional customs enforcement. Worse, the sweetheart deal would be written into international treaty, putting it beyond Congress’s reach if the risks we foresaw actually came to pass.
Baker notes that he still feels this way. Of course, he also jokes that it appears to cause us "physical pain" to admit we agree with the DHS. I recognize it's a joke (and kind of amusing, too), but just for clarity's sake, I have no problem agreeing with anyone when I think they're correct (even the RIAA
). It's not about who's making the argument. It's about the argument.