Australian Trade Officials Accept Comments on ACTA, Why Can’t USTR?

July 21, 2008

The United States Trade Representative thanks you for your input!

Thank you for your input!

I just got word that Australian trade officials are accepting comments on the next round of ACTA negotiations.

Predictably, their request for input from is inexcusably opaque. The announcement (link above) alludes to three topics: “border measures”, “civil enforcement”, and “institutional isssues” (I’m nominating that last one for the Max Weber Prize for lack of imagination by a bureaucrat).

Without more substantive public disclosure and debate of the topics under consideration in the ACTA negotiations, such public comments requests remain little more than a shadow play of actual democracy.

This is simply unacceptable given the scope of issues ACTA will address and their potential impact on the future of the Internet, the digital economy, global development, and law enforcement.

Small wonder, the Office of the US Trade Representative has not even bothered to request comments.

Hat tip: Kimberlee Weatherall

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