100 consumer groups demand insight into secret, global deal....
Remember the international trade proposal recently leaked to Wikileaks
that aims to "criminalize the non-profit facilitation of unauthorized information exchange on the internet?" That proposal (The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA) already took aim at BitTorrent websites like the Pirate Bay, but also potentially whistleblowers, and even legit distribution systems like Tor
. It's also believed that the global proposal, being hashed out in secret between governments and the entertainment industry, includes mandatory ISP piracy filters.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation
, the EFF and at least one-hundred different groups have written a letter
demanding that the details of the agreement be made transparent to the general public. "Because the text of the treaty and relevant discussion documents remain secret, the public has no way of assessing whether and to what extent these and related concerns are merited," say the public interest groups in their letter. The ACTA is on the fast-track to being approved by year's end, according to the groups. From the letter:
The lack of transparency in negotiations of an agreement that will affect the fundamental rights of citizens of the world is fundamentally undemocratic. It is made worse by the public perception that lobbyists from the music, film, software, video games, luxury goods and pharmaceutical industries have had ready access to the ACTA text and pre-text discussion documents through long-standing communication channels.
The entertainment industry has been working hard, encouraging governments to force ISPs to adopt "three strikes and your out" policies for network P2P users. Users who received three DMCA warnings from their ISP would face account termination.