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Names of Advisors Cleared To Access ACTA Documents

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the who-sees-what-you-can't dept.

Censorship 186

1 a bee writes "With the White House claiming national security grounds for failing to release ACTA related information, including negotiating documents and even the list of participants, the spotlight is now on just who does have access. Turns out, according to James Love, hundreds of advisers, many of them corporate lobbyists, are considered 'cleared advisers.' The list looks a who's who of captains of industry."

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so much for change... (4, Insightful)

ph4s3 (634087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208655)

weird how things seem to stay the same

Re:so much for change... (4, Funny)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208689)

Relax, our Fearless Leaders always do the right thing.

zob bless them (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208711)

...except they never refer to the FAQ [400monkeys.com] .

Re:so much for change... (4, Informative)

aurispector (530273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208727)

Corporate control that bypasses government via international treaty. Welcome to the new world order.

Bypassing government via international treaty (2, Informative)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208871)

The constitution still requires treaties to be approved by 2/3 of the Senate. Quoting from article 2, section 2:

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;

Without Senate approval, any treaty is just a worthless piece of paper.

Re:Bypassing government via international treaty (5, Insightful)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208979)

Yes, and the ratification will pass buried deep inside the Save the Children and Orphans act. Anyone who opposes it will be labeled a child and orphan hater. Probably a terrorist and pedophile, too.

Sorry, Monday mornings make me cynical.

Re:Bypassing government via international treaty (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209509)

Sorry, Monday mornings make me cynical.

I think you misspelled "realistic".

Re:Bypassing government via international treaty (3, Insightful)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209267)

Don't worry, the President will just issue an executive order stating that the treaty was ratified.

Really, I don't know why we keep congress around. They just slow down legislation and we've got the President to make laws for us.

</sarcasm>

Re:Bypassing government via international treaty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209415)

That would have been Bush's regime / posse....

There's a new gang in town now...

Just have to wait and see...

Re:Bypassing government via international treaty (3, Funny)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209739)

That would have been Bush's regime / posse....

There's a new gang in town now...

Just have to wait and see...

If you want to see what the new gang is up to, I suggest reading this story: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/03/16/0945237 [slashdot.org]

Re:Bypassing government via international treaty (4, Insightful)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209579)

Well, our current Senate will rubber stamp anything, including passing a bill to grant a representative to Washington D.C, in complete violation of the U.S. Constitution (on and on top of that, TARP, Stimulus, Omnibus spending, etc.)

Don't expect the current Senate to do anything that might possibly weaken their power and political contribution base.

For quite some time now, the Congress and Senate have not served the good of the U.S. citizens. And, they have constantly violated their sworn oath to "support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic...."

Next election cycle: Each and every Democrat and Republican currently in office should A) not be re-elected and B) neither of the major parties candidates should be voted into office to replace them, vote "some other party or candidate" into office. The Democrats and Republicans are hell bent on completely destroying this country. Wake up people.

Re:so much for change... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27208803)

The "right thing" being whatever it takes to expand the lucrative business of government.

Re:so much for change... (1)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208891)

Yes, they will fight the Evil Ones!

Wait, things like this make the common populace the Evil Ones... Potentially us...

Re:so much for change... (4, Funny)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208903)

Being going for ever, may I quote the almost obligatory Blackadder:

Melchett: Ah, yes, the special mission. At ease Blackadder. Now, what I'm about to tell you is absolutely tip-top-secret, is that clear?
Blackadder: It is sir.
Melchett: Now, I've compiled a list of those with security clearance, have you got it Darling?
Darling: Yes sir.
Melchett: Read it please.
Darling: It's top security sir, I think that's all the Captain needs to know.
Melchett: Nonsense! Let's hear the list in full!

Darling: Very well sir. "List of personnel cleared for mission Gainsborough, as dictated by General C. H. Melchett:
You and me, Darling, obviously. Field Marshal Haig, Field Marshal Haig's wife, all Field Marshal Haig's wife's friends, their families, their families' servants, their families' servants' tennis partners, and some chap I bumped into the mess the other day called Bernard."
Melchett: So, it's maximum security, is that clear?
Blackadder: Quite so sir, only myself and the rest of the English speaking world is to know.

Re:so much for change... (1)

BananaSlug (450565) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210797)

Not to mention the people in those 27 countries party to negotiations for ACTA.

Re:so much for change... (3, Interesting)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209519)

I am still crossing my fingers that some low level person who has access to the documents will have the bravery, forethought, and knowledge to carefully leak them to Wikileaks.

Re:so much for change... (4, Funny)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208705)

weird how things seem to stay the same

Nah, it's a zombie movie come to life: Hope and change... hope and change... hope and change... hope and change... hope and change... hope and change... hope and change...

I remain confused about all this though (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27208745)

Why is it that so many 'merkins seem to think that Obama was considered "the second coming"? As far as I could dell, the ones who thought that were about equal in number to those who said that Obama was the New Dark Lord Of Evil (tm).

I.e. nutters.

Most seemed glad of a change because it wouldn't be Bush.

And you know what? It isn't Bush. Even if he screws up as badly as Bush did, it still wouldn't be Bush.

But the same people who seem to forgive Shrub for being as thick as a yard of treacle or making mistakes are exactly the ones who seem to consider Obama to have been "the second coming".

Re:I remain confused about all this though (3, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210103)

Actually most of the people who painted him as the Dark Lord of Evil are now the ones complaining about the rest of us treating him as the Second Coming. See, they are so invested in the idea that having a black/Democrat/non-neocon president running things will be the end of the world, that they've assumed the only way the rest of us could vote for him was if we had the same level of opposite worship.

