back to article Top Republican publishes full ACTA text for public look-see

Republican congressman Darrell Issa of California has published the full text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), saying that the public has a right to know what their governments have been hiding from them. "ACTA represents as great a threat to an open Internet as SOPA and PIPA and was drafted with even less …


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  1. LarsG

    THIS GUY IS....

    After your votes!

    I know, maybe a little to cynical but he is doing the right thing.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: THIS GUY IS....


    2. Figgus

      Re: THIS GUY IS....

      Issa has a fairly long history of doing the right thing, and isn't doing the right thing the BEST way to win votes?

      A beer, 'coz I'd buy him one.


      Re: THIS GUY IS....

      ...about a year late.

      How long has this nonsense been going on? Isn't this thing already a "done deal"? So who really cares if it's being disclosed now?

      It's a pretty worthless gesture at this point.

    4. NogginTheNog

      Re: THIS GUY IS....

      ALL politicians are after votes, it's how they get to where they want to be.

      Whether they have noble or nefarious intentions once they get there is a separate matter.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't wait until this hits Reddit

    I cannot wait until this hits Reddit - the sound of all the Redditors brains attempting to process this will be deafening:

    10 ACTA BAD!


    30 HIM GOOD!



    60 HIM BAD!

    70 GOTO 10

    Run that loop for a while and it will be like a cross between Scanners and Lemmings (when you command them all to explode).

    1. Tom 13

      Re: I can't wait until this hits Reddit

      There aren't many good pols out there. Appreciate them when you can.

  3. John 98

    I could imagine myself voting for this guy

    1. NomNomNom

      what a vivid imagination you have

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Motivations mean nothing.

    The way this 'treaty' was negotiated and it's implications to our freedom is an egregious abuse of power and an affrount to democratic principles on a global scale so everyone involved should be disgraced and called to account irrespective of their individual political leanings.

    So I think this man's motivations are irrelevant.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Motivations mean nothing.

      Unless he is playing to the audience.

      1. Michael Hawkes

        Re: Motivations mean nothing.

        Even if he is playing to the audience, techies aren't the crowd Republican congressmen usually try to play to.

        1. Beaver6813
          Thumb Up

          Re: Motivations mean nothing.

          To be fair to the guy hes pushing the OPEN act as well, which whilst still has many flaws is at least listening to tech companies and not trying to demand that ISPs filter out anything with the word torrent in it..

    2. Tom 13

      Re: Motivations mean nothing.

      Motivations are always relevant. Motivations are always present. The best the people can hope for is for the Motivations to be transparent. I think it is fair to say that Issa has a motivation to be re-elected. I am personally of the opinion he also has a motivation to be fair and protect liberty. These two motivations need not conflict with each other or detract from the correctness of releasing the full details of the agreement.

      Oddly enough, if even if it were a treaty, Issa doesn't actually get a say on whether or not it is approved. He sits in the House and approval of Treaties is strictly a Senate function. That may play into the motivational factors too.

  5. darkmage0707077

    Wow, there are politicians in my government's office right now with enough balls to actually do the right thing sometimes?


    I fell into a dimensional warp while on the train to work today, didn't I?

    On a more serious note, ACTA doesn't look AS bad as I'd first feared, but it's still pretty bad and needs to be stopped, same as SOPA and PIPA. I'm glad I'm a regular at The Reg; they've been keeping me informed about this schlock months and years before SOPA/PIPA became concerns for others. Being the resident "tech guy", I was consulted, and had PLENTY to tell them, both about those and about ACTA (which they subsequently added to their list of "Do Not Want").

    On the one hand, I want to promote The Reg in order to better inform people, but on the other, I like this feeling of being the "expert" on current technical events everyone I know consults with...meh, concious is getting the best again, I'll keep telling them where I get my info from, damn it.

    1. Tom 38

      I don't know about his balls

      But check out his congressional district, specifically which large companies are HQed there. All politicians have masters.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You are forgetting something

      He is the congressman for California.

      Right, will he protect the multi-trillion valley interests or not.

      Hm... Nothing "ballsy" here - he is just doing his job - defending the interests of his electorate.

      As far as ACTA looking bad or "not so bad":

      1. It lost some of its most odious language over the last two years

      2. It is so fuzzy at places that it is unclear how bad it is going to be before we see the actual legislation which implements it.

      1. ArmanX

        Re: You are forgetting something

        Honestly, in today's politics, "defending the interests of his electorate" is actually pretty ballsy...

        1. Tom 38

          Re: You are forgetting something

          I forget, when did universal suffrage include Cisco, Qualcomm, Novatel...

          All large corporations in San Diego, all whose business grows with the growth of internet traffic, all who have no desire to see traffic levels fall with a dropoff in piracy.

          I'm not saying he's done a bad thing - it's good that we can read the unabridged text. He is not doing this because he's a super-cool guy on the side of the little guy though.

      2. Christoph

        Re: You are forgetting something

        Whatever the exact details of ACTA it should not have been imposed by stealth having been drawn up by vested interests and kept secret.

        That alone means it should be rejected, regardless of its contents.It must be made extremely clear that this behaviour is not acceptable, and any future attempts to pull similar tricks will fail.

        The European Parliament should reject it in their own self interest, or they (along with other elected bodies) will become increasingly irrelevant as international regulations are imposed by fiat of business interests.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: You are forgetting something

          So then we were wrong to write and approve that Constitution thingie way back in 1789?

