[LINK] ACTA was - Big corporations and who owns our privacy now.

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Sat Oct 17 22:00:51 AEDT 2009

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman1.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman1.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Kim Holburn
> Sent: Saturday, 17 October 2009 7:18 PM
> To: Link list
> Subject: [LINK] Big corporations and who owns our privacy now.
> The other day I was talking to an acquaintance from another 
> country.   
> He told me that if he went back to his country with a laptop, 
> on entry  
> to his country, he might have his laptop searched and have to prove  
> ownership of each item of software on the laptop.
> I find this worrying, that corporate licensing of software is  
> overriding personal privacy.  I have heard that laptop searches were  
> getting nasty in the US but this seems as invasive.

Curious, but as you were writing that email, I was writing this blog

ACTA - Number of the Beast or 1984 - Part II
by Tom Koltai on October 17, 2009 08:47PM (EST)

There is a strong presumption in US law favoring openness of government
documents for a reason: People have a right to know what their
government is doing, not just some people, not even government-chosen
representatives of the people. It is self-evident that ad hoc processes
to choose a few public interest representatives to comment on material,
to counterbalance the broad sharing of the material with a wide swath of
self-interested corporations is a deeply flawed process. Public interest
groups have different interests, orientations, conflicts and areas of
expertise. Worst of all in this process is the conceit that USTR should
be selecting who sees policy proposals that will have far-reaching and
long-lasting effect on how information and knowledge is shared (or
enclosed and monopolized) around the world. This should be part of an
open and public debate, full stop.

Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen

As the American dollar slowly sets over the horizon, American Trade
Department officials are working behind the scenes rapidly to shore up
the Trade Agreements that will be required to support the USA once the
world is no longer tied uniquely to the US Dollar Standard.

These agreements are called ACTA.


The fact that our Government is keeping the contents of these agreements
secret and confidential from the people that voted them into power
unfortunately belies the very concept of transparent and honest

I understand that it was the previous Government, the Liberals that
accepted the mantle of responsibility for the initial ACTA negotiations.

However now, it is the Labour government that is continuing the secrecy
of the discussions in just a few weeks time in Korea.
I have some basic questions for our Government.

If ACTA is good for the people of Australia, then why are its contents
secret except to large corporations?

What benefits will the average Australian receive as a result of
successful ACTA negotiations?
What restrictions will be placed on Australian manufacturers as a result
of the ACTA negotiations?
What restrictions will be placed on Internet access in Australia as a
result of ACTA?
What countries will ACTA disadvantage in it's trade sanctions?
Are those countries now major trading partners of Australia?
If large corporations are the only ones privy to the inside secrets of
ACTA, is the ACTA trade talks designed to shore up the earnings of large
companies whilst diminishing the potential for competitive efforts from
smaller players?
How can the Australian Government claim open and transparent Government
when it has agreed to the confidential nature of the ACTA negotiations.

And of course the rest is here:

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