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FOIA Request For Pending Copyright Treaty Denied

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the let-the-sunshine-in dept.

Censorship 364

Penguinisto writes "According to CNET, Knowledge Ecology International's FOIA request for information about ACTA was denied. ACTA is the pending copyright treaty believed to have been authored by lobbyists for the content cartels. Even stranger, the denial cited 'national security reasons (PDF). While it is not unusual for the White House of any administration to block FOIA requests for national security reasons, one would think that a treaty affecting civil interests alone wouldn't qualify for such secrecy. Not exactly sure what involvement the former RIAA mouthpiece Donald Verelli (a recent Obama pick for the DOJ) may have in this." KEI is not alone; the European Parliament wants to see the ACTA documents too.

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364 comments

FIRST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183001)

FIRST

national security (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183027)

If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability. -- Henry Ford

National security has become a thing used to protect illusionary profits, rather than real people. The solution is obvious: If our government is making treaties without the consent of the governed, then we should convene congress in our respective states and vote to remove from the constitution the power of the Federal Congress to make treaties without the consent and approval of the state legislatures. Of course, with as soft as the population has gotten lately and so indifferent to the affairs of its government, such a call to action is all but futile...

Re:national security (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183161)

Of course, with as soft as the population has gotten lately and so indifferent to the affairs of its government, such a call to action is all but futile...

It sounds like you're appealing to a time in (recent?) U.S. history when the people had more balls regarding government.

But the most recent time I can think of was the Civil War, which certainly wasn't recent.

Re:national security (5, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183185)

1960s?

Re:national security (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183333)

1960s?

Great point. I feel stupid for missing that.

How about a new question then: When's the last time that the citizenry successfully resisted an attempt by the federal government to expand its powers or otherwise work against the will of the People?

Re:national security (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183557)

Can you give an examples where the government worked against the will of the people?

Re:national security (3, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183819)

Can you give an examples where the government worked against the will of the people?

I think so, although some of these could probably be debated:

  • Southern Confederacy's desire to secede.
  • War in Vietnam.
  • Forcing the legality of gay marriage in Massachusetts (Mass. supreme court vs. majority of the state's voters, I believe.)
  • Possibly Prop 8 in California, depending on how that state's supreme court rules.
  • From some individual states' perspective, Roe vs. Wade

Re:national security (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183581)

You could make an argument for prohibition (the resistance was more in just ignoring/flouting the law than it was in organizing politically though).

Re:national security (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183389)

There was widespread disagreement over the war, but for the most part people couldn't muster up any dander against their government. I'm sure that without the war and the draft the boomers would never have gotten a rep as anti-establishmentarians.

Re:national security (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183605)

Other things happened in the 1960s, you know.

Re:national security (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183191)

But the most recent time I can think of was the Civil War, which certainly wasn't recent.

There was a grassroots effort in the 80s to pass what was called the Equal Opportunity Amendment. It was approved by somewhat more than 20 states before being killed by the National Organization of Women, who were outraged that the special rights of women would be stripped away in favor of the equal rights of all. The amendment, essentially, made legal distinctions between men and women illegal. A side-effect not noted at the time but since undoubtedly got noticed: If men and women cannot be legally distinguished from one another, all marriages are "civil unions". It's funny how in this country, special rights have become more important than equal rights. Every minority must now have their own special power, rather than everyone having equal power. -_- Our founding fathers would cry if they were alive today to see how far we've fallen from the path of justice and equality.

Re:national security (3, Interesting)

Roxton (73137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183401)

It would take a rank ideologue to assume that making legislation neutral to sex and race would be a pragmatic approach to addressing institutionalized imbalances in equity and social justice.

Re:national security (2, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183593)

It would take a rank ideologue to assume that making legislation neutral to sex and race would be a pragmatic approach to addressing institutionalized imbalances in equity and social justice.

Or perhaps the people pushing it didn't assume that at all, but thought that the federal government should not be in the business of 'addressing institutionalized imbalances' in the first place.

