Senator Wyden Asks President Obama: Isn't Congress Required To Approve ACTA?

from the good-question dept

As the US Trade Rep (USTR) under the Obama administration has made it clear that it has no intention of allowing Congress to ratify ACTA, but instead believes it can sign it unilaterally, we've finally seen someone in Congress notice that this appears to be unconstitutional. Senator Wyden has sent President Obama a letter asking some basic questions. From the letter:
Although the USTR insists that current U.S. law, and its application, conform to these standards, there are concerns that the agreement may work to restrain the U.S. from changing such rules and practices. As you know, the executive branch lacks constitutional authority to enter binding international agreements on matters under Congress's plenary powers, including the Article I powers to regulate foreign commerce and protect intellectual property. Yet, through ACTA and without your clarification, the USTR looks to be claiming the authority to do just that.
The letter also responds to the repeated claims of the USTR that it can have this signed as an executive agreement because it doesn't require changes to US law, by pointing out that's not the rule:
The statement by the USTR confuses the issue by conflating two separate stages of the process required for binding the U.S. to international agreements: entry and implementation. It may be possible for the U.S. to implement ACTA or any other trade agreement, once validly entered, without legislation if the agreement requires no change in U.S. law. But, regardless of whether the agreement requires changes in U.S. law, a point that is contested with respect to ACTA, the executive branch lacks constitutional authority to enter a binding international agreement covering issues delegated by the Constitution to Congress' authority, absent congressional approval.
Wyden details the situations under which the US can take part in binding international agreements, and points out that: "ACTA appears to be none of these." He then asks President Obama to make clear that ACTA creates no international obligations for the US:
Mr. President, if you allow the USTR to express your assent to ACTA, then the agreement can bind the U.S. under international law even without Congress' consent, because international law, not U.S. law, determines the binding effect of international agreements. According to many international law scholars, customary international law recognizes the ability of the chief executive of a country to bind its nation to an international agreement regardless of domestic legal requirements.

I request that as a condition of the U.S. putting forward any official instrument that accepts the terms of ACTA that you formally declare that ACTA does not create any international obligations for the U.S. -- that ACTA is not binding. If you are unwilling or unable to make such a clarification, it is imperative that your administration provide the Congress, and the public, with a legal rationale for why ACTA should not be considered by Congress, and work with us to ensure that we reach a common understanding of the proper way for the U.S. to proceed with ACTA. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Oh look... a grandstand... with Wyden on top of it.

    Nothing is new under the sun. Just waiting for some Fox news "journalist" to allude to Obama as a Muslim to make the day compelte.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Ron Wyden is truly Google's bitch.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Ok.So what? And we believe that the RIAA and MPAA's employes on the hill, otherwise known as congressmen and senator's are NOT going to approve ACTA in its current form?

     

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  4.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 10:59am

    Re:

    0/10

    Troll harder.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    "Isn't Congress Required To Approve ACTA?"

    Well senator, these bags of money seem to disagree with you.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re:

    Perfect weather for Trolling isn't it…

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:04am

    Re:

    Yep. And obviously his staffers sent Pirate Mike a copy 'cause they love the free press. Go get 'em, boys!

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:06am

    Re:

    Ooooo, good definition of ad hominem. Please work on a definition of "begging the question" for tomorrow.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    CanadianObserver, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:09am

    POWNED

    Haha! Obama got POWNED! Haha!

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    50% chance: Completely ignored by the administration.
    50% chance: A previous statement, debunked long ago, is given as justification.

    100% chance: ACTA will be enforced everywhere, whether they have the right to or not. It will cause several problems, and solve none.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Mike Waters, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:20am

    WhiteHouse petition!

    WhiteHouse.gov has an active petition to stop this nonsense!

    Require that the Senate ratify the ACTA treaty rather than making it effective by Executive Order. http://wh.gov/4PW

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Daddy Warbucks, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:21am

    Law & Ignore

    Too bad the Constitution is in the way with all its pesky laws, Obama is cutting off his nose (making it The Leader) to spite his face.

    This President's arrogance knows no bounds,
    Kill Lists,
    Telling Congress to F Off,
    Pushing the DOJ to ignore the Laws (F&F, Wiretapping US Citizens, Writing its own Warrants, etc),
    Starting a War without any consideration to the Constitution.