In reality, we picked him because having lived through eight years of the Dark Lord's reign while the neocons praised him as the Second Coming responsible for revitalizing the American Empire, we just wanted change.

Re:so much for change... (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208753)

weird how things seem to stay the same

I was actually willing to give the administration the benefit of the doubt for a while there. I thought to myself that it must be difficult to negotiate a proposed treaty when the press can print every little revision that occurs during negotiations. So I could kind of see the benefit in keeping a treaty's details secret until it was ready to be proposed to Congress.

But several things have eroded my trust: the apparent inclusion of a anti-rights industry people, the apparent omission of pro-rights people (EFF, etc.), and the "secrets" claim.

This is like the crap Cheney pulled with energy policy and oil industry groups, but it's arguably much worse because it could become an actual treaty.

I was hoping that the "Hope I Can Believe In" would make it to the two-month mark, but apparently not. This leaves me really despirited.

Re:so much for change... (4, Insightful)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208769)

I began to doubt the whole "change" thing back when Obama started to stack his administration with people from Clinton's and even Bush's administration. I guess change is a relative thing.

Re:so much for change... (2, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208783)

I began to doubt the whole "change" thing back when Obama started to stack his administration with people from Clinton's and even Bush's administration. I guess change is a relative thing.

I was hoping that he brought them in because they know how to get things done, but that he'd force them to get good things done.

In the case of patents, copyrights, and other issues of freedom, it seems I was tragically mistaken.

Re:so much for change... (5, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208797)

As a jaded cynic I have just this to say -

You voted for one of the Republicans or the Democrats and you expected a change?

Ha!!! Best scam ever!!! You were duped my friend.

Re:so much for change... (5, Interesting)

Spacelem (189863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208961)

In Scotland we have proportional representation. This system gives us a government that better represents the views of the people, as the proportion of each party more closely reflects the number of people who voted for them. Even better, we actually have six parties with seats, and many more who stand a chance of gaining a seat.

Proportional representation is not perfect, and it has been accused of resulting in weak governments as the main party is usually small compared to the opposition parties; however, I think it's considerably closer to democracy as the Ancient Greeks saw it, than the choice between two similar parties that tends to exist today. Most importantly, it allows me to vote where my conscience tells me, rather than for the lesser of two evils.

Re:so much for change... (0, Troll)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209023)

In Scotland you're governed by the government of the UK and that's not proportional representation.

Re:so much for change... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209151)

In 1998, the UK government devolved ruling power [wikipedia.org] to the Scottish Executive, Jackass.

Re:so much for change... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209265)

And still you're part of the UK...

Re:so much for change... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209491)

Your point is?

My reply was to the Jackass who claimed that Scotland is wholly ruled by the UK Government and therefore does not have proportional representation. This is provably false. with even the smallest of searches

You didn't even bring a point of view to the discussion. Scotland is part of the United Kingdom - well, run for the hills Ma Parker - so is Wales, and they have some amount of devolved self rule too.

Stop randomly arguing points that you have no idea of. All the States of the USA are part of the United States of America, so by your (non) argument, I guess they have no autonomy of their own either then?

By the way Jackass, I'm a Briton living in London (that's in England if you don't know)

Re:so much for change... (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209499)

From your wikipedia article

The Act specifically asserts the continued power of the UK Parliament to legislate in respect of Scotland;[6] thereby upholding the concept of Westminster's absolute Parliamentary sovereignty.

So Scotland is still governed by the ( non proportionally represented ) UK government it's just that certain limited powers of government have been granted to the Scottish parliment which can obviously be removed or over ridden by Westminister whenever it sees fit.

Re:so much for change... (-1, Offtopic)

jgostling (1480343) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209177)

it's considerably closer to democracy as the Ancient Greeks saw it

You do remember that ancient greeks approved of slavery as well, right?

Re:so much for change... (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209359)

You do remember that ancient greeks approved of slavery as well, right?

And your point is?

Slavery was pretty much how the pre-industrial world ran. It varied how they sorted out slave and master and if it was a permanent status or temporary but almost all cultures of the time used slaves.

The egalitarian ideal is a rather modern concept.

Re:so much for change... (2, Funny)

DamienRBlack (1165691) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209385)

You do remember that Hitler ate breakfast too, right?

Re:so much for change... (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209293)

Weak government are often a good thing. Its strong governments that are the problem.

However, given that the UK as a whole does not have proportional representation, and that the EU increasingly concentrates power in the centre (for example, look at who is negotiating ACTA on your behalf: its not the Scottish government!), Scotland having proportional representation does not matter.

Re:so much for change... (1)

Spacelem (189863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210003)

The argument about weak governments is that no one can ever get any new laws passed. Sometimes this is good, sometimes bad, but it may lead to very little change happening. Look at how much the US has changed since the Democrats won. Now consider a party that really differs in policies from the main party, and imagine how much that could change the country.

Yes, the UK does not have PR, but it still elects politicians based on individual constituencies, so overall the number of seats held by a party better reflects the proportions of voters than the US system with its electoral colleges. It sits in the middle of the spectrum between PR system used in Scotland and the US system.

There are many people unhappy with how Scotland has limited control over its own governmental powers, but we are making the best with the powers we are given. Hopefully our system will inspire other countries to consider changing too.

Re:so much for change... (1)

Ngwenya (147097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209399)

It's true that most internal decisions are derived and implemented via Holyrood now, rather than Westminster.