Re:national security (5, Funny)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183805)

Yeah, we need to let the market sort that out.

Re:national security (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183659)

Yes, we are all "tragically" unequal, but social engineering isn't the answer. We *should* all be equal under the law.

Re:national security (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183663)

It would take a rank ideologue to assume that making legislation neutral to sex and race would be a pragmatic approach to addressing institutionalized imbalances in equity and social justice.

Institutionalized; That word, I do not think it means what you think it means. The government is an institution and by definition passing an amendment banning discrimination would be a pragmatic approach to eliminating institutionalized imbalances. Perhaps you meant to say it wouldn't eliminate it entirely? If so, you're quite right, but it's a step in the right direction.

Broken sig? (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183751)

Is the link to the current strip intentional? Usually people link straight to the strip they're referencing.

http://xkcd.com/180/ [xkcd.com]

HTH

Re:national security (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183825)

A certain man sitting in the white house may have a different view, especially in conjunction with the Civil Rights acts passed in the 60s.

Re:national security (1)

TheAxeMaster (762000) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183429)

You're going to need to cite proof of this because I can't find anything on the tubes about an "Equal Opportunity Amendment."

Re:"Equal Opportunity Amendment" (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183509)

It was called the ERA, the Equal Rights Amendment

Re:national security (1, Informative)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183539)

You're going to need to cite proof of this because I can't find anything on the tubes about an "Equal Opportunity Amendment."

He's referring to the Equal Rights Amendment (the ERA).

Re:national security (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183585)

I suspect that grandparent is giving a (slightly mangled) synopsis of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Re:national security (2, Funny)

everett (154868) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183745)

Has anyone mentioned yet that it was actually called the Equal Rights Amendment?

Re:national security (3, Insightful)

El Torico (732160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183503)

...all marriages are "civil unions"
Government really should not be involved with religious sacraments and marriage is a religious sacrament. Legal benefits of "civil unions" can be more simply handled by designation.

Re:national security (2, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183809)

Marriage has some level of religious significance but that doesn't mean it's a solely religious union. Afterall, many atheists still get married despite having no religious beliefs whatsoever. Arguing for "civil unions" is kinda pointless IMHO. Marriage can be defined to be acceptable between homosexual couples if they wish. On the flip side, if the government so chose a civil union could be legislated to be only legal between a man and a woman.

Essentially, you're wanting to legislate a change in terminology, which is simply a waste of tax dollars and something that the general public will fight kicking and screaming.

Re:national security (5, Insightful)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183711)

Whilst I disagree with certain aspects of affirmative action I think you'd have to be barmy to think men and women should legally be treated exactly the same. Men and women are different and the law should respect those differences.

Admittedly those differences are tied to (what should be) relatively minor things like women being generally smaller and needing more maternity leave than fathers need paternity leave due to having to actually carry to term and give birth but those differences do exist.

The law should respect those differences because sometimes you need to treat people differently in order to treat them equally.

And just in case anyone thinks that's some Orwellian double-think consider this: A man where I work is allowed to leave five minutes early each day because he's in a wheelchair. If he didn't the three p.m. rush (early starts suck, early finishes ftw though!) would mean he'd be five minutes later leaving than everybody else which is thirty minutes a week. He didn't even ask for it, one of the bosses just noticed he was always last out and realised it was because it's impossible for him to navigate the corridors when they're full of people.

Why should he lose half an hour each week due to something he can't control? It's the little things like that which really make a difference.

Looking at the preview I realise this is wildly OT. Oh well!

Re:national security (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183719)

There was a grassroots effort in the 80s to pass what was called the Equal Opportunity Amendment. It was approved by somewhat more than 20 states before being killed by the National Organization of Women, who were outraged that the special rights of women would be stripped away in favor of the equal rights of all.

Some support is needed for each of the claims made here.

Re:national security (3, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183793)

Your description of the "Equal Opportunity Amendment" sounds like the Equal Rights Amendment. Except that the ERA was strongly supported by NOW. Additionally 35 states ratified the ERA (although 5 have rescinded their ratification before the deadline for ratification passed). Finally, the ERA window of opportunity was the 70s, not the 80s. Otherwise your post describes the Equal Rights Amendment.

