back to article Pirate Party storms out of uber-secret ACTA negotiations

The level of secrecy shrouding the EU’s ACTA negotiations reached new heights earlier this week, with the news that Pirate Party MEP Christian Engstrom felt compelled to abandon a meeting with ACTA negotiators in the European Parliament after he was forbidden from sharing information with the public. According to a write-up on …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Velv

    Leaks ?

    "The ship of state, Bernard, is the only ship that leaks from the top."

    (Yes, Prime Minister)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      And once again...

      Sir Humphrey proves himself to be one of the most keen political minds the UK has ever produced, either in fiction or reality.

      1. Will Leamon
        Thumb Up

        Yes Prime Minister

        Just saw Sir Humphrey's take on the smoking ban last night (yes I know I'm 20 years late) and was shocked that the Beeb would actually air his argument against it. It was so forthright I almost choked.

        Love the show BTW...

  2. Anonymous Coward


    good on him! now if only other MEPs would grow a backbone and walk out on the undemocratic talks.

    1. Brian Morrison
      Thumb Down

      The problem is....

      ...that the European Commission would be only too pleased if all the MEPs walked out, because then they could carry on their undemocratic activities with all the brakes off.....

  3. Anonymous Coward

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    "The only difference is that if you keep the wraps on for too long, not only will your secrets always eventually spill, but you end up looking sneaky and undemocratic as well"

    If it looks like a duck, smells like a duck, sounds like a duck, moves like duck, it's because it's most likely a duck

  4. Rogerborg

    Decisions are made by those who stay in the room

    Why didn't he take notes, publish, and then ask what, exactly, they were going to do about it?

    Seems to me that he's more interested in free publicity for himself than in actually revealing the RIAA man behind the curtain.

    1. PerfectBlue


      Because they'd throw him out of the next meeting.

      By walking out he highlighted the issue in a way that he could not be punished for doing so.

      It was the smart thing to do.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      people who spill the beans when great fortunes are at stake inexplicably find very special ingredients in their soup.

  5. David McMahon

    I thought the Reg..

    Was against Freetardism, so a trade body fighting pirates would be good news right???

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Against freetardism?

      If so, I didn't get the memo. Remember that El Reg is composed of many people, with many different views. It's what makes it such a great site. Some of us are far more sympathetic to "freetards" than others...

      Also, if yiou are anti-acta...

  6. ScaredyCat
    Black Helicopters

    This badger has sailed

    "According to Engstrom: 'At first the Commission seemed unwilling to answer this question with a straight yes or no' "

    So if you ask and they don't answer you simply publish and when they get up in arms about it you remind them that they didn't object when you asked.

  7. PerfectBlue


    Unlike most of you who've only ever know life in a democracy, I've spent a notable chunk of my life languishing in a brutal totalitarian police state (No, not the US under Bush, something worse).

    I know all to well that you should be very afraid when leaders get together to make laws without public consultation and without public accountability.

    Be prepared to kiss goodbye to your rights, and to being innocent until proved guilty, because that's what's going to happen. Oh, and be prepared to kiss goodbye to the concept of ownership. Once this treaty is signed you will own the plastic that your CDs are stamped on, but nothing more. You may not even be allowed to make a play list to listen to tracks in a different order. They movie companies have already pulled that one with DVDs. You used to be able to buy DVD players that would time skip over curse words or nudity, but you can't any more.

    1. LinkOfHyrule


      Why would you want to skip over "curse words" or "nudity"? Those are the best bits surely?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Is that all?

      OK, what PerfectBlue says is bad enough, but I think it is the beginning of something even worse. I just don't know what it is.

      Put another way, why would a bunch of governments go to all this secrecy, greater even than that surrounding nuclear arms control talks etc, about something as trivial as copyright infringement. If they are treating it with more secrecy than nuclear arms control, then it equally must be more "important". Not in the text to be announced, but in what it paves the way for. This is classic EU tactic: deny anything is going to happen until it has, and then refuse to reconsider because it has all been agreed. "You should have objected earlier".

