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Senator Wyden Demands ACTA Goes Before Congress

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the i-thought-riders-were-bad dept.

Republicans 78

Fluffeh writes "As recently covered here, EU countries are starting to drop ACTA support. Now, long-time opponent of the secretly negotiated Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, Sen. Ron Wyden introduced an amendment to a Senate 'jobs bill' that would force ACTA to come before Congress for approval. His second amendment tries to force a change (PDF) in how the whole process around such treaties is handled. Right now, the U.S. attempts to keep its negotiating positions a secret. What vital national security interests could be at stake if the public knew USTR was promoting 'graduated response' laws or proposing changes in ISP liability? Wyden doesn't believe there are any."

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Secret positions (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39426033)

You may not have a good idea of what secrets could be vitally important and should be kept under wraps during policy discussions involving multiple nations. But the real question is what's the deal with ACTA? Is it good or is it whack?

Re:Secret positions (4, Informative)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426057)

Where have you been the last couple of years? It is whack. Extremely whack.

Re:Secret positions (5, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426805)

It has been measured at 1.21 jiggawhacks, to be exact.

That's My Senator!!! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39426105)

That's My Senator!!!

And I couldn't be prouder!!

Re:That's My Senator!!! (1)

feedayeen (1322473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426139)

That's My Senator!!!

And I couldn't be prouder!!

I wish I had the mod points to rep this... sadly I can't say the same thing about mine.

Re:That's My Senator!!! (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#39429395)

Really? Are you sure he's not just mad that he didn't get to belly up to the trough for a 'yes' vote?

Re:That's My Senator!!! (4, Insightful)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426245)

Seriously Wyden. Can we clone him about 15 times? (Don't want a complete monoculture.) I tend to agree with most of his positions and where I don't he has valid reasons to choose a position I don't necessarily back.

Re:That's My Senator!!! (4, Informative)

dainbug (678555) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426265)

:( Mine either, Senator Hatch still can't define "due process."

Re:That's My Senator!!! (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427359)

Yea, but he performs a helluva Hannukah song!

Re:That's My Senator!!! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39426511)

Some times I wonder if Oregon congress critters are the only ones voted in for their surplus of intelligence.

Re:That's My Senator!!! (4, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428309)

Isn't the traditional purpose a the Senator from Oregon defined as "Drive the rest of the Senate crazy"?

Re:That's My Senator!!! (1)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39434477)

Seems to me like they have that pretty under control on their own.

Re:That's My Senator!!! (4, Interesting)

Kaitiff (167826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426729)

I had no idea we had any senators left that could think for themselves.. unless of course this is another 'I need more money to keep quiet' kind of thing. You can be sure MAFIAA has 'contacted' his office with all the noise he's making that sure to cost them billions. Regardless I find it heartening to see something actually being done FOR us in gov't instead of TO us, or AGAINST us. Us being 'those of them that are not on a BOD raping profits from individuals'.

Re:That's My Senator!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39428777)

I had no idea we had any senators left that could think for themselves.

"Think for themselves" does not mean "agree with me".

Re:That's My Senator!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39426855)

Could you ask him to reintroduce it as a standalone bill, not just slap it on the side of an unrelated bill?

Re:That's My Senator!!! (4, Insightful)

jesseck (942036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427293)

Could you ask him to reintroduce it as a standalone bill, not just slap it on the side of an unrelated bill?

That's how you get something like this to pass, though- riders help bills that could not pass on their own merit (too many Senators will vote against it) pass by attaching them to a bill the Senate will pass. It's the same tactic used by the *AAs for Internet censorship- attach the rider to an anti-child pornography bill, and who will vote against it?

Re:That's My Senator!!! (5, Insightful)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428053)

Which is exactly the problem. Anything worth voting into law must be able to stand on its own merit.

Re:That's My Senator!!! (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428885)

Exactly - that is one of the many simple ways to change the way Washington/gov't works. No more "hidden" general fund taxes merged with use taxes (example water bills). Each bill stands on its own merit. End of gerrymandering by using towns/neighborhoods as the smallest "building blocks" in composing a congressional district.

Re:That's My Senator!!! (2)

Yakasha (42321) | more than 2 years ago | (#39431937)

Which is exactly the problem. Anything worth voting into law must be able to stand on its own merit.

Stand in front of who? Congress?

THAT is the problem.

Why do you think campaign finance reform is such a joke?

