Draft of Secretive International Copyright Treaty Leaked – Confirms Fears About Internet Freedom
The level of ACTA secrecy is highly unusual for an agreement focused on intellectual property issues, leading to a steady stream of parliamentary resolutions and political demands for transparency coming from around the globe.
US insists on keeping treaty secret
The standard response to transparency criticisms from many governments (including Canada) was to claim that they favored releasing the ACTA text to the public, but that other unnamed countries did not.
Since there was no consensus, the text could not be released.
The Dutch leak succeeded in blowing the issue wide open by identifying precisely which countries posed barriers to transparency.
The document identified the U.S., Singapore, South Korea, and a trio of European countries as the remaining holdouts.
Once publicly identified, the European countries quickly reversed their positions.
The E.U. now unanimously supports the releasing of the text alongside Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Switzerland.
With the outing of the transparency issue, it will fall to the U.S., which is widely viewed as the critical stumbling block, to justify its insistence on keeping the treaty secret.
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