Treaty negotiation, however, is not an internal matter, because Scotland is not (yet) a sovereign state. ACTA is being negotiated by the UK government, and will apply to Scotland as well, if the UK Parliament approves.

You can always vote SNP if you want this changed. Pity that the clown contingent is so strong in the SNP though - the basic independence policy suits me fine.

--Ng

Re:so much for change... (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210315)

Scotland has around 5 million people living in it. New York City has about 8 million. The city, not the state. The US in total has around 300 million people living in it. That's almost a hundred times more.

As the size of the governed increases, proportional representation breaks down horribly. The number of minority groups increases and the chances of any one group ever taking effective leadership of the whole, without having a whole web of political infighting and side deals for special interests, are exactly nil.

What you end up with is a government full of people who are always dealing and double dealing and back stabbing in order to gain enough power to push through their own particular brand of "bread and circuses" before losing power again. Hardly an effective government in the least.

Cynicism optimized (1)

boombaard (1001577) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209099)

As a jaded cynic I have just this to say - You voted for one of the Republicans or the Democrats and you expected a change?

Then why not include the other (mini)parties as well?
It's not like voting for them would get you anything (especially considering your silly winner takes all system), but you still seem to think that voting for them would somehow "do you good" (or at least better).
The whole point of being a cynic is that you don't believe in "anything" anymore, not that you just don't believe in the status quo, but do believe in the workability of fringe beliefs (such as those espoused by silly paul)

Re:Cynicism optimized (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209569)

The whole point of being a cynic is that you don't believe in "anything" anymore, not that you just don't believe in the status quo, but do believe in the workability of fringe beliefs (such as those espoused by silly paul)

I think you're confusing cynicism with Cynicism, and confusing that with nihilism.

Re:so much for change... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27210247)

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

Re:so much for change... (1)

pmarini (989354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208823)

it's not like one can find "new" politicians overnight to fill these positions, and given that the amount of "customers" that a government has changes very little over the years, it's not like there is going be either too much shortage or excess of these guys...
also, graduates need not apply, except as shoeshiners until they learn the real .gov business...

(yes, I'm being sarcastic because my health insurance company can access all of my medical records while I myself can't...)

Re:so much for change... (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210659)

I am still waiting to see what Bill Clinton's official position will be.

If anything it has already been proven his vetting service needs a lot of help. I really don't understand why people expected it to really change. He has no real experience so he is going to have to heavily rely on the advice of others who probably already know what they want.

I am giving him one more chance that is on reforming our education system. Considering he signed the bill which essentially ends the district's voucher program I don't think much of whats going to happen.

Re:so much for change... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209217)

I thought to myself that it must be difficult to negotiate a proposed treaty when the press can print every little revision that occurs during negotiations. So I could kind of see the benefit in keeping a treaty's details secret until it was ready to be proposed to Congress.

Yeah, imagine having public discussion/contributions to treaties so they could get input before having to waste Congress's time.
That'd suck.

Plus, that's not even the excuse they're using. It's "National Security!!!OMG!!!"

Re:so much for change... (4, Interesting)

mysticgoat (582871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210559)

You might want to hold on to your doubt for a bit longer.

Carmen Suro-Bredie, who signed the letter rejecting the FOIA request, is a hold-over from the Bush Administration. Could be she never got the memo that things have changed. She actually predates Bush: she was chairing hearings about trade agreements in 1992, and apparently has at least 30 years of Federal Civil Service behind her. She has always kept a very low profile: the only biography of her on the web is remarkable for saying very little and providing no dates at all. These are the hallmarks of a career bureaucrat; the kind of person who works hard, not out of any sense of ideals, or for the good of the team, but to assure that their personal situation will be more comfortable next year than it was last year (no matter who is in charge or what the new goals of the organization are).

Now that she has stumbled into the Internet's spotlight, it will be interesting to see if there is any change in her career. Her style doesn't seem to fit well with Obama's approach. OTOH, she has been working the same small patch of ground for more than 16 years, so she might know too much to be easily shown to the door.

The treaty in question has a long way to go before it is ratified. There will be opportunities for Obama to open up the process; let's see if he takes them.

Change we can believe in! (2, Interesting)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208821)

Can we look back in four years time and think of George Bush as a benevolent caretaker in light of the atrocities commited by the new administration? YES WE CAN! -- It's more and more obvious with each news week that all the glitzy promises and election rhetoric that came Barack Obama was a load of meaningless drivel to deceive people - please don't expect things to be better, lest you sink into complacency and don't notice the BS until it's up to your armpits.

Things are changing for sure, but NOT for the better; certainly not at all in the direction the American public was led to believe. The whole election campaign looked very surreal from here in New Zealand - our election was on at the exact same time. The Labour party had about 3 television ads that were seldom played on television. National didn't have any television advertisements.
The limits in place in this country to prevent candidates from spending HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in a clear crusade to brainwash the citizens highlighted the ridiculousness of the Obama insanity, while our puppet media sat there telling us more about Obama than about Helen Clark or John Key.

I sympathize with people that gave in to the herd mentality leading up to the election; these people made an absolutely unprecedented effort to deceive everybody with their silly puppets; because the media climate differs here in NZ it wasn't very hard for us to see through... Heck, every time I watch a video of Obama I feel that it's a movie, it just doesn't feel real.

I expect the /. crowd to be hold a degree of discernment an order of magnitude higher than that of the average person, yet I urge you all to avoid groupthink and keep your eyes open :)

Peace from a New Zealander

Re:Change we can believe in! (1, Informative)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208901)

Can we look back in four years time and think of George Bush as a benevolent caretaker in light of the atrocities commited by the new administration? YES WE CAN! -- It's more and more obvious with each news week that all the glitzy promises and election rhetoric that came Barack Obama was a load of meaningless drivel to deceive people - please don't expect things to be better, lest you sink into complacency and don't notice the BS until it's up to your armpits.

