Friday, 28 October 2011

Time to ACTA on all this secrecy?

Courtesy of Calling England comes notice that the European Commission proposes that ACTA be signed and concluded both by the EU and by all the Member States. From Wikipedia we learn the background to ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) and whilst admittedly I have not followed this piece of intended legislation in any detail, what I have read tends to raise questions for me in respect of invasion of privacy. There would appear, unfortunately, to be other, possibly more important, matters that have come to light.

The EU's 'presentation' of the need for ACTA can be read here and it is somewhat amusing that the EU manages to link the words 'cooperation' and 'enforcement practises' - but I digress. What is most noticeable is that details of the negotiations involving the countries initially signed up were considered to be 'confidential' and no details were released, to the extent that details of an impending agreement were not even placed in the House of Commons library - even as late as September last year details were still unknown to the HoC, or even the British people. Finally, at the beginning of October last year, the final draft was released to the public (unlike previous drafts, which were leaked) but I am unable to recall much of this draft appearing in our media.

The article from tech dirt, to which Calling England links, makes a very important point at the end when it states that the EU believes ACTA should be signed as it does not make any changes to existing laws - when it so patently does - is another moment of 'beggar belief'.

What we see here in respect of the secrecy - the withholding of information from the public sphere - does not bode well for the future of our freedom of information whilst we remain a member of the European Union and is but another step along the road to our enforced servitude.

7 comments:

Goodnight Vienna said...

Thanks for filling in the gaps re HoC Library - I simply couldn't be @rsed. Pemf.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

GV: Anything to help a friend - and a lady......

No, seriously I guessed you may have reached a stage of being p'd off so I thought a little digging might be in order.......

Goodnight Vienna said...

Nothing government does surprises me any more, Mr W, and I no longer look aghast at their pronouncements. Cameron said today that he will be "looking into" the laws re protest in light of the #occupylsx at St Paul's. Well, government can create as many laws as they like but it takes people to obey them.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

GV: Good point and the sooner we show him that is the situation, the better. If I knew how to mobilise the people I'd have them out on the streets - as it is I make a nuisance of myself politically and administratively as much as I can. As you may have noticed, I have 'docked' my council amounts of £5 on two monthly payments, for failure to collect bins and they now threatening to take me to court.....

Now imagine if 500k others would adopt the same action where local authorities do not deliver that which they have contracted to do - what mayhem....... :)

Fausty said...

If you follow the links through, there's a lot of info in ACTA here.

The Canadians saw this coming a while back and have amassed an amazing amount of information about it.

Not surprising that the media are quiet about it - they're probably driving it.

IanPJ said...

IF 'it does not make any changes to existing laws', then why the hell do we need it..

WitteringsfromWitney said...

F: Don't think the media are driving it, but they are most certainly complicit in it.....

IPJ: Good point!