Re:That's My Senator!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427455)

As well meaning as he is, I'd place good money on Congress literally JUMPING at the chance to approve ACTA.

The only question remaining really is if this was Wyden's plan from the start, since you'd have to be dumb as a rock to think that congress wouldn't leap at the option to grab more power.

I'm not trolling on Wyden or anything... I'm just saying he's a politician is all.

Re:That's My Senator!!! (2)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428971)

As well meaning as he is, I'd place good money on Congress literally JUMPING at the chance to approve ACTA.

Do you know the average age of a Senator? Half of them would probably break a hip.

Re:That's My Senator!!! (0)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427903)

...he shouts from the Anonymous mountaintop...

Re:That's My Senator!!! (1)

vjoel (945280) | more than 2 years ago | (#39429701)

...he shouts from the Anonymous mountaintop...

I know that place! I'm going there in November to drop off some kind of ballot thingy.

Huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39428561)

A powerful government official proposes legislation that would grant more power to his branch of government, and hence himself.

It really isn't all that noble.

Re:Huh. (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39431111)

A powerful government official proposes legislation that would grant more power to his branch of government, and hence himself.

A Senator demands that treaties must be ratified by the Senate, like the Constitution says? The horror!

Hmm (5, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426257)

On the one hand I am happy to see anything that tries put sun shine on the political process. In a democratic republic I think its reprehensible that how much of this takes place in secret. The public has a right know.


One of the biggest things I think is broken about our current political process is the lack of atomicity in the legislative process. There should be no such thing as "Job's bill" or "Omnibus", etc. It lets a few people tie unpopular ideas to the necessary business of the nation. Legislation should be simple and cover a single topic. That way each idea can be evaluated on its own merit. IE you don't have Financial Reform, you have bill to require minimum reserve assets value at a commercial bank, bill to classify assets that may be used as reserve assets, bill determine the rate adjustment that may be made on a revolving credit account within a reporting period etc. These bills could naturally be brought to the floor and each could get a quick upper or down vote. The public would be able to find who voted on what when by searching easily.

Unrelated crap would not be bundled as riders. It would prevent the I am going to veto/block any legislation that contains X, oh so we can't ever pass any part of budget kind of grid lock we haven now.

Re:Hmm (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39426353)

That sounds like a really great idea in theory, but in practice I don't know how you'd implement it. Laws are like interpreted computer code: when it's ambiguous, it'll break at run-time. I can't figure out how you'd come up with a legislative algorithm for determining if everything in a bill is about "the same thing".

Re:Hmm (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39426389)

Much agreed. Oftentimes this happens as a form of compromise, IE we'll give you law X, in exchange for law Y. Now, within the actual budgeting process this makes some sense, because you have to arrive at a fiscally solvent number, so oftentimes its tradeoffs of tax breaks vs spending, etc. But for law, as in "you could go to jail for this", there is no place for such negotiation. Something is either reprehensibly immoral and should be punished, or it is not. Whether or not you support ACTA should be entirely separated from whether or not you support government spending money to create public jobs.

Re:Hmm (3, Insightful)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426503)

Now, within the actual budgeting process this makes some sense, because you have to arrive at a fiscally solvent number, so oftentimes its tradeoffs of tax breaks vs spending, etc.

Yeah I'm pretty sure that hasn't happened in a few decades. It's mostly been we'll cut taxes AND you can spend more. Recently it's been we'll raise taxes by 1% and you can spend 5000% more.

Re:Hmm (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39433325)

What's interesting is that many states (both red and blue) have "balanced budget" or similar laws and/or constitutional requirements, and manage to get by just fine.

Re:Hmm (2) (981475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426483)

Amen, I have been saying that for years, but it would never happen. It wouldn't allow crooked politicians the ability to get things passed that would never pass on their own merit.

Re:Hmm (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39426613)

Never going to happen. This corrupt mechanism is needed so politicians can pass laws their owners paid for, even if it's against the interest of the rest of the population.

Hmm (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428919)

It will never happen unless both left and right demand it. This is one of those areas that the Tea Party and OWS agree. Other examples include ACTA, SOPA, etc... This can be pushed. And it can happen.

Re:Hmm (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426647)

The only possible mechanism to enforce that would be a body of legislators who insist on it and will block bills that include unrelated riders. Know any of those?
  Legislation is a process of negotiation.