    Just try and stop him. Even when Wyden is correctly acting in his capacity, he still gets lambasted by Obama groupies, the comments on this post are a perfect example.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Daddy Warbucks, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Re: Law & Ignore

    Correction: "Some" comments on this post...

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    qhartman, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:28am

    Proud, but skeptical

    It makes me proud to be an Oregonian that so often Wyden and Defazio seem to be the only legislators making a stand against stupid crap like this. I'll be surprised if it makes a difference, they seem to get ignored or steamrolled more often than not, but at least they seem to be trying.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    hothmonster, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Re: Law & Ignore

    i don't really think the Doj needed much of a push...

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Re: Proud, but skeptical

    I'd like to order a couple of Wydens for my state, is Oregon going to be making any more or do you guys want the monopoly on politicians with heads outside their asses?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    Grandstanding or not, the fact is, he is trying to put a stop to the WH usurping powers granted to congress by the US Constitution. Regardless of his motive being pure or otherwise, ACTA needs stopped and congress needs to step in or forever be the door mat to the WH.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re: Law & Ignore

    Too bad the Constitution is in the way with all its pesky laws, Obama is cutting off his nose (making it The Leader) to spite his face.

    This President's arrogance knows no bounds,
    Kill Lists,
    Telling Congress to F Off,
    Pushing the DOJ to ignore the Laws (F&F, Wiretapping US Citizens, Writing its own Warrants, etc),
    Starting a War without any consideration to the Constitution.

    Just try and stop him. Even when Wyden is correctly acting in his capacity, he still gets lambasted by Obama groupies, the comments on this post are a perfect example.


    Starting a war? I think I must have missed that one. What war did Obama start?

     

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  19.  
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    DH's Love Child (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Proud, but skeptical

    I'd like to order a couple of Wydens for my state, is Oregon going to be making any more or do you guys want the monopoly on politicians with heads outside their asses?

    The problem isn't politicians with their heads up their own asses, it's that they have their heads up their corporate masters' asses.

    ps I'm glad to have recently moved to Oregon.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Meh, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Law & Ignore

    I think he means the libya action, you know nato, drone strikes etc. it was a military action using US Armed forces and equipment.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Tonspiracy Cheorist, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re:

    Look at how hard the copyright goon squad is hitting these comments. With anti-corporate sentiment running high and big elections coming up, they don't want to risk someone going off the rez and trying to score points with the voters by making a stink on this. Much better to sneak it in quietly.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Law & Ignore

    Libya

     

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  23.  
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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Obama's ignorance of the Constitution...

    .

    ...is a gift that just keeps on giving.

    .

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    I'm afraid that my reasons for entering into a binding international agreement without the consent of Congress are classified.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    I forsee an 'accident' coming for someone....

    It's only possible to push back so much against those in power, before they start pushing as well.

    While our pushing looks like 'Occupy Wallstreet' or Wyden standing up to the President, you'll never see their pushing until it's too late.....

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Re: Obama's ignorance of the Constitution...

    To be somewhat more fair, the overreach of executive authority is just a continuation of the last administration's policy. Bush never intended to run this through Congress either, and the secret negotiations for ACTA were set up under his administration.

    Obama can hardly be said to be ignorant of the Constitution. He's just ignoring it willfully.

     

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  27.  
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    MrWilson, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Re:

    Our political system may be a sham, but our sham has procedures that must be followed under penalty of large campaign contributions.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    Sen. Wyden

    Go Wyden!!!

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Law & Ignore

    Don't forget Yemen...

    (CBS/AP) WASHINGTON - The New York Times says the Obama administration has intensified the covert U.S. war in Yemen, hitting militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets.

    The newspaper says the accelerated campaign has occurred in recent weeks as conflict in Yemen has left the government there struggling to cling to power.

    Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/09/501364/main20070252.shtml#ixzz1OoccDVRf

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Jon Lawrence, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

    Re: WhiteHouse petition!

    I love how I've tried signing up/creating an account to sign petitions there 3 times and it somehow never sends me the confirmation email. Glad they're making it easy. /sarcasm

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    How long before Wyden is called a racist?