Wha?? Are you getting this from Conservapedia? (5, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183823)

First of all, as others pointed out, you must have meant the Equal Rights Amendment.

Second, I'm fairly certain that NOW was one of the main forces behind the ERA, and that it was conservative forces raising fears that the ERA would lead to mixed-sex public restrooms and public funding for abortions which managed to shoot it down.

In fact, now that I look, NOW's website appears to support the ERA, [now.org] so I have no idea where you're coming up with this stuff.

Re:national security (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183511)

Yeah, and look what happened to those who had the balls in the 1860's. The south was invaded and occupied. Tens of thousands of protestors in the north were imprisoned or deported. And the bloodiest war in all of human history. Just because some states had a "call to action" in protest of Federal government policies.

Re:national security (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183735)

And the bloodiest war in all of human history

Suggest you read up on human history some more if you really believe that. I know Wikipedia isn't a great reference but its better than nothing:

  • American Civil War: 620,000 (soldier) deaths
  • Korean War: 4 million deaths
  • Vietnam War: 6 million deaths
  • World War I: 15 million deaths
  • World War II: 70 million deaths

'the bloodiest war'? Not even close.

Re:national security (3, Funny)

jtn (6204) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183807)

Grandparent is probably confusing America with the rest of humanity; it's a common mistake here. Nothing outside our boarders means a damn unless they threaten some drunk's dad ;)

Re:national security (3, Insightful)

TheInsaneSicilian (134631) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183329)

I understand that your solution makes sense to you and perhaps to some others, but in reality it really is not that great of a solution, and it is certainly not obvious as you noted. Not only would that never happen, but the issues would quickly pile up and the situation spin out of control where uninformed people were voting and making decisions that they really have no business making.

I'm not a fan of big government or of having a small percentage of people making decisions that effect everyone else, but that is exactly how our system is setup and exactly how democracy works in practice.

The government can, will, and should make decisions without the consent of the governed. You think it takes long now to get things done? If all the state legislatures had to put their $0.02 in even less would get done. Then city officials would start saying their view is important, too. Soon everyone would be saying their voice should make a difference! If only there was a system in place to have each person's voice heard...

The single most powerful tool that Americans have is the power to VOTE. Unfortunately most Americans do not invoke this power because they feel it is useless. Maybe so, but at least those that made bad decisions will be gone in at most a few years anyway, then. If it is really a big issue then there is always impeachment, but to start tying hands up at that level and incorporate more chefs in the already crowded, trip-hazard-filled, hot, sweaty, mess of a kitchen we call our government, well, that would just be making a bad problem even worse.

Most human beings (and all politicians) fundamentally will try to get away with anything they can. Whether it is a spouse cheating or a student copying answers during a test, until someone is caught doing something they know is wrong (however it is you define "wrong" is up to you) they will not stop the behavior.

No one does anything they think is wrong. Even if society deems it to be wrong, they somehow have convinced themselves it is right, because it is necessary, or it is okay "this one time"... The government, as a whole, or as a local office, is not exempt from this. They become their own "person" in this regard, acting in such a way that for whatever reason they think is right.

When it boils down to it, we are better off having that few % making decisions for us than to give each and every person from coast to coast a voice by way of vote for big decisions.

Re:national security (1)

deraj123 (1225722) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183407)

Where did the GP advocate giving each and every person from coast to coast a vote for big decisions? It seems to me that he advocated requiring state ratification for treaties.

Re:national security (1)

TheInsaneSicilian (134631) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183579)

Admittedly I was exaggerating, but I didn't imply that he said was lobbying for a coast to coast vote.

As far as advocating requiring state ratification for treaties, where is the line drawn? That line is determined by the people that don't want to move the line, unfortunately.

But, then you vote people in that hopefully change that.

In the article:

In one of his first acts as president, Obama signed a memo saying FOIA "should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails. The government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure."