Re:Hmm (1)

Serpents (1831432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426907)

Unfortunately, I'm afraid this presents a whole new set of problems. I live in a country with a similar system and the first problem is you've got a bazillion different acts, bills and whatnot, quite often contradictory because even the legislators are lost and forget which bill regulates what. The other problem can be explained by the following example: a few years ago the government here (the prime minister and his ministers) proposed a tax reform comprising of three separate bills. Two raised taxes for the richest, indirect taxes (like VAT and excise tax) etc. The third one lowered the taxes for people from lower-middle class and lower on the social ladder. Since it was at the beginning of an election year and the president was from the opposition and the ruling coalition was too weak to overrule his veto he vetoed the bill which was supposed to compensate "the poor" for the tax hike and let the other two pass. This effectively meant that the taxes were raised across the board and the poorest were the ones who really suffered. As always, any political system is only as good as the guys we elect and the elections (be it in the US, South America or here in Europe) look more and more like popularity contests. The candidates say what they're going to do and people stopped asking "How the hell are you going to do that with economy in the gutter and exorbitant deficit?"

Re:Hmm (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427899)

You might not have liked the outcome but to me it sounds like the process worked.

The representatives and the executive were able to agree that raising taxes was needed.
They raised the taxes.

They were not able to agree that special tax rates for the poor were a good idea.
They did not create a special tax rate for the poor.

The idea that we need to levy a new tax or raise an existing one is a separate matter from should we provide tax relief to a specific group. They should IMHO be treated independently. We have the same issue here in the USA. Lots of people agree we should raise taxes to increase revenue, because the government needs the revenue to restore fiscal sanity. Those folks get divided though because some feel (rightly IMHO) that everyone ought to pay equally and want a consumptive tax, others feel we need a more progressive system with lots of special relief. So people like me end up politically opposed to bills that would raise taxes because we object to what we feel are unfair giveaways to certain groups, be they oil lobbies, mulch-national banks, people who have to many children, people who bought to much house and spend half their income on mortgage interest, people building wind turbines, or whatever.

Re:Hmm (1)

Serpents (1831432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39439015)

The actual problem is not whether I agree with tax cuts for the poor or not. The problem here was that the three bills were a package, which was supposed to introduce a comprehensive tax reform. The president blocked one of them just to piss off people in order to lower the prime minister's party chances for re-election (I didn't support any of the two parties, since we have more than just two ;) ). Remember that this was an election year so it's hard to believe that he had anything else in mind, especially since it was way before the 2008 crisis so our economy was in relatively good shape (it still is, actually). I believe this means that the system was abused the same way it's often abused when one of the political parties in the US kills one act or another just to make the president look bad and the country be damned.

I don't see what the problem is (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39426925)

What's wrong with having a SAFE Port Act (keeping ports safe, gotta be good) with a rider that bans online gambling (UIGEA)?

Ports and gambling, everyone can see the connection there. And Bill Frist who added the rider got paid $50,000 by Harrah's (brick and mortar) casinos - purely coincidental that Harrah's share price went up 20% after the UIGEA was passed. Everybody wins ... er ....

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427447)

The theory is good, but how to implement it?

Re:Hmm (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427777)

The problem doesn't seem to appear anywhere except the USA, so maybe look at other parliamentary systems? I think the big difference is that every amendment to a bill elsewhere has to be debated and voted on separately. This means that it's not much easier to get an amendment passed than it is to get a separate bill passed, and if an amendment is not related to the bill it will typically just be rejected immediately - someone will call for a vote as soon as it's proposed. I thought this was meant to happen in the US too, but it seems that you can just tack things onto a bill.

The real problem is that there is no requirement for laws to be read out before they are enacted. This means that a typical bill is 500+ pages and no one voting on it has actually read it all of the way through.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39429083)

Reading it won't do any good unless you require attendance at the reading to vote on it. Requiring the latter might force simpler bills in order to have a quorum eligible to vote on it.

Re:Hmm (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39429275)

How long does it take to read a 500 page bill? Probably at least a day. Even if you don't force attendance, the senate can't do anything until the person reading the bill finishes reading it.

Re:Hmm (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39429601)

you test it. you insert green M and M's (etc) to test if they read the proposed laws.

you know what I'm talking about, here.

problem is there's no IQ test to get into government. in fact, you have to fail one to get ahead.

Re:Hmm (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39433419)

It might also serve to promote simpler laws. Who needs a 500 page bill? Who can understand a 500 page bill? Who can follow all of the 1000+ 500 page bills in their daily lives?