    How long before Wyden is called a racist? This is an excellant way to avoid dealing with the substance of the issue.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

    Re: POWNED

    Its spelled pwned not powned. If your going to use the word please spell it correctly.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    S, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Obama's ignorance of the Constitution...

    And Obama specifically campaigned on the premise he would stop what Bush began; that man is a hypocrite and a scum bag far worse than both of the shrubs combined.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Jon, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Proud, but skeptical

    Unfortunately, Wyden isn't really representing Oregon any more, since he lives in New York with his wife most of the time. Kind of a running joke here in Oregon.

     

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  35.  
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    Jay (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    Re: How long before Wyden is called a racist?

    What I expect is that during this winter, right before the holidays, Obama is going to sign the ACTA.

    Calling it now.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Law & Ignore

    Don't forget Yemen...

    (CBS/AP) WASHINGTON - The New York Times says the Obama administration has intensified the covert U.S. war in Yemen, hitting militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets.

    The newspaper says the accelerated campaign has occurred in recent weeks as conflict in Yemen has left the government there struggling to cling to power.

    Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/09/501364/main20070252.shtml#ixzz1OoccDVRf


    Outrageous. He should just invite them over to the White House for dinner and reason with them.

     

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  37.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:09pm

    Re:

    Do NOT give them any ideas!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Sen. Wyden

    Yeah, everytime I think this guy can not be any more awesome, he goes and proves me wrong.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    HrilL, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Law & Ignore

    Ever hear of this country called Libya? Yeah Obama started that war without even consulting with congress. They posed no direct threat to our nation thus he had no authority to use force against anyone in that country.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    Re:

    Not only classified but also trade secrets and intellectual property

     

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  41.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: POWNED

    Nice one! It's spelled it's not its and you're not your. Hilarious if that was intentional and even more hilarious if it wasn't.

     

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  42.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Obama's ignorance of the Constitution...

    Dude, doing something you personally ripped on the previous administration for is not "just a continuation of the last administration's policy". It is hypocrisy of the highest order.

     

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  43.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Sign the petition

    Hell, I've been signing president@whitehouse.gov up for all my spam for over a decade now. No way am I giving them anything but an unverifiable, throw-away address that would be useless for a petition.

     

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  44.  
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    blaktron (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: POWNED

    Actually, 'it is' is abbreviated as 'its' since 'it's' describes a possessive.

     

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  45.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Proud, but skeptical

    Kind of a running joke here in Oregon.


    Maybe in the crowd you run with, but not in my crowd. Wyden is well respected, has done, and likely will continue to do a lot of good work for Oregon. He has his imperfections as we all do, but he's far from a joke.

     

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  46.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re: How long before Wyden is called a racist?

    Congress really should have someone on standby to arrest him if he attempts to sign it. Would make for political hilarity. Or at the very least, obtain a court order expressly barring him from signing it.

     

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  47.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: POWNED

    You have that backwards. His, hers, its. He is he's, she is she's, it is it's.

     

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  48.  
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    blaktron (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: POWNED

    You are correct sir, i stand here bathed in wrong =D

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Read the foreign affairs manual

    This problem is bigger than ACTA. This is standard operating procedure.

    Google for "11 FAM 721" and read the entire section 721 (it's not that big). It grants great leeway in deciding what international agreements can be made without a treaty, and it doesn't make much distinction regarding article I, or II issues (especially when there are no legislative hurdles to enactment) . The manual in a wishy-washy way says that it's nice to consult congress sometimes in deciding what type of agreement to use. But it doesn't require it, nor does it say that they have to listen or obey the opinions of congress during their consultation.

    They're playing by the book (unfortunately, it's a book that they wrote).

     

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  50.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: POWNED

    Well just be quick with it. I'm almost certainly going to need my turn soon.

     

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  51.  
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    BentFranklin (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    It's no coincidence Ron Kirk is from Texas.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:47pm

    Re:

    Whoever keeps "flagging" posts simply because they contradict the Techdirt groupthink should stop it. It's petty.

