The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.H. L. Mencken
Posts tagged “fourth amendment”
Earlier this week, the Obama White House decided that you and I don’t have a right (or need) to know the details of the future of intellectual property in the United States (or the broader world) when they declared the contents of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement a “National Security” secret. Shockingly, it turns out that the national security threat is only posed by average citizens and consumers. That fact becomes clear when you take a look at the list of “cleared advisors“, the members of the 27 United States Trade Representative (USTR) advisory boards.
The list is a veritable who’s who of corporate lobbyists and anti-consumer groups, including the RIAA, MPAA, Monsanto, Citigroup, Wal-Mart and AIG. You know, some of the same people that brought you the financial meltdown. Clearly, the people we want deciding intellectual property policy for the future. As you read this list, remember that President Obama feels that these individuals are more trustworthy than you are, that their guidance is more critical to the republic than any input you might provide through your limited access via your representatives and the Freedom of Information Act. As the poet De la Rocha put it, “Land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy!”
Just last week, I wrote about Obama’s defense of Bush’s warrantless wiretap program. Well, allow me to sound the death knell for civil liberties reform coming out of the White House. Obama has declared the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA (PDF), to be a national security secret and therefore out of reach with the Freedom of Information Act. This piece of legislation seeks to criminalize peer-to-peer file sharing and subject mp3 players, flash drives, laptops and any other digital storage device to border searches and allow internet service providers to monitor their customers’ communications.
Since this is a treaty still being negotiated, there isn’t really anything “actionable” I can point you at to try to right this heinous policy. Still, I strongly encourage you to contact your representatives (using the handy links above) and let them know that you don’t want your iPod, laptop or digital camera seized and copied every time you try to leave the country. Bastille-time, anyone? So much for the new era of openness. Check out a RussiaToday video on ACTA after the jump.
If ratified, leaked documents posted on WikiLeaks and other comments suggest the proposed trade accord would criminalize peer-to-peer file sharing, subject iPods to border searches and allow internet service providers to monitor their customers’ communications.David Kravets
Wired.com – Threat Level