For anyone who wants some objectivity (unlikely to include the parent poster) there's always the Obameter [politifact.com] , which tracks election promises kept and broken. So far it's showing that it's early days but the USA is getting pretty much what it voted for.

Re:Change we can believe in! (2, Informative)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209529)

For anyone who wants some objectivity (unlikely to include the parent poster) there's always the Obameter

Lets see how the Obameter [politifact.com] holds up... heres what it says about Barack Obama Campaign Promise No. 125: Direct military leaders to end war in Iraq [politifact.com]

On Jan. 21, 2009 â" his first full day in office â" President Obama met privately with the military commanders in charge of Iraq.
...
After the meeting, Obama issued a statement, included below in its entirety:

"This afternoon, I met with our ambassador to Iraq, the commander in Iraq, and the overall theater commander in the region in order to get a full update on the situation in Iraq. Key members of my Cabinet and senior national security officials also participated in this meeting.

"The meeting was productive and I very much appreciated receiving assessments from these experienced and dedicated individuals. During the discussion, I asked the military leadership to engage in additional planning necessary to execute a responsible military drawdown from Iraq.

"In the coming days and weeks, I will also visit the Department of Defense to consult with the Joint Chiefs on these issues, and we will undertake a full review of the situation in Afghanistan in order to develop a comprehensive policy for the entire region."

Promise kept.

Well that's all fine and dandy right? And after he gets the boys out of Iraq he's going to get the boys out of Afghanistan, right?

A recent article from the LA Times [latimes.com] proves enlightening:

Reporting from Baghdad and Washington -- The U.S. will reduce its military presence in Iraq by 12,000 troops over the next six months as part of the first major drawdown since President Obama announced his plan to end combat operations in the country next year, U.S. military officials in Baghdad said Sunday.
[...]
The plan would reduce U.S. troop strength by nearly 10% just as Iraq is preparing for nationwide elections in the fall -- a step that would have been unthinkable at the height of the insurgency but was endorsed in this case by top U.S. military officials.
[...]
The plan calls for the number of U.S. brigade combat teams to drop from 14 to 12. Two brigade teams that had been scheduled to redeploy in the next six months will not be replaced.
[...]
When the American move is completed, it would reduce the U.S. military presence in Iraq to about 128,000 troops, dipping for the first time below the number of troops in the country before then-President Bush ordered the buildup he referred to as the "surge" in 2007.
The schedule for the withdrawal represents a compromise between the 16-month timetable President Obama had advocated during his election campaign and a 23-month plan that had been pushed by the military.
Under the compromise, all combat forces would be pulled out of Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010, but a residual force of 35,000 to 50,000 troops would remain for training and support missions.
The Iraq withdrawals are crucial to the administration's plans to devote more military resources to Afghanistan, as well as to limit spending at a time when the government is facing record deficits.
Senior U.S. national security officials are nearing completion of a strategic review of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, a step that Obama has described as an effort "to stabilize a deteriorating situation," one he has implied was neglected by Bush.
[...]
Last month, Obama announced plans to send 17,000 additional U.S. soldiers and Marines to Afghanistan -- deployments that would more than offset the troop reductions in Iraq.

Yep. Some troops stay in Iraq for training and support and others to Afghanistan, for a [sic] peacekeeping mission no doubt. Well, I'm sure the cannon fodder in Iraq need someone to teach them how to use the Farming Equipment and Machine Tools [youtube.com] over there.

I think, in my book, that this Obameter falls a little short on that one - MOST of the promises are listed as In The Works!! While this Iraq promise says PROMISE KEPT!!! The troops are STILL THERE ! The promise was to remove the troops! Talking about removing the troops doesn't count my friend!

There is no military solution in Iraq, and there never was

Okay, so those 35,000 to 50,000 troops aren't military?
The site says the promise is to direct the US military officials to end the war; not to end the war, when the man promised to end the war! And they label this "Promise kept" rather than "In the works" or "Compromise" as they label others?

In all seriousity, these guys aren't what I'd look to for "objectivity".
Peace, from a New Zealander

Re:Change we can believe in! (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209637)

I agree with you about the politifact site. I made a post last week about the 'No Earmarks' promise where they gave him a 'Compromise' rating. Um, Obama has signed 2 major spending bills full of earmarks. How is that a compromise? It's a fail to keep.

Re:Change we can believe in! (2, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209061)

"Can we look back in four years time and think of George Bush as a benevolent caretaker in light of the atrocities commited by the new administration?"

So far, no.

There have been no new wars, no warrantless wiretapping scandals, very little outright idiocy. It's going to take eight years of consistent underhandedness, deviousness and violence before anyone else can get close to the bush administration.

Re:Change we can believe in! (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209981)

Well it took over 8 months into the Bush administration before a war took place, and I think most Americans were behind him in it. So give the big Hussein some more time there buddy.

Re:Change we can believe in! (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209419)

You do realize that treaties usually take longer than a month to get written, negotiated, re-written, agreed-upon, written up, vetted, voted on, and passed, right?

This treaty isn't Obama's baby. It's part of Bush's legacy. And as others have said, it still has to be approved by congress, and the executive still has the right to veto it.

Re:so much for change... (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209305)

Not really. If you did some research you would realize the summary is wrong [cnet.com] . It should be fixed. It was the former administration that was secretive. Obama officially denounced this practice, per 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."