     

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  53.  
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    Onnala (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re: Proud, but skeptical

    Technically you need to order up a Portland Oregon. Sense what your getting is the left leaning guys that the city is sending you.

    Watch a show called Portlandia... while it kind of goes to some extent to be overly funny, it's still hitting the barn wall.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:49pm

    Regardless of whether the White House can, should, or will sign the agreement, they'll have a hell of a time implementing or enforcing it without Congressional cooperation.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Read the foreign affairs manual

    This problem is bigger than ACTA. This is standard operating procedure.

    Google for "11 FAM 721" and read the entire section 721 (it's not that big). It grants great leeway in deciding what international agreements can be made without a treaty, and it doesn't make much distinction regarding article I, or II issues (especially when there are no legislative hurdles to enactment) . The manual in a wishy-washy way says that it's nice to consult congress sometimes in deciding what type of agreement to use. But it doesn't require it, nor does it say that they have to listen or obey the opinions of congress during their consultation.

    They're playing by the book (unfortunately, it's a book that they wrote).


    Oh goodness!!!! Why this would mean that Mike's suggestion that there is a Constitutional issue is, is, ....... FUD??? Oh that couldn't be..... could it?

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    Re:

    Regardless of whether the White House can, should, or will sign the agreement, they'll have a hell of a time implementing or enforcing it without Congressional cooperation.

    What makes you think anyone in the Senate other than Wyden has an issue. You may note from the vote on the jobs bill that they're not exactly reticent when it comes to bitch-slapping the President.

    Wyden is Google's pet senator and they wind him up and send him out as their messenger boy on issues that may affect there business.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Read the foreign affairs manual

    There's still constitutional issues. Even if we were to assume that the manual is not giving out unconstitutional instructions (very arguable), you can still question the interpretation of the manual.

    For instance, here's the wording specifying which non-treaty agreements are allowable:

    ...
    (2) Agreements Pursuant to Legislation

    The President may conclude an international agreement on the basis of existing legislation or subject to legislation to be enacted by the Congress;
    and
    (3) Agreements Pursuant to the Constitutional Authority of the President

    The President may conclude an international agreement on any subject within his constitutional authority so long as the agreement is not inconsistent with legislation enacted by the Congress in the exercise of its constitutional authority. The constitutional sources of authority for the
    President to conclude international agreements include:
    (a) The President's authority as Chief Executive to represent the nation in foreign affairs;
    (b) The President's authority to receive ambassadors and other public ministers;
    (c) The President's authority as "Commander-in-Chief”; and
    (d) The President's authority to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."


    I imagine that the administration could argue that ACTA could fit under either of these categories. However I would argue that #2 refers to actual instructions from congress to make an agreement, not just an agreement that doesn't require additional laws. And # 3 requires that the subject be limited to matters within presidential responsibility. I suppose they could argue that this is just part of the president's authority to see that the laws are faithfully executed.. But I would argue that that authority does not grant the president authority to hobble congress's ability to change the law.

     

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  58.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Read the foreign affairs manual

    Oh goodness!!!! Why this would mean that Mike's suggestion that there is a Constitutional issue is, is, ....... FUD??? Oh that couldn't be..... could it?

    You do mean Senator Wyden, of course. You still fail at trolling.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Lao Zee Phuk, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: WhiteHouse petition!

    Same thing here, never got any confirmation e-mail.

    Are they filtering out people who have at some point criticized the Obama administration?

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Lao Zee Phuk, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Obama's ignorance of the Constitution...

    I so agree with you! We've been had BIG TIME, by the greatest con-artist ever!

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 3:38pm

    Re: WhiteHouse petition!

    international treaties cannot be enacted by executive order.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Law & Ignore

    or mind his own business. just because someone asks for assistance doesn't mean you have to give it. Usually, people consider their own situation before committing to spending millions of dollars on something.

    Oh, you mean we are and have been operating in the red? For how long? Unemployment is at what percent? The banks are doing what?

    I'm sorry mr leader of yemen, but we cannot help you at this time. THe most we can do is send you some advisors to teach you how to treat your populace so they don't rise against you. Don't expect it to work for too long, tho, [its not going so well for us back home]

     

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  63.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 4:18pm

    Re:

    We need a new law. Godwin's Law only covers Nazis and Hitler. We need one for Muslims and terrorists.

