The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a broadly written, extensive and secretly negotiated agreement currently being worked on by the US, European Community, Japan, and others. The stated goal of ACTA is to create a new standard of intellectual property enforcement beyond the existing standards and to increase international cooperation, including the sharing of information between signatory countries’ law enforcement agencies. Negotiations are expected to continue for much of 2009.
Based upon documents that have been leaked into the public domain, ACTA is expected to cover for more than just counterfeit products. In fact, one of the focuses seems to be upon copyright and intellectual property to the point of targeting “Internet distribution and information technology”. This is definitely something that should be publicly negotiated to involve the full range of philosophies on these issues.
Instead, it seems we need to be concerned about our privacy rights and civil liberties. The original hope of negotiation supporters was to seal the deal in 2008. Fortunately that has not happened. Now your opinion about the benefits or drawbacks of such a treaty may differ than mine. In fact, I urge you to look into the details and make up your own mind.
Oh, wait. You can’t. AND THAT IS THE POINT!
Please urge your elected representative to push for transparency on this issue.