      Beer 'cos its Friday, enjoyed together with the AC'97

  8. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    Infuriatingly arrogant two faced control freaks...

    The European Parliament ultimately works for us so why the hell are they acting in secret behind our backs to hide what they do in our name!. Either they represent us or we get someone who will represent us.

    Its yet more of the same behaviour from them. They are once again behaving like a bunch of infuriatingly arrogant two faced authoritarian control freaks.

    They know if the public finds out what they are suggesting to enforce on the public, then the public will revolt in anger at their tyrannical arrogance, so they are hiding from us while they scheme and plot about what level of Police State they can get away with forcing onto us all.

  9. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Lisbon Treaty

    So, if this agreement is being worked on in contravention of the Lisbon Treaty, couldn't the Pirate Party just wait until it's "done", then demand it be rejected from consideration by EU Parliament because it was created illegally? This would seem sensible to me.

  10. Ian Stephenson
    Black Helicopters

    To leak - verb

    I give confidential briefings,

    You leak

    He is being prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge


      ... this is at a European level, and the MEP in question isn't under UK jurisdiction, so the Official Secrets Act has absolutely nothing to say here.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rather, the problem here

    is that ACTA is such a bag of hurt nobody represented will in their right minds agree to what the people supposedly representing them are up to. So yeah, it's as bad as the "data sharing" agreement. None of those affected gain, and we stand a great deal to lose.

    Not to mention that the driving force behind it is big corporate greedy pirates. Pirates in the words of the artists those big corporate labels claim to represent, but fail to pay very much at all. Yes, I can back that claim up, but the last time I posted it with url a moderator came along. Oh well.

    1. Goat Jam


      The same thing happened to me in another thread. Posted a textified url to an essay written by an music industry insider and it disappeared into a black hole.

      Google "The Problem With Music" to see the article.

  12. bruceld


    Maybe they wanted him to walk out, and he did exactly what they wanted him to do.

    Of course they don't like him and they will ignore his questions just to irk him. That's what all opponents do. If he wants to be a politician, he has to start acting they way they do.

    Fight fire with fire. Walking out on your opponents accomplishes absolutely nothing.

    1. John Tserkezis


      "Fight fire with fire. Walking out on your opponents accomplishes absolutely nothing."

      Ahh, but it does. Going in and keeping mum does little more than show you've been there.

      Making a scene about not being able to copy the proceedings with the public says not only have you been there, but makes it *quite clear* they don't want anyone else to find out what's happening.

      Both are legal, both prevent any type of recourse, but the latter tells us those who stayed behind are information mongers who get off on knowing a bit more than mere public plebs, and probably in it for the money alone - and to hell with what anyone else thinks.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boo Hoo

    Take your laptop and hit the road Jack... and don't come back!

  14. fred #257
    Black Helicopters

    Whose conspiracy is it?

    Contrary to what the Europhobes here seem to think, ACTA was started by the US and Japan. The list of culprits can be found on the Wikipedia page.

    IMO it's a disgrace that *any* government should go near it. As to who's pushing it - the usual scum, I'd bet. Just think 'corporate greed'.

  15. Graham Wilson

    This continuing ACTA secrecy stinks - it's an example of why Democracy is really only an illusion.

    This is why Democracy is only an illusion--a pretense to distract us from what's really going on. This secrecy over ACTA is yet another instance of those who have power corrupting due process for their own ends once again.

    It's essentially proof that big corporate multinational business has the votes at the expense of citizens.

    The big question is why is stuff on copyright, patents, copying and trade so sensitive that the issues can only be discussed in secret until deals are cut.

    It's clear these bastards never have had the moral high ground and they are worried that we citizens are beginning to see through the sham, hence the secrecy.

    If I were Pirate Party MEP Christian Engstrom I'd be urging my members to acts of civil disobedience on the basis that governance, law and due process have broken down and that we are close to sliding into totalitarianism.

    This secrecy fucking stinks.

    Do something, harangue your politicians before its too late!

  16. JohnG

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant

    I can see no justification for secrecy in the ACTA negotiations other than to provide cover for corruption.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021