     

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  64.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: POWNED

    Don't use up the hot water!

     

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  65.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Re: Proud, but skeptical

    Unfortunately I live in the capital of liberalism, California.

    Oregon is starting to sound better all the time. I hear they might even have weather there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Michael, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Re:

    Anyone can get these documents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    athe, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, the content industry just have more wind up toys than everyone else...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re:

    Presidents have faced impeachment for less.

    What would it say about the goals of the Democratic party if every President they manage to elect does something that warrants being impeached?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: WhiteHouse petition!

    That would be illegal, given it's a government site.

    Of course, if nobody ever broke the law, nobody would have ever invented police.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Law & Ignore

    Obama set a bit of a dangerous precedent for U.S. law in his assertion, if it is allowed to stand.

    By Obama's reasoning, if Al Qaeda had used drones or missiles instead of airliners on 9/11, they would not have committed an act of war nor a hostile act. Because bombing someone by remote control isn't an act of war (since if it were, he'd need Congress to approve his doing it within a certain span of time).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 5:38pm

    Re: Re: Obama's ignorance of the Constitution...

    Which would make him both a domestic enemy of the Constitution and an oathbreaker.

    Breaking an oath is what they impeached Clinton for, after all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Read the foreign affairs manual

    And what if Congress were to pass a binding resolution with a veto-proof majority overturning or forbidding ACTA?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re: How long before Wyden is called a racist?

    But the question is, if the President lacks the lawful authority to sign ACTA into effect, how would his signing it be any different, in a binding and/or legal sense than, say, you or I signing it?

    To implement it, Congress must be involved. Unless Obama's next "refinement" to extraordinary rendition will be to allow foreign police forces to enter the U.S. to make arrests for ACTA violations?

    In case you didn't notice, that would meet all of the legal criteria for a Treason charge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Read the foreign affairs manual

    What's the likelihood of that happening?

    The better question here is why would Obama do this than get the rubber stamp from Congress?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 5:55pm

    Re:

    Bite Me!
    Senator Ron Wyden makes me proud to be an Oregonian. How many other states can say that about one of their senators?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Read the foreign affairs manual

    And what if Congress were to pass a binding resolution with a veto-proof majority overturning or forbidding ACTA?

    Keep dreaming.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 7:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Proud, but skeptical

    Define: weather...

    If "Today's forecast, showers, followed by rain. Tomorrow: rain, followed by showers" doesn't faze you, and/or you love the smell of rain, & you think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or people from California. Then you know you're from Oregon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 7:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Presidents have faced impeachment for less.

    Didn't anyone tell you? Trying to impeach the president is now considered an act of terrorism.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 7:31pm

    Re: Sign the petition

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 7:31pm

    "Dear Senator Wyden,

    If I sign it, that makes it legal.

    Now kindly fuck off and stop bothering me.

    Sincerely

    King Obama"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 3:29am

    Re: Re:

    Wyden is Google's pet senator

    Not surprisingly, this is a total lie. Let's look at Wyden's contributors:
    1. Nike Inc - $42,200
    2. FoxKiser - $33,600
    3. Berkshire Hathaway - $30,625
    4. Intel Corp - $24,850
    5. Ospraie Management - $24,000
    6. Blue Cross/Blue Shield - $23,650
    7. McKool Smith PC - $23,500
    8. Mary Kay Holding Corp - $21,600
    9. Oregon Health & Science University - $20,700
    10. Providence Health & Services - $20,450
    11. Akin, Gump et al - $19,868
    12. M Financial Group - $19,650
    13. Amir Development - $19,200
    13. Apollo Advisors - $19,200
    15. Steptoe & Johnson - $18,645
    16. Platt Electric - $18,600
    17. Patton Boggs LLP - $18,450
    18. Tonkon Torp - $17,750
    19. Banfield Pet Hospital - $17,700
    20. Oaktree Capital Management - $16,900

    Google isn't even in the Top 20; in fact, no internet idustry is.

    On the other hand, his #1 contributor is Nike - one of the companies who instructed ICE to seize websites, and a notoriously overreaching IP protectionist. If Wyden really was the "pet senator" of his contributors, he wouldn't be standing up against ACTA, the seizures, or PROTECT IP.