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427611)

I agree 100%....this is one of the biggest problems with our system of government. We should outlaw all riders onto any bill. Otherwise its too difficult to see who voted for what and why. The system is overly complex and I think its designed that was so that those in power can keep abusing the system. There are far too many things done in government that should clearly be illegal but are simply considered "the way things are done in Washington". It's ridiculous and its needs to be changes.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427745)

The problem is that "riders" aren't really an easily defined thing.

What actually happens is Congress writes a bill. Then it get's edited repeatedly until it passes or no one keeps re-introducing it. "Riders" are basically just when some jerk on the comity currently editing the bill adds "And also this..." to some portion of it.

The same process that lets you add "This law will not apply to persons distributing images of themselves" to a child pornography bill, can also be used to add " $500,000,000 from the treasury shall be allocated to the association for people who dink beer and use dynamite" to that same bill.

Re:Hmm (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39434155)

You will just have to accept that there are only so many hours in the day and with the US governments penchant of putting everything through a legislative process including some of the most petty and nothing things. There is straight insufficient time to discuss everything individually.

It's the whole US capitalistic bullshit of performance based in everything (clearly a horrible failure in many areas), so politicians get measured by how many pieces of legislation they introduce and how many they get through, nett results a whole stupendous bunch of empty utterly pointless make the voters feel could legislation.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39434173)

Atomicity sounds nice. I mostly agree. I do question whether it is possible though. These days a law is more like a patch to the source code rather than "new" code. Patches often require making small modifications to various non-obvious places to make the code change function effectively -- I bet the systems of of law could easily have similar complexities.

Absolutely...unilaterally disarm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39434845)

It is always a great idea to make public your negotiating positions and strategy so your opponent can know when he should agree with your wisdom.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39445455)

You want the One Subject At A Time Act, by the DownSize DC organization.

Commie, islamofasicist, america-hating traitor! (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426277)

Prematurely revealing the secret ACTA designation of intellectual property as a 'national security asset granted the protection of the US strategic air command's full deterrent and offensive capabilities' would definitely have national security implications! Just think of how awkward it could get if we told the world about our plan to launch thermonuclear first strikes against suspected piracy-abetting datacenters...

Re:Commie, islamofasicist, america-hating traitor! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39426433)

But that's the thing, they don't mind telling 'the world' at least in so far as that means 'foreign governments' - because what they're trying to keep secret is explicitly what they are talking to the rest of the world's governments about. It's the citizenry that they don't want to know.

Re:Commie, islamofasicist, america-hating traitor! (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427129)

No strike necessary. All you have to do is to turn the cooling off.


corporate security (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426445)

For the many politicians who think the proper role of government is to prop up corporate profits, corporate income security interests *are* national security interests.

And certain corporations have determined that letting the public in on what's going on is definitely not in their interests. Those rebellious citizens might demand the politicians to make treaties that benefit citizens' rights rather than corporate profits. We can't allow that in a corpratocracy.

Re:corporate security (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426539)

Here here. Business should have *some* say in trade negotiations, however, it seems like they been writing them whole-cloth.

When the tariff schedule, when printed out, is the size of two Encyclopedia Britannica end-to-end, free trade is a bit of a misnomer.

Re:corporate security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427511)

People cannot use tax dodges, companies can. People are paying for the country's infrastructure, companies don't (other than the obscene medical industry). Companies commit crime all the time, can't recall one ever going to jail. Companies bribe politicians, that's illegal, but there's never an investigation even when they're admitted on live TV.

Re:corporate security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427725)

I'm a person and I formed a corporation so that I could pay a lot less taxes. The only employee is me, so any loopholes, tax dodging, etc. is done by me (with the aid of my accountant). The corporation I created is merely one of the tools I use to (legally) avoid paying taxes. In the state of Florida it costs $78.75 to create a corporation. I can't imagine it's much more than that in most places in the country. Make your own corporation if it bothers you so much. The paperwork is a bit of a nuisance but I probably save about $500/hr in taxes if you add up all the time I spend throughout the year.
Also, people without corporations get tons of tax breaks.. having children, buying a house, donating your old clothes to Good Will, healthcare expenses, childcare so you can work expenses, etc.

Re:corporate security (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39433447)

Why should they have any more say then the other voters? Do retirees get to write laws about social security benefits?