Expect people to keep coloring things so that it sounds like nothing has changed until it becomes obvious enough to everyone that it has that one sounds like a loon for saying it. After that expect a large contingent of loons to keep spouting the lunacy, because they are too loony to realize that they are loons ;-)

Re:so much for change... (2, Informative)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209497)

Did you bother to read the article you posted? Here's the second paragraph:

"Now President Obama's White House has tightened the cloak of government secrecy still further, saying in a letter this week that a discussion draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and related materials are "classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958." "

Re:so much for change... (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209675)

I have no idea what that means, and neither does anyone else. No sources are cited. Obama isn't mentioned once, and I don't believe that Obama believes that it is his White House (he understands that it is OURS), and I am certain that he isn't stupid enough to think that the White House is capable of issuing letters. Who issued the letter? Has Obama backed it? And yes, I am going to tell you that if Obama does back the decision, then there is a very real need for it to be squashed.

I understand that everyone has a mild Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at this point, but expecting the administration to behave anything like Bush's is just plain foolish and is indicative of being ill informed at best.

Re:so much for change... (2, Interesting)

DamienRBlack (1165691) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209989)

Perfect response. I don't see why everyone is overreacting. You guys want Obama to fail don't you? You jump on any little thing and scream "see Obama is a failure, he is just as bad as Bush". Well I call bullshit. I think that objectively it is far too soon to make an assessment, but if I were forced to, I would say that Obama has the potential to be a far better leader then Bush.

If nothing else, I think the PR job he has done is part of being a good leader. If you can't get Americans interested in the debate, lobbyists and special interests will run Washington. Furthermore, he is only one man with limited power. If you thought the "change you can believe in" would entail a complete overhaul of the system when he doesn't in fact have power to completely overhaul the system, then it isn't Obama's fault that you failed to understand the domain he was applying the sentiment to. You might try to blame him for misrepresenting his role as president -- but every candidate does that, if you fail to realize that they are talking about doing things within their powers.

Basically, all you people that are moaning that Obama has failed to bring change and was a big fraud are the people that never supported him in the first place. Before he was elected you were saying the same things. Now you're all pretending that you were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt but that he failed you and disappointed you. He didn't disappoint you, you were always against him. And despite the fact that he is, at least potentially, on his way to a very successful stint as president, you are going to jump over ever little detail ***THAT WAS ACTUALLY SET IN MOTION BY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION*** and yell, "see Obama hasn't fixed all of Bush's fuck-ups in a mere 60 days, he has failed and lied and politics is dead".

To re-iterate the parent:

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."

So Obama hasn't decided to spend political capital to fix this particular mess Bush left him yet... can you blame him? He has a lot of messes to clean up, some of them involve the fate of entire countries, others involve the fate of our economy. Is it so surprising that weighed against those your pet copyright reform issues aren't getting the unrealistic amount of attention you want? Now, if Obama starts taking vacations for entire months at a time, as Bush did August 2001, then I'll start becoming cynical. If Obama hurts the sciences, education and foregn relations with short-sited policies based on stories from thousands of years ago, then I'll call myself a cynic. If Obama panders shamelessly to the richest of the rich when the wealth gap is the highest it has been since the late 1800s, then I will start coming to these forums and launch the types of accusations you guys are making. But I suspect that Obama isn't going to do those things. Bush did. I call that change, and yes, it is change I can believe in.

Re:so much for change... (0, Offtopic)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210295)

I searched and searched for the "flamebait", and then realized that the mod is one of the loons to which I was referring. Anybody who mods your post down as flamebait is either intentionally abusing the mod system, ignorant as to what constitutes flamebait, or a true loon.

Note to everyone: Flamebait does not refer to a post you don't like and find controversial. It is solely for posts where the poster posted for the sole intention of creating a Flame War. (Google Flame War)

teh usa fail at democracy (-1, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208657)

I would say the title says it all, now open you eyes and reclaim YOUR freedom, or remain cheap-ass sorry assholes for EV4R!

Nothing to see here... (-1, Troll)

Muckluck (759718) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208661)

Just move along, folks. Let the professionals handle this...

ACTA the EFF's take.... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27208721)

Some scary shit from the link: [eff.org]

ACTA raises serious concerns about citizens' civil liberties and privacy rights. The contents and text of ACTA remain secret, but a document leaked to the public last year shows that ACTA could include stronger criminal measures, increased customs border search powers, and requirements for Internet service providers to cooperate with copyright holders. Some public suggestions from content companies have included requiring ISPs to engage in filtering of their customers' Internet communications for potentially copyright-infringing material, mandatory disclosure of personal information about alleged copyright infringers, and adoption of "Three Strikes" policies requiring ISPs to automatically terminate customers' Internet access upon a repeat allegation of copyright infringement.

Re:ACTA the EFF's take.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209037)

Some more scary shit [fsf.org]

Although the proposed treaty's title might suggest that the agreement deals only with counterfeit physical goods (such as medicines), what little information has been made available publicly by negotiating governments about the content of the treaty makes it clear that it will have a far broader scope, and in particular, will deal with new tools targeting "Internet distribution and information technology".

National security? (3, Interesting)

mishehu (712452) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208757)

This is the part that confuses me. How on earth can something that deals with copyright be considered a matter of national security? How can anybody in the gov't say that with a straight face even? It's appalling, and it should be challenged in court NOW.

Re:National security? (4, Funny)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208801)

How on earth can something that deals with copyright be considered a matter of national security?

