MacUser: “Most Americans expect that their laws are only passed after some period of public debate between Republicans and Democrats or their news-channel proxies. However, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) may be an exception to this rule, and if it is signed, many United States laws concerning the Internet and ownership of data may become substantively different. Various nations (including Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the U.S.) are said to be negotiating ACTA now, with the goal of passing a joint treaty to protect intellectual property sometime in 2010. I would like to tell you much more about what’s being written into the ACTA bill, but I can’t: the contents of the treaty are secret.”
See also “Stopping the ACTA Juggernaut.”
How can such a radical proposal legally be kept so secret from the millions of Net users and companies whose rights and freedoms stand to be affected? Who decides what becomes the law of the land and by what influence? Where is the public oversight for an agreement that would set the legal rules for the knowledge economy? And what can be done to fix this runaway process?