          Because it was drawn up by vested interests in secret back when it was way easier to keep secrets. Hell, even the public debates were conducted under false names, Publius being the most famous and which apparently was handed back and forth amongst several of the co-conspirators.

      3. Turtle

        Re: You are forgetting something

        Evidently you do not understand how the US electoral system works. He is indeed _from_ California but in Congress, California as a whole is represented by two senators who serves in the US Senate. Individual districts in California and elsewhere are represented by members of the House of Representatives. He represents 2.1 million of the the state's population of 37 million people. So the scope of Issa's interests - besides his own personal self-interest, greed and corruption - is one fairly small area of California, and the even small number of extremely wealthy business owners who live in his district, or whose businesses are located there, and from whom Issa certainly receives or expects to receive any number of benefits.

        "In February 2011, the Watchdog Institute, an independent nonprofit reporting center based at San Diego State University, published an investigation alleging that as leader of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Issa built a team that included staff members with close connections to industries that could benefit from his investigations. For instance, several had ties to big oil billionaire brothers, David and Charles Koch, whose companies could benefit from changes in regulations. The Huffington Post also published the Institute's investigation". (Wikipedia)

        You don't think that there aren't "future considerations" involved for his decision to put industry insiders - from industries that it is his responsibility to regulate! - on his staff, now do you? And why shouldn't he work for Google, as well as the Koch brothers, or anyone else with a lot of money?

        1. JohnMoser

          Re: You are forgetting something

          It thinks Wikipedia is a reliable source for political material. Isn't that cute? Turtle(Oh, I get it. Slow...), you spout allegations(from some nutjob "independent reporting center". Wha?) with no evidence(because they didn't happen of course), even managing to work in the Kochs. We have actual evidence, on the other hand, that certain companies gave obscene sums of money to BO's campaign, and in return received tens of billions, at the least, in subsidies and "loans"(many have gone bankrupt, so the taxpayer will take the shaft). This is a matter of public record. You have nothing but innuendo


        2. Tom 13

          Re: You are forgetting something

          You need to replace your tinfoil hat with tinfoil hat 2.0. The old one's been hacked.

      4. BigFire

        Re: You are forgetting something

        Slight correction. Darrell Issa represents North San Diego / Riverside County. Nowhere near the Bay Area.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You are forgetting something

        You are forgetting that every law ever passed has been pushed to it's limits by unscrupulous prosecutors in order to punish offenders to the maximum possible extent.of the available law.

        So stating that ACTA has some aspects that are 'not so bad' is naive at best.

  6. Eddy Ito

    As far as pols go, he isn't half bad. I often wonder why he isn't out there in the Presidential primary but I suppose it's possible he isn't sufficiently nuts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      He's just that little bit too nutty?

      What's he's doing may be frowned upon by the men in black?

    2. jukejoint


      ... one gets sick of nuts, and can't take another one (no matter how mouthwateringly nutty Issa may be). "OPEN" - is a shell game, 3-card monte, hide-the-sausage, etc.

      Step one: put forward insanely self-serving legislation so you can a)bank the agreed-upon payoff b)hang out with your cool new friends in VIP areas c)throw some A-list bone around

      Step two: defend the bills with righteous indignation as you are a true patriot

      Step three: have a buddy send out public relations distress signals to the media & put forward a modified version that's "a lot better"

      Step four: grandstand, but wait for the proper timing, by "releasing" ACTA text available elsewhere - don't worry, no one will bother to get it any other way due to a nationally-inculcated lack of interest in education. YOU ROCK! Soon you will move on to the most important step 5: ramp up your dark-horse candidacy for the Republican nomination - not only are you a quality nut, you are way photogenic, and America will be OPEN to you.

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    The way he is behaving, I just can't shake the feeling he is going to have a terrible 'accident' in the not too distant future.

  8. BigFire

    Operation Fast & Furious

    Darrell Issa is the thorn in Eric Holder (US Attorney General) and Barack Obama's side in his quest to get the truth regarding this Administration's undeclared war against Mexico and State of Arizona. Yeah, I'm not surprised at this turn of event.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Operation Fast & Furious

      It's hard to not be a thorn in Eric "I'm not responsible for my fascist decisions" Holder's side unless all defenses are indeed very much down.

  9. Chris 3

    Err, surely the full text has been available for ages?

    I don't understand this - the full text has been available for a while, certainly since it was up for signing.

    You can get the full text in every EU language here:

    The full text was tabled in the Australian parliament back in November and published in full here:

    The US government has the treaty in full on its site somewhere (to lazy to look, but found it last month) - so what **exactly** is this story about?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Err, surely the full text has been available for ages?

      That's the EU equivalent of

      "on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard' "

  10. heyrick Silver badge


    [followed link] Not a mobe-friendly site, that. I do so with people with lengthy texts would make a PDF version available...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real scandal

    is that politicians consider it legit to keep the terms of such an agreement secret.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't that an un-American attitude?

    "...the public has a right to know what their governments have been hiding from them".

    Great! So this congresscritter at least believes Bradley Manning should be released immediately with an apology and generous compensation; all charges (and grudges) against Julian Assange and Wikileaks should be dropped; and the US gummint should start being open and transparent?



  13. Yves Blondeel

    Correction on the EU aspect of the article

    It was EC Commissioner Karel De Gucht (Commissioner for Trade) who proposed to refer ACTA to the European Court of Justice (and secured the agreement of the Commission for the referral), as is shown in this press release:

    Whereas EC Commissioner Viviane Reding (Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship) issued a statement, as shown below:

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