President “Change” Says NO Public Viewing of ACTA.
The negotiating text of ACTA and many other documents, including even the lists of participants in the negotiations, are secret. The White House claims the secrecy is required as a matter of national security. But that does not mean the documents are off limits to everyone outside of the government. Hundreds of advisors, many of them corporate lobbyists, are considered “cleared advisors.” They have access to the ACTA documents.
Who are these cleared advisors? They are the members of these 27 USTR advisory boards:
All members of the advisory boards can request access to classified ACTA documents. Below are the members of just four of the advisory boards, ITAC 15, 8, 10 and 3.
White House says ACTA text a State Secret. EU parliament says time for more transparency…
Knowledge Ecology Notes: On January 31, 2009, KEI submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to USTR for copies of seven documents containing much of the negotiating text of the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Today the White House office the United States Trade Representative denied the request, claiming the documents are “information that is properly classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.”
Here is a PDF copy of the letter denying the FOIA.
In a post that provide more context, I wrote about the denial today in the HuffingtonPost, here:
There is also a very good Declan McCullagh CNET Story on the FOIA denial here.
In a related development, the European Parliament is demanding transparency of the ACTA documents. See, for example, the Ars Technica report: European Parliament to EU: Turn over ACTA docs!.
NO public viewing unless you’re one of the “privileged” 116 Lobbyists, CEOs from virtually every large sector; including GM, chemical, petroleum, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, etc. or Corporate Lawyers who apparently have the “right stuff” to view this super sensitive document. Which by the way, carves up the new world into more manageable slices for these giant, corporate pigs to pillage!
The ACTA is arguably the most important trade agreement that is about to be implemented by the G20 countries in decades. Even the EU realizes the true scope of this treaty and is demanding more transparancy for the talks and the documents that nations feel are “too sensitive” to share with the public.
If recent actions by these same governments during the financial meltdown are any indication, they’re selling the future of free speech, open access and innovation to the highest bidder.
So much for CHANGE!