Have you ever seen movies with scary monsters in them? Those monsters are actually real, and the MPAA has threatened to release them near D.C. if the treaty doesn't turn out to their liking.

Re:National security? (1)

MedBob (96899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209163)

I think that the monsters are the ones from Monsters Inc, Public Scrutiny is represented by the children being scared, and guess who the spider is? I can't believe that y'all were thinking that you were getting rid of the bad guy!!!!!!

ACTA is more than copyright (5, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208831)

As I pointed out the other day, [slashdot.org] ACTA is about so much more than copyright. This "counterfeiting" treaty will almost certainly include provisions for stricter controls on generic pharmaceuticals, amongst other things.

Just take a look at some of the companies that are represented on that list: Eli Lilly, Merck, Monsanto, Schering-Plough... I guarantee they're not there because of pirated CDs.

Just to clarify, I don't think that changes the fact that the "national security" claim is bogus. It's just further proof of the enormous democratic deficit that exists at the international level.

Re:ACTA is more than copyright (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208933)

The national security claim is on par for the tone of the feds since Bush Sr. The theory is that our financial security is coupled to our physical security, thus everything the feds choose is within their scope of authority based on the commerce clause of the constitution.

It has been shown repeatedly the commerce clause is the most often abused facet of our constitution and the courts have been more than happy to let it be.

Re:ACTA is more than copyright (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210417)

Anyone who still doubts we are ruled by a corpocratic oligarchy just needs to look at that list to understand they are the people calling the shots.

So Obama failed us then ? (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208779)

all that transparency, all that pro internet attitude, and even declarations of support for net neutrality to the extent of making full definitions of it on his website, getting support and donations through the net and actually succeeding to amass the budget needed to beat mccain through those donations and all that, and ...

so he fails us in the most important thing, at the most important moment, in almost half of those he promised us then ?

Re:So Obama failed us then ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209145)

so he fails us in the most important thing, at the most important moment, in almost half of those he promised us then

Wait... copyright law is the "most important thing"?
Not voting YEA on FISA (aka: The "NSA/Telcos/Whitehouse can do whatever the fuck they want" bill)?

This guy was a massive pile of FAIL even before he became "Mr President".

yes it is (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209239)

because copyright/ip is the modern, hard to defend excuse to implement all kinds of controls on public. FISA ? you already have a lot of arguments against it, and you already have strong public opinion shaped against it. you know what it is, you know how they do it, you know how you can stop it.

but copyright is the new excuse. with it, they can push for implementation of 'controls' that will allow for deep packet inspections of all traffic ( puts fisa to shame ) to 'throttling' of various protocols and even banning certain individuals or organizations off the internet through usage of stuff like 'three strikes'.

in middle ages, there was religion to use as excuse for controlling the people. in 19th century, it was the nation's interests. in 1950s, there was the commies. the world society has grown out of most of these excuses - they hardly pass as valid nowadays.

today we have copyright and child porn as the acceptable excuses to push for suppressing public freedoms. public doesnt know what these are yet, cant shape an opinion. and therefore they are the best excuses to use for pushing self centered agendas of interest groups.

Re:yes it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209707)

today we have copyright and child porn as the acceptable excuses to push for suppressing public freedoms

You forgot terrorism. For which FISA/PatriotAct/DHS/TSA (and a host of other freedom crushing items) were made.

I don't view copyright law as the biggest current threat to my freedoms.
It COULD be with this treaty (we'll see when it does become public) even if it is, it still needs to be ratified and then congress has to make the supporting laws around it.
Could be several years before we actually see any (potential) impact.
It took 2 years [wikipedia.org] between WIPO and DMCA plus a few more years for the lawyers to figure out how to use it.

Timeline for new treaties:
- Created
- Ratified
- Bills created
- Bills signed into law
- Abuse of laws by courts/lawyers
- Profit :) (by lawyers anyway)

We're still in step one. The real outrage can start at step 2.

Re:So Obama failed us then ? (-1, Offtopic)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209147)

Yeah, but he's got a blackberry. So he must be pro-IT, right?

Re:So Obama failed us then ? (2, Insightful)

a09bdb811a (1453409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209375)

False hope in a president is your failure, not his.

Re:So Obama failed us then ? (1)

DamienRBlack (1165691) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210449)

so he fails us in the most important thing, at the most important moment, in almost half of those he promised us then ?

I hope you are being sarcastic, but you are modded insightful rather than funny, so I'll respond as though you were trying to be insightful. (The mods know all.)

Let me get this right, Obama has the fate of countries in the palm of his hands and a crashing economy to deal with, and the most important thing, the most important moment to you, is your pet copyright issue? I think your priorities are fucked up big time. You do understand that there exists a world outside yourself, don't you?

Furthermore, did you even RTFA? Did you notice that the classification was instantiated by the Bush administration and that Obama has signed memos urging openness on these issues. If Obama hasn't spent enough time on you little pet issue, can you blame him? Don't you think that in light of objective reality he has a few slightly more pressing issues to spend his political capital on?

I bet that you never supported Obama, and now you're pretending like he failed us. Who is us? Are you included in us? Because in actuality, you seem rather eager to assert that Obama has failed. I'm guessing that this stems from the fact that you don't really support Obama and never did. You want to be able to say Obama has failed. You want to go back into your hole of cynicism that lets you justify whatever selfish belief you don't want challenged by a successful Obama.

I call bullshit. When Obama fails to act responsibly in Iraq, then I will acknowledge that he may have failed. When Obama begins turning our foregn policy into a barbaric us-or-them tribute to the dark ages, then I will agree that he has failed. When Obama allows POWs to be tortured and held without due process for years on end, then I will come on these forums and make the accusations you are making. But I don't think Obama is going to do any of these thing. Bush did. And that is change. Yes, change I can believe in.