    "Pet senator" more accurately describes Patrick Leahy, the Democratic senator from Vermont who sponsored the PROTECT IP act. Let's take a look at his top 20 contributors:

    1. Technet - $81,961
    2. Girardi & Keese - $72,000
    3. Time Warner - $62,150
    4. Walt Disney Co - $45,150
    5. Vivendi - $35,706
    6. Microsoft Corp - $31,750
    7. Law Offices of Peter G Angelos - $29,050
    8. Intellectual Ventures LLC - $28,400
    9. Comcast Corp - $25,250
    10. National Amusements Inc - $23,500
    11. Google Inc - $21,100
    12. Oracle Corp - $21,000
    13. Nix, Patterson & Roach - $20,181
    14. Sony Corp - $19,000
    15. NorPAC - $18,962
    16. Warner Music Group - $17,150
    17. General Electric - $16,750
    18. Bergman, Draper & Frockt - $16,400
    19. National Fraternal Order of Police - $16,250
    20. DLA Piper - $15,550

    In other words, out of his top 20 contributors, fully half of them are companies that are directly pushing for stronger IP laws.

    Of course, Google also makes Leahy's list... unlike Wyden's. Ironic that you don't call Leahy "Google's pet senator." I guess you only make that accusation when that Senator doesn't agree with you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    yeah, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 4:09am

    Re: Re:

    Whoever squats on techdirt blog to get the first comment for trolling should stop it. It's not just petty.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    yeah, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 4:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: POWNED

    You see, trolls? This is how we spot you - you NEVER admit you are wrong. My guess is that The Mighty Buzzard and blaktron aren't trolls...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Perhaps you need to also consider that Facebook is opening a huge data center in Prineville and Google's server farm is located in The Dalles.

    http://oregonbusinessreport.com/2010/12/transcript-sen-wyden-business-summit-remarks/

    There are more effective ways t grease the skids than maxing out on campaign contributions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: WhiteHouse petition!

    I like how after creating an account and logging in, the 'sigh petition' button is still greyed out....

    Obviously they don't want people to be able to sign up or sign the petitions, as that would indicate that people aren't happy with what they are doing....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    This guy Wyden doesn't stop to impress me. I can see some mainstream media attempts to discredit and destroy him.

    Still, good work. I'm not American but I'm seriously thinking of giving him the monies to spend with his polls. Does he have a flattr button? *troll face* No rly, I'm serious ahahaha

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Perhaps you need to also consider that Facebook is opening a huge data center in Prineville and Google's server farm is located in The Dalles.

    Interesting, especially as the link you posted only mentioned this in passing, as evidence of job creation there. It did not mention anything about any bills that helped this along - unlike the logging or biomass industries, which Wyden explicitly connected to Washington policies.

    It's also interesting how this would make Wyden a "pet senator" of Google, and not Jeff Merkley, the other Senator from Oregon. Nor, for that matter, do you mention Greg Walden, Earl Blumenauer, Peter A. DeFazio, or Kurt Schrader - the House members from Oregon.

    You also fail to mention that Google has data centers in Seattle, Chicago, Houston, Miami, two in Atlanta, four in California, and three in Virginia. I guess all the Senators in those states are also "pet senators," right?

    And besides - who cares what Google thinks? The outrage over ACTA is not driven primarily by Google, or any other tech company. The ones who have the biggest concerns are civil liberties and consumer rights groups: the EFF, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Future of Music Coalition, the Liberty Coalition, the CDT, the Open Content Alliance, the Sunlight Foundation, OpenTheGovernment.org, Public Knowledge, and Change Congress. Op-ed's against it have appeared even in conservative magazines like Forbes. Not to mention the huge opposition to the treaty from the European Union, Mexico, China, and pretty much the entire Third World.

    Presenting everyone who is opposed to ACTA as "a tool of Google" is spreading FUD, pure and simple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Proud, but skeptical

    That's not fair, it's only like that for 10 months out of the year, at most. July and August are quite nice!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    freedom, Jan 29th, 2012 @ 10:44am

    great article on ACTA's legality

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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