Subjunctive is a lost art (1)

lethe1001 (606836) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426447)

Is Sen. Wyden describing what ACTA is actually doing? No? Then the jussive subjunctive is appropriate (in the US). "Senator Wyden Demands ACTA Go Before Congress" would be better a better headline. For me, it's not just a nitpick; it's a matter of clarity. I had difficulty understanding what the intent of the sentence was until I read the summary.

Re:Subjunctive is a lost art (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426691)

Obtuse, ungrammatical and misleading headlines are par for the course. There's an army of morons writing them. Often the articles are almost as bad.

Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (4, Informative)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426587)

In these threads some guy usually says that the President has to send a treaty to Congress for it to be valid, therefore Obama is abusing his power, usurping Congressional Authority, and raping kittens by not sending ACTA to Congress. This is false, and based on the poster not understanding what's going on.

What's going on is that everything ACTA demands is already part of US Law. Obama can already seize your shit if he thinks it's counterfeit. It's called asset forfeiture, and it's already in the US Code. As is literally everything else in the treaty. When he does so the people judging whether the US is in compliance have to say "Yes, that guy totally had his shit seized because it was counterfeit." Therefore Obama doesn't care whether ACTA is formally ratified and made part of US Law, he already has all the powers he needs.

Thus Wyden has to resort to maneuvers like this if he wants to stop ACTA, and Wyden's maneuver probably won't be very effective at all. Because even if Congress does not vote to ratify the treaty we're still in compliance unless Congress also insists on amending all the copyright rules currently in place.

As a political tactic it has some uses. The biggest is that it establishes there's resistance to the business community's insane copyright/patent demands from some folks with clout, and future ACTAs will be designed to appeal to those other groups. It's unlikely (that ordinary Poles will understand the particular wrinkle of US Law I just explained, so Polish politicians are all answering the question "Why should we ratify ACTA, even the US didn't ratify ACTA?" The potential drawback here is that if Wyden gets his ratification vote he's likely to lose, because this isn't just about copyright. It's also about fake golfclubs, cars, etc. You don't want to be the guy on the side of fake chinese golf clubs/antibiotics/toothpaste/etc. in an election year.

But if you think there is literally any chance of ACTA not applying to your American ass, I have news for you: It already does.

Re:Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39426713)

When you consider the implications of this becoming international law, it's not a little thing. We effectively legitimize using our military to "protect" the company who is selling a song in China or Poland, but that song got downloaded without payment. There is a HUGE difference between confiscating our own citizens' computers vs "police action" and confiscating property in other countries. Some might thing spreading our corruption to others isn't so bad, but it has significant impact on our attempts to do anything which isn't related to pushing international corporations' agenda.

Re:Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (4, Insightful)

Shadowhawk (30195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427051)

What you say may be true, but I don't think he expects to be able to change existing copyright law. IMHO he has two aims; to make ratification of treaties require Senate approval (as specified in the Constitution) rather than Presidential fiat; and requires that negotiations in these treaties be conducted in the open (anything we share with other countries must be made public). Yes, I RTFA, but I'm not new here.

Re:Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39429233)

Obama's not claiming the treaty is Ratified. That's a very specific Constitutional process which requires a vote in Congress explicitly saying "treaty x is ratified." None of his people ever have. He's claiming we've "Acceded" to the treaty because everything required to enforce was already on the books. That just means all the laws are passed so we're complying, and it's clearly true. The whole point of ACTA is to make everyone else hjave the same BS draconian laws we do, therefore it would be somewhat astounding if we hadn't already acceded. The Ratification argument is a strawman brought up by the Treaty's opponents because the MSM really doesn't give a shit about any of the other numerous issues surrounding ACTA.

Unfortunately it tends to dominate the conversation, thus instead of finding out whether I care about the secrecy of ACTA you've read a page and a half on ratification and international law.

BTW, you clearly haven't thought this through if you think that requiring a ratification vote will reduce Presidential power. The President has unilateral power over who is recognized as a country, and he has the unilateral power to negotiate treaties with countries. He also has the power to not send a proposal to the Senate for a vote. Which means you just gave the President the power to veto any law he wants, simply by recognizing some dumbass as President of the Bir-Tawli triangle, agreeing to enforce said law, and then refusing to send the treaty to the US Senate.

Re:Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427415)

I think my worry is that the bill he is attaching it to, might actually be supported by members of the congress critter elite. What if it does actually pass, if simply because the "jobs" portion overshadows and provides the propaganda necessary to hide the ACTA portion?