Re:So Obama failed us then ? (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210737)

so he fails us [...] in almost half of those he promised us

That implies that he succeeds in more then half. For a politician I would call that a great success. Also politics is a slow moving game. It takes a few months to years to get change done. So give it at least one year and then see what has happened.

It's spelled Democracy (4, Insightful)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208787)

It's pronounced Corporate Oligarchy

Re:It's spelled Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209081)

And it's actually a Republic

Re:It's spelled Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209165)

More properly known as fascism

Re:It's spelled Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209373)

And what a pronouncement!

Re:It's spelled Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27210711)

Like one of those silly british names that's spelled "Barchester" and pronounced "Peckham"?

Let me use a quote I've heard a lot lately (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208817)

From people that deem themselves much smarter than me:
"Piss off with your stupid conspiracy theories, you hippie asshole, there is no such thing as a secret society."

Thanks a lot unknown genius.

Re:Let me use a quote I've heard a lot lately (1)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208875)

Ha, I hear that quite frequently. When you encourage them to examine the vast amount of evidence that points otherwise and the literature of the leaders exposing themselves, it's "But I don't need to because I don't believe in a conspiracy"

Bah, blind faith in a curtain.

Re:Let me use a quote I've heard a lot lately (2, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208913)

To be fair, it's hardly a "secret" society. We know exactly who the Barons are, and which fraternities they were in.

Wooden ships (1)

knarf (34928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208949)

The more of this type of news I read... the more I feel like the time has come for the wooden ships sung about by CSN and Jefferson Airplane. A slight change in the lyrics might be in place as it was not nuclear destruction but corporate crookery which brought society to its knees so the 'silver people on the shoreline' get to wear pin-striped suits instead.

Go, take your sister then, by the hand,
lead her away from this foreign land,
Far away, where we might laugh again,
We are leaving - you don't need us.

And it's a fair wind, blowin' warm,
Out of the south over my shoulder,
Guess I'll set a course and go...

(who knows what laws I broke by quoting this excerpt from the lyrics... I'm pretty sure the authors won't mind.)

Here in Sweden ACTA

FOIA request denied by USTR, not the White House (3, Interesting)

putaro (235078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208963)

The FOIA denial letter is signed by Camen Suro-Bredie. From what I can find, she has been in the USTR office since at least 2004. While President Obama has sent down an executive order that FOIA requests should be responded to in preference to withholding information, that is a new policy and it is going to take some time to get everyone in line with it.

It will be instructive to see how this is handled now that it has been brought out into the daylight. If the Obama Administration overrides Ms Suro-Bredie and releases the treaty that would be a very positive step.

No, dammit, no (3, Funny)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209009)

Every single thing we read, no matter how small and inconsequential, must be read as IRREFUTABLE PROOF!!!1! that Obama is a liar! He said he was for change, and that change didn't happen everwhere, all at once, and in every single nook and cranny of the government! Sure there's the changes at Justice and the release of various memos a docs there. And, ok, fine, the Gitmo thing and probably some other stuff.

But this one thing didn't change, and that means it's all 100% bullshit! Fascism and censorship!

Re:No, dammit, no (1, Funny)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209079)

Well you really can't expect him to instantly change everything in one big bang you know ! It's just a totally unrealistic hope and what with Obama currently spending most of his time on his number one priority commissioning the building of new Mosques and in durbar with his chief theological adviser Abdul Mohammed Mohammed Akbar Mohammed crafting their new equal opportunties and racial equality bills he's going to be a bit busy for a while yet.

Don't hold your breath (2, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209105)

This is the same president who hired two **AA attack lawyers to top Department of Justice positions. That wasn't old, entrenched bureaucracy. That was new Obama-picked bureaucracy and we saw what way he swings.

Re:FOIA request denied by USTR, not the White Hous (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209941)

Do you seriously think this was done without any White House knowledge?

And no, that policy shouldn't take ANY TIME to get everyone in line with it. If its a policy directive from the WH then it takes effect IMMEDIATELY.

So we had Bush Apologists and now we have Obama apologists.. conveniently trunctated to Obamapologists.

Stop listening to what he says and look at what he does (or does not).

Press corps to the rescue! (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210507)

So he (Obama) was focusing on immediate pressing issues (Stimulus, unemployment, taxes, education, health care) while delegating responsibility to the appropriate departments...

As part of that delegation he explicitly states that FOIA requests should be honored when ever possible and should be erred on the side of transparency.

OK, not seeing anything too scary yet.

A Bush appointee working in one of those appropriate department refuses a FOIA request on the grounds of National Security.

Again, nothing surprising. There are multiple possibilities:

1) The appointee is still following marching orders from Bush (doubtful)
2) The appointee is a corporate shill that is trying to hide corporate influence (less doubtful)
3) The appointee feels that there is something in the documentation that exposes information that could lead to a threat against US interests (compromising financial secrecy, negotiation arguments, etc...) (possible)
4) All parties involved are contractually obligated to NOT release any information under penalty of international sanctions (highly likely)

The question though, is what will Obama do about it? Will he demand the department to release the documents? Will he issue a statement explaining that they can not release the documents until the negotiations are complete? Will he comment that due to international responsibilities they can not show anything? Or will he do nothing until the treaty goes to the house for a vote?

Your best bet, other than whining about it on /., would be to contact a reporter who has access to the president and lobby them to ask about this specific situation and see if they can get an answer out of him.

