The ACTA treaty is being negotiated in secret. It stands for “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” but that’s just a cover name: it’s really about clamping down on internet freedom.
It’s said that the USA has the best government money can buy, and that’s true; the US government has been well and truely bought and paid for by corporate vested interests such as the RIAA and MPAA. The ACTA treaty is being pushed by US trade negotiators largely at their behest. This, incidently is why ACTA has carried on just the same under the Bush administration and the Obama one — the frontman may be different, but it’s the same corporate interests inside.
USTR [The US negotiators] indicated that these internal discussions were sensitive due to different points of view regarding the internet chapter both within the Administration, with Congress and among stakeholders (content providers on one side, supporters of internet “freedom” on the other).
They know what they are doing would cause a shitstorm if it got out, which is why they want to keep it secret. Oh and don’t you love the way they put freedom in scare-quotes?
But this is the section that really lets the cat out of the bag (my emphases):
On the limitations from 3rd party liability: to benefit from safe-harbours, ISPs need to put in place policies to deter unauthorised storage and transmission of IP infringing content (ex: clauses in customers’ contracts allowing, inter alia, a graduated response). From what we understood, the US will not propose that authorities need to create such systems. Instead they require some self-regulation by ISPs.
- graduated response: this is the content industries’ name for 3-strikes, their plan to disconnect alleged filesharers from the internet without due process of law
- clauses in customers’ contracts: the purpose of doing it through an ISP’s contrect with thewir customers is so that the internet user has no recourse to law or a fair hearing
- to benefit from safe-harbours: this means if ISPs don’t comply with what the content industries want, they’ll be bankrupted with crippling lawsuits