Re:Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39430267)

Attach something unpalatable to the main bill. Problem solved.

Re:Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427459)

A similar argument is often used in the EU ("it doesn't change anything"). There is however at least one very important extra things to consider: once you ratify ACTA and it enters into force, you no longer can change anything about your laws in a way that contravenes ACTA without unanimous consent by all ACTA signatories. You basically paint yourself into a corner.

Another point is that ACTA includes an obligation to encourage private enforcement by industry stakeholders (ACTA Articles 27.2 & 8.1). In other words, it literally mandates a shift towards fascist practices (merging of state and business operations), or alternatively forbids shifting away from them in this respect. An example was Section 104 of SOPA, which gave unlimited liability protections for US companies taking punitive measures against foreign companies, if the action was based on a “reasonable belief” that US rights were being infringed upon (irrespective of whether local laws were being respected).

Re:Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39433475)

Also, the text is vague enough that any gov't can introduce any draconian bills touching IP/ counterfeiting/ border control/ enforcement etc.. and in case of public outrage just point to ACTA and say: "We are obliged to have these new laws because of this." No one will ever check if ACTA only allows the possibility but does not require it.

Re:Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427753)

So you have apparently read the text of ACTA. I was under the impression that the "secret" agreement was secret and we didn't know what was in it. Where can I read the text?

Re:Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39429653)

so, if they already have all this power, WHY ASK FOR IT AGAIN?

this does not make sense.

you don't go trying to get new laws made if you have all the teeth you need, already.

your post sounds informative but it is not. it does not pass the smell test.

Re:Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39430097)

They AREN'T "asking for it again", they're asking for every other first world country to do it too.

Re:Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39433791)

The AC's got it right. They aren't asking for more power to screw with Americans. They've got that.

They're asking for more power to screw with Poles.

Re:Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (1)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39431679)

You argument is specious.

That I have closed my door does not give you the right to superglue my door shut without my permission.

That congress has passed laws does not give the president the right to sign a treaty that lock those (or similar laws) on the book permanently without congress' permission.

Stopping ACTA becoming a formally accepted treaty is a first step in making sure the laws in question can be fixed.

Re:Why ACTA isn't going before Congress... (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39433983)

Your analogy is specious. A US Law is not a simple thing to change, especially unilaterally. No single person or group can close the door unilaterally.

To make it work we need a bicameral door-opening committee, and a door-opening Executive Officer separate from the committee. Once the committee has voted to close the door, and the executive agreed, is the executive overstepping his bounds by telling everyone else "Don't worry, the door won't open?"

As for stopping ACTA, in the US that battle is lost. Wyden's strategy could work, but only to the extent it will make Poland/Denmark/etc. less likely to join us in our ACTA-compliant foolishness. There is no way to put the ACTA genie back into the bottle in the US until at least the election. Given the sheer number of interest groups who love ACTA it's pretty hard to see any of it's provisions being overturned as a result of the election.

For example, remember the Chinese Dog Food killing puppies? ACTA's anti-counterfeiting provisions help prevent that from happening again because they mean when you buy Crest or Purina it is actually Crest or Purina-approved. Logically it's a non sequiter, but it makes a hell of an attack ad. How about a flood of fake Chinese Fords destroying UAW jobs in Michigan? A totally irrational, and frankly insane, fear. But you show me the Midwestern pol with the balls to risk that ad and I'll show you a guy who lost to Ron Johnson a year-and-half ago.

About three years late (1)

ausrob (864993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426605)

..but better late than never.

I'm heartened by the fact that he didn't stop with having the treaty go before Congress, but also attempted to have the entire process reviewed.

In Australia, a Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade official went before Parliament and defended what he called (wait for it -- ) an 'open, inclusive and transparent process' involving 150 stakeholders. 150 out of 22 million, go figure.

I wish I could vote for Sen Wyden! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39426677)

We need more politicians like this, who hold the interests of citizens above those of corporations.

You CAN vote for Sen Wyden! (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427645)

Just send his re-election campaign money. Money = votes in a political landscape where advertising sways far more voters than actual positions (or even facts). The more money he has the more undecided (or unthoughtful) voters he can get to vote for his re-election.

Of course, you can't be the one to cast the ballot, but though the miracle of advertising you can have somebody who really doesn't care either way do it for you!

Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39426875)

"Senator Wyden Demands ACTA Go Before Congress"

I believe it's called the subjunctive mood.

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