That would be a step in the right direction, if it had any teeth to it, and wasn't just to make Obama look good to the general public.

Maybe true reform will come some day.

Re:national security (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183357)

Of course, with as soft as the population has gotten lately and so indifferent to the affairs of its government, such a call to action is all but futile...

As always, we must look to Chuck Norris [foxnews.com] to set us straight.

So Write Your Senator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183417)

Treaties do get a "once over". If you want to push a button or two - write your senators.

Re:national security (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183469)

If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability. -- Henry Ford

National security has become a thing used to protect illusionary profits, rather than real people. The solution is obvious: If our government is making treaties without the consent of the governed, then we should convene congress in our respective states and vote to remove from the constitution the power of the Federal Congress to make treaties without the consent and approval of the state legislatures. Of course, with as soft as the population has gotten lately and so indifferent to the affairs of its government, such a call to action is all but futile...

Perhaps you've been hearing the rumblings of secession of states again as of late? Because I have.

Re:national security (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183635)

If our government is making treaties without the consent of the governed, then we should convene congress in our respective states and vote to remove from the constitution the power of the Federal Congress to make treaties without the consent and approval of the state legislatures.

the "Federal Congress" doesn't have the power to make treaties in any case, with or without the consent or approval of state legislatures.

Ammend the constitution? (3, Informative)

wfstanle (1188751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183829)

While I agree with your sentiment about the need to rework the treaty ratification process, you are wrong about the process of amending the constitution. I suggest that you read up on the amending process.

There are two ways to change the constitution. First (and the only method that has been used) is by adopting an amendment to the constitution. It's an involved process where BOTH parts of the US senate must vote (possibly by a 2/3 vote, but I am not sure) to PROPOSE an amendment. Then the legislatures of 3/4 the states must approve the proposed amendment. Only when both steps are fulfilled can the amendment be added to the US constitution.

The second method is to form a second constitutional convention. The new constitution would have to be approved by 3/4 of the state legislatures. The second option probably will never be used because it allows wholesale changes.

Also note that the president of the US or the supreme court have no role to play. For practical purposes, changing the constitution is unlikely to happen. Also note that it is very hard to change the constitution because that is what the founding fathers intended. I think your real gripe is about the secrecy. This can easily be changed by a simple law that tightens what can be classified as a national security issue.

All the more.... (5, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183045)

Wait... Didn't Obama say he was all for transparency? How less transparent can you get that you can't even disclose a treaty about copyright without it being a matter of "national security". Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Re:All the more.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183169)

Or a good way the media will spin this is that He never said the people he hired would be...

Re:All the more.... (4, Funny)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183205)

It's Bush's fault!

Oh, wait.....

Re:All the more.... (2, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183303)

Didn't Obama say he was all for transparency?

Which part of "He's lying!" did you not understand when the Right was shouting it all the way through his campaign?

Re:All the more.... (2, Insightful)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183345)

Yes because we all know how much integrity the Right has had over the last eight years. What fools we would be to not take them at their word.

Re:All the more.... (2, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183403)

Didn't Obama say he was all for transparency?

Which part of "He's lying!" did you not understand when the Right was shouting it all the way through his campaign?

I don't remember the right saying that at all. Are you sure that John Stuart covered that?

Re:All the more.... (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183453)

Wait... Didn't Obama say he was all for transparency? How less transparent can you get that you can't even disclose a treaty about copyright without it being a matter of "national security". Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Challenge the denial; have the media bump this question up to the whitehouse press secretary; demand an actual response from Obama.

Seriously did this particular FOIA request even crossed his radar?

Re:All the more.... (4, Funny)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183725)

Q: How do you know when a politician is lying?

A: His lips are moving.

Obama is a politician, thus he is lying. You do not get to be president by being a nice honest guy. You get there by backroom dealing, manipulations of the facts, and old fashioned snake-oil salesmanship.