-Rick

On the plus side... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208965)

I suspect that at least one of the listed corporate overlords sometimes forgets to lock their filing cabinet at night. It's probably the only way we'll ever have a look at the text.

This is surprising, how? (4, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209021)

Government exists for the protection and projection of the ruling class. 300 years ago, the ruling class were post feudalist monarchies. Now it's industrial oligarchies.

Democracy provides the illusion of control, permitting people to act in ways that seem to benefit themselves as political actors, and thus permitting the hegemony of capitalist industrialist relations to continue as the modus operandi of civilisation, unabated.

Thankfully geology and nature get to play last, and will make harsh hash of this ponzi scheme called capitalist industrialism.

Obama is no different than Roosevelt. Contrary to right wing bullshit, Roosevelt SAVED the ruling class from self destruction. Obama is attempting the same.

RS

Don't waste your time complaining (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209129)

Instead of screaming fury from your computer chair, you should be organizing from your computer chair and screaming in the streets. Things will never change so long as people sit back and take it. You don't have to get violent but you need to be persistent. Protests are held against copyright abuse, but they bring in a few hundred people out of millions.

And don't bother giving examples of why people don't care, start giving solutions to make them care. We need to increase the visibility of the problems this poses. Plaster signs on walls, try to take out ads in news papers / websites, door to door campaigning, conduct nationwide surveys with the right questions, so on and so forth. The public can't form an opinion if they don't know what they are talking about and they certainly can't form an opinion over a situation they may not even know exists.

It's time for society to start standing up for itself again.

Re:Don't waste your time complaining (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210281)

Instead of screaming fury from your computer chair, you should be organizing from your computer chair and screaming in the streets.

About as effective, but could be more fun if you like the taste of pepper spray.

Protesting in the streets was '60s. The system has adapted to that tactic; it no longer works.

How do we fight this? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209227)

Does writing a letter (a real physical letter) to your congressman/senator/MP/representitive/elected politician still work?

Or do they destroy all letters sent to the government now in case they contain Anthrax, Model Rocket Fuel or other material that is illegal to mail as a result of the "war on terror"?

Deja Vu (3, Insightful)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209317)

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

The difference (1)

shellster_dude (1261444) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209445)

One leader never promised openness. Yet his party
was rightfully removed from office because he was
to secretive.

One leader promised transparency and to shy away
from deceptive cramming of bills through congress.
He re-nigs on both, immediately.


They both make you angry, but as I see number 2
is the bigger travesty.

What an obvious twat you are (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27210153)

reneges.

your racial slur attempt to re-work the spelling shows that you don't care WHY Obama is bad, he's BLACK! He MUST be bad! He MUST be a muslim ('cos they aren't quite as white as the WASP, though often still whiter than Obama, that to you means he's MORE Muslim!).

Bush had thousands of innocent lives ruined by his McCarthy style of leadership and left a legacy of worldwide hate (and justified at that, unlike even the Regan era) against America that you will be reaping the harvest from for the next three generations.

Political ad potential (1)

Tenebrarum (887979) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209959)

Hmmm:

Some information is vital to national security.

*Picture flash*

So much so, the electorate cannot see it.

*Picture flash*

You are forbidden.

*Bars clamp on screen*

This information would be devastating in the hands of terrorists

*Mushroom cloud*

Clearly, the most strict of vetting is needed.

*Pictures of ebola victims*

Guess who has access to this information, vital to national security?

*Fade-out*
*Flashing photographs of lobbyists with unfortunate expressions (think tabloid celebrity photos)*

Call your representative today. Make sure only the most vital, most trustworthy people are trusted.

here's a clue (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210215)

Copyright has nothing whatsoever to do with national security.

A copyright treaty has nothing whatsoever to do with national security.

What's in the treaty is all sorts of extradition clauses. So USDOJ can prosecute people from other countries, and they can do the same with our citizens.

They're planting all sorts of nasty clauses related to downloading of copyrighted materials. They're planning on implementing jail time for torrent users.

Using an unlicensed copy of windows will turn you in to the DOJ and add you to a watchlist. They will put monitors on your Internet access. You won't be able to keep your ISP because they will log your downloading of copyrighted materials and send those logs back to DOJ who will then prosecute you. They will setup a factory court system to handle all of the traffic. They will send people to jail claiming they had umpteen millions of dollars worth of illegally downloaded software and content such as music and movies.

It will be a grand spectacle. many will protest and the American people will label downloaders as thieves. They will try to link it to terrorism and the American people will swell with nationalism.

It's all well and good. But it simply cannot be sustained due to it's simple problem with philosophy. Only the uploaders are infringing copyright.

Re:here's a clue (1)

moxley (895517) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210595)

If you are correct about this, then it's just another thing that illustrates why it absolutely needs to see the light of day.

Do you have a source or something other than assumptions and intuition for your information on this? I do think you're probably right, but the way you're stating it as fact makes me wonder whether you have a source for this or are just extraordinarily confident in your assumptions.

By claiming "national security" with this (and some of the other things he has done) Obama shows he is willing to abuse executive power just like Bush was - he seems to be an entirely different person than the guy who spoke of "limiting executive power" and ushering in an era of transparency.

He needs to be called on this, because while Bush and Cheney could get away with telling congresspeople and the general public to "fuck off," Obama generally cannot do that without losing his image and alienating his base. I want to hear him try to justify some of the things he has done...

One consolation... (1)

zaffir (546764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210625)

In the US, a treaty isn't law until the Senate ratifies it.

Yeah, not much consolation, but better than nothing.

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