Secrecy harms national security. (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183047)

National security exemptions should be abolished. Allowing the government to hide whatever it wants just by saying "national security" is extremely dangerous. You don't have to look farther than the Bush administration to see this. They used national security to cover up illegal actions, and sway the people into an unnecessary war. This war has cost us more lives and more money than any terrorist attack.

Abolish national security exemptions entirely. Open everything wide up. Yes, that might increase the threat slightly from external enemies. But it will dramatically decrease the threat from internal enemies, who are far more dangerous.

Re:Secrecy harms national security. (4, Insightful)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183101)

You don't have to look farther than the Bush administration to see this.

Or the Obama Administration also, apparently.

Re:Secrecy harms national security. (5, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183177)

Dear Hatta

Per your request under the Freedom of Information Act received on Friday March 13th 2009, please find enclosed the following documents:

Blueprints, crew list with rotations, building alarm codes, and launch codes for nuclear launch silo A14-LOL-WUT.

A copy of "Nukes and You - A Complete Guide for Fission-Impaired Presidents".

Re:Secrecy harms national security. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183629)

Ironically, they still couldn't launch, and anyone entry is still known. It's not like you turn off the alarms and they stop monitoring the missile.

Anyone goes out there gets a visit.

In fact, you could ahve all the information about the set up, codes, lines, etc and you still couldn't do anything with the missile.

Re:Secrecy harms national security. (2, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183227)

mptions entirely. Open everything wide up. Yes, that might increase the threat slightly from external enemies. But it will dramatically decrease the threat from internal enemies, who are far more dangerous.

So you think the DoD should grant FOIA requests regarding where our ballistic missile submarines will be operating on a given date? Or regarding the launch codes to our nukes? Or our specific plans for where and when to raid Al Quaeda hideouts in Afghanistan?

I propose something more limited, such as having the SCOTUS review any and all claims of national security.

Re:Secrecy harms national security. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183309)

But it is a matter of national security!!!1!

If people keep pirating media and software with illegal bit torrents and whatnot then the economy will go to shambles and then we'll be defenseless against gays, commies, fifth-columnists, terrorists, pedophiles, gays, Jews, and hurricane Katrina!

Re:Secrecy harms national security. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183431)

That obsession with gays you have is quite indicative...

Re:Secrecy harms national security. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183621)

That's why I was elected to office. I am a champion of truth, justice, and family values.

signed,
Rep. Mark Foley, R-FL

Re:Secrecy harms national security. (2, Informative)

Dusty00 (1106595) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183353)

What's more appalling about this is the official reason for said exception has no need to exist. Something that we've heard very little of in the past eight years when being denied information is that it's classified. Lest it's changed since I was in the service, the government has eight different types of classified that covers every possible legitimate reason to withhold information from the public. Any reason the government gives for withhold information that doesn't have classified in the sentences is an outright lie.

Re:Secrecy harms national security. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183501)

I suggest you read the THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT .

Your ignorance is making you look foolish.

Re:Secrecy harms national security. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183643)

Oh man, you sound like you are going to love "Controlled Unclassified Information."(srsly, newspeak WTF?)

Re:Secrecy harms national security. (1)

infalliable (1239578) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183845)

National security exemptions are vital.

However, they seem to get thrown around with impunity lately to things that do not appear to have anything to do with national security.

A similar excuse is also used to prevent cleared civilian personnel with a need to know from seeing classified documents, which is wrong.

Change (3, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183049)

Meet the new king.
Same as the last.

Attack on world Citizens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183067)

It appears to be an attack on all world Citizens. Though, I can imagine, it may contain some National Security issues.

I think people should be more proactive in their governments or "stuff" such as this will continue to happen.

Good luck

You still trust Obama? (4, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183075)

You still think that the new administration, and new congress, have the country's best interests in mind? Wake up and smell the 21st century.

Re:You still trust Obama? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183387)

Why do you think preventing counterfeiting is in the best interests of the country?

lets try again: (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183691)

Why do you think preventing counterfeiting is not in the best interests of the country?

Power (3, Informative)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183085)

I think Obama has found a lot about how much power other people have in Washington in the past couple of months. He seems sincere about his desire to change things but change isn't going to come from one person.

Re:Power (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183167)

I think you're kidding yourself if you think that Obama really isn't the same as any other politician, even after he's shown us several times that all his talk of change was bullshit. As several others have said already: meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Re:Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183267)

Yeah, but the funny part is people getting all pissy about it. And I'm not just talking about Democrats. Silly Americans, always forgetting history.

Re:Power (0, Troll)

realmolo (574068) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183269)

Well, he probably *is* just like other politicians.

However...

He's only been in office for a 2 month! How much could he do/not do in 8 weeks? Not very much.

The whole "Obama has broken his promises" thing is basically nothing but something Republicans babble about because they are sore losers. Not that the Democrats aren't sore losers, too, but you have to learn to wade through the bullshit.

Re:Power (5, Informative)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183393)

He's only been in office for a 2 month! How much could he do/not do in 8 weeks? Not very much.

He's responsible for every decision that has been made in the past 8 weeks. I'm a fair man, and I'm willing to say that processes that were in place as he took office aren't his fault... but that doesn't sound like it was the case here at all.

The whole "Obama has broken his promises" thing is basically nothing but something Republicans babble about because they are sore losers.

No, it's the truth. He broke his promises before he took office (see: promises about the FISA bill, which turned out to be bullshit when they weren't politically convenient for him any more), and he's breaking them now.

Furthermore, attempting to polarize this matter into "omg Republicans vs Democrats" is naive of you, at best. I've already seen people who were happy Obama won, who have renounced their support after seeing what he's done so far in office. Not everything is about some stupid bullshit party allegiance.

Re:Power (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183749)

Furthermore, attempting to polarize this matter into "omg Republicans vs Democrats" is naive of you, at best. I've already seen people who were happy Obama won, who have renounced their support after seeing what he's done so far in office. Not everything is about some stupid bullshit party allegiance.

Polarization is what Americans do. If X is bad, Y must be good. And vice versa.

The problem, as I see it, is that here in the US, people wear tinted glasses, and only sees a very narrow part of the spectrum. They truly think that indigo and sky blue are the extreme colours, or translated to politics, that the democrats are on the left and the republicans are on the right. It's a blindness that prevents them from seeing alternatives outside their narrowly defined spectrum.

In addition, Americans who are in-between being a left-wing democrat and right-wing republican will see the two as radically different, just because of their point of view. Because Obama is to their left, they think he is to the left.

In a global perspective, US democrats and republicans are two peas in a pod -- both parties extremely far to the right, and with very small differences. Both are committed to capitalism, and abhor other ideologies. Obama has never been a socialist, and never will be -- he won't work for the abolition of property and class. And he will, largely, follow the same ideologies as his predecessors, with minor differences. Cause that's what he's been bought and paid for to do.

Re:Power (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183637)

No, he wants to give me stuff, and he seems less inclined to voice support for sending other people into dangerous situations.

Re:Power (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183787)

"..same as any other politician,.."

If you can't find a reason, just group everyone together and use that as a reason to hate them.

Based on what I ahve found out about him while he was in the Senate, I do believe he is committed to the change we was talking about.

This is about Foriegn policy, and as a impact on China. It involves current negotiations with China. I would wager that's the reason it was not granted.

Why don't you calm down? you, and people like you, are so bent on vilifying Obama you look crazy.

He hasn't done anything that counters his talk of change, and it's been, what 60 days?
Lets talk in a year and see. Maybe you are right, But all I see if people like you taking things out of context, as well as cherry picking.

Re:Power (1, Offtopic)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183197)

I think Obama has found a lot about how much power other people have in Washington in the past couple of months. He seems sincere about his desire to change things but change isn't going to come from one person.

I think Obama knew all along how much power others have in Washington. He knew it wouldn't happen overnight.

Re:Power (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183399)

I think Obama has found a lot about how much power other people have in Washington in the past couple of months. He seems sincere about his desire to change things but change isn't going to come from one person.

The keyword here being "seems". When will the average voter stop judging by appearances, and instead look at who is behind the pretty marionette, pulling the strings? That people are even surprised when a new president turns out to not live up to the perceived promises is what surprises me.

Obama, Bush, Clinton, Dr. No or most any other politician are bought and paid for, and not by the public, but by corporations and powerful lobby groups. Their personal views are irrelevant. Who pulls their strings is what matters, whether it's Halliburton, GE, the US army, NRA, AIPAC or others.

Want to change that? Make it illegal to run a campaign on anything but money allocated by the public. As long as politicians can claim that freedom to spend money on advertising is freedom of speech, the only successful politicians will be bought ones.

Re:Power (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183515)

He seems sincere about his desire to change things ...

Sincerity is the most important thing ... once you can fake that you've got it made.

The truth is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183143)

...that the FBI lost the documents.

Re:The truth is... (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183601)

...that the FBI lost the documents.

Which isn't entirely untrue. ACS (Automated Case System) which is their current case-management system, is woefully obsolete. The VCF (Virtual Case File) that was to be implemented as its replacement was a classic example of project management failure and was scrapped after spending $170 Million taxpayer dollars on it. Now they are developing the Sentinel system that was supposed to cost $450 Million and be completed by December 2009, but, best estimates now say that it won't be completed until 2012. The outgoing Bush administration shorted the funding for the current phase of the project by $56 Million so that puts a crimp in the schedule. Oh, well.

Not to defend them, when they say they can't find it, they really can't.

Re:The truth is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183705)

Actually the secret part is that it's an insidious plan to give the full protections of copyright to zombies. How do you define the lifetime of the holder of the so called "property" when the owner is undead?

Sure, you may not be able to kill that which is not living to begin with. But when it comes time to resist in the uprising, I'm positive they can be gibbed into harmlessness effectively enough.

ACTA is more than a "Copyright" Treaty (4, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183165)

FYI, ACTA is much more than a "Copyright" treaty. I wish that's all it were about, but the "C" in ACTA stands for "Counterfeiting". There's been a recent rash of seizures [ip-watch.org] of legitimately produced generic drugs in the Netherlands, all on concerns about "counterfeiting." The pushing through of ACTA is likely only to make this sort of nonsense worse, and the effect on people's lives is real.

Re:ACTA is more than a "Copyright" Treaty (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183271)

FYI - that's not a typo in the parent post:
Seizures, as in search & seizure.

It has nothing to do with drugs causing seizures and the government trying to use ACTA to hide it.

Re:ACTA is more than a "Copyright" Treaty (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183347)

Also not a typo in same post is "rash", meaning many instance in a short time, and nothing to do with skin irritation (and drugs to treat it) and the government trying to use ACTA to hide it.

Re:ACTA is more than a "Copyright" Treaty (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183475)

Also not a typo: of

I love that link, I mean talk about subtle paranoia.
The case involves a shipment being accidental stopped for counterfeit drugs, to WHO is hiding something.

It's not paranoia if they're really out to get you (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183665)

I love that link, I mean talk about subtle paranoia. The case involves a shipment being accidental stopped for counterfeit drugs, to WHO is hiding something.

What's paranoid about getting upset when this happens:

"Such a seizure occurred last month, when authorities in the port of Rotterdam blocked a consignment of Losartan, a treatment for high blood pressure, that was being shipped from India to Brazil. Although Losartan is a legal generic drug, the seizure took place after an unnamed company claimed to hold the patent for it in the Netherlands."

So, generic drug legally produced in India, on its way for legal distribution in Brazil, gets stopped in the Netherlands because someone asserts that they have a patent on it in a country through which it's merely passing.

That instance occurred in January [ip-watch.org] ; since then, HIV medicines have been seized as well. [ft.com]

As the saying goes, it's not paranoia if they're really out to get you.

I also find it pretty amusing that /. will get its panties in a twist over DRM conspiracies, but not medicines. I mean, really, how important could medicines be?

Re:ACTA is more than a "Copyright" Treaty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183577)

So you're saying that this treaty introduces a drug that causes rashes and seizures. It's worse that I thought!

Re:ACTA is more than a "Copyright" Treaty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183607)

It's sad how lawmakers/lobbyists mix the two. A person may be against counterfeiting and not know much about the copyright/DRM/trademark debates going on in society.

I would personally love an act stating that every bill, act or law must be presented, and voted on, on their own. Then we may get more of the following:

1. Members of Congress might actually read the legislation that comes across their desks.

2. I could vote against counterfeiting but still vote against the copyright/DRM mess

3. Possibly less time spent debating side issues in Congress

4. No more pork, earmarks, etc.

I know, it'll never happen but one can dream...

Re:ACTA is more than a "Copyright" Treaty (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183755)

so? you can redact anything truly of 'security' nature.

Lets be accurate: (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183211)

(b) This section does not apply to matters that are--

        (1)(A) specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and (B) are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order;

Bold added by me.
http://www.usdoj.gov/oip/foiastat.htm [usdoj.gov]

Re:Lets be accurate: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183397)

specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy

I'm guessing that (elements in) the US Administration are hoping to fuck over the rest of the world with this ACTA treaty and they don't want interested parties looking at it until the baby is too late to abort. Hence its National Security.

If any one asks I was never here. (1)

voseman (143698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183255)

If you would like to continue down the path of dissent of the u.s. government and the powers that rule it (special interests [record companies...?]) is it not possible to see your voice as a risk to national security?

Little less bias here? (2, Interesting)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183279)

Listen, this may be off-topic, but relevant to this post. This is also asking the choir to not be so mean about satan, so I am sure toget blasted.

Could we get a little less BIAS in our article stubs. From line 1 all i could think of was "EVIL GOV'T. EVIL CORP. EVIL EVIL". We always talk about the media controling us...well /. also does.

Re:Little less bias here? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183323)

Often it seems as though the person who wrote the stub didn't RTFA, let alone google the damn thing.

Obama... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183367)

may not have anything to do with this. His calling for transparency doesn't mean that every request for information comes across his desk. I'm sure that there is a lot of Bush-era cruft that is yet to be uncovered and rectified.

That said, take a look at this page on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement

Specifically the part about ISP Cooperation
"ISP cooperation

The leaked document includes a provision to force Internet service providers to provide information about suspected copyright infringers without a warrant, making it easier for the record industry to sue music file sharers and for officials to shut down non-commercial BitTorrent websites such as The Pirate Bay."

More people truly need to be informed about this. I personally think conducting this act in secrecy says all I need to know about it. It should be protested against and voted against.

Our own treaties and laws, hidden from us. (2, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183507)

So let's get this right: We are now classifying out own treaties and laws as 'national security risks' so that even if we -wanted- to follow the law, we can't.

Wow. You know, until now, I never -truly- believed everyone that was screaming that we were making laws to make sure people broke them. With this, how can I refute it?

Blame Clinton (2, Informative)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183681)

Bill, that is. And yes, its his fault. Check out EO 12958 from 4/17/95:

  Section 1.1. Definitions. For purposes of this order:

(a) "National security" means the national defense or foreign relations of the United States.
(l) "Damage to the national security" means harm to the national defense or foreign relations of the United States from the unauthorized disclosure of information, to include the sensitivity, value, and utility of that information.

Re:Blame Clinton (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183743)

oops.. left out:

So Clinton made it a 'national security issue' that we might somehow offend a foreign country ('harm foreign relations')

Great thing to let people hide all types of bad policy behind.
Way to go Obama! Open! Change! Guess amending the EO was too hard.

Then Why?... (3, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183707)

"Not exactly sure what involvement the former RIAA mouthpiece Donald Verelli (a recent Obama pick for the DOJ) may have in this.""

If you're not sure what involvement the person has in any of this, why mention him? To politically polarize the discussion to follow? To create a sensationalized summary?

It would be nice if the submission summaries could stick to the details that are known and allow people to post their personal thoughts and opinions in the discussion's comments.
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