Guess we should take a better look at this ol ACTA thing, eh?

While the rest of us were up in arms about all these SOPA shenanigans, the powers that be were holed up in some dark corner conspiring against their people… The result of this was ACTA.  Ok, dramatization, but here’s the thing, this bit of legal craziness was aimed at controlling IPs across borders, which at its core sounds good, but like all the other legislations out there, it ends up looking like some sort of legalized fascism.  In its earlier incarnation, ACTA had some major problems with wording and “could” have been used to make generic drugs sent to developing nations illegal, crazy controls that SOPA was doing, and other stuff we wont get into…

That was the jist of it.  But to be fair, ACTA itself got a fresh coat of paint and many of those concerning points have been ironed out.  HOWEVER, that’s not the real problem here.  They could have passed a bill to give out free daffodils but that means nothing if it was done in secret and without regard for process.  That’s where we get to the real issue; ACTA was signed by Obama last year (2011ish) and, well… who the heck knew about all this?  Maybe it didn’t get the press it truly needed, but in the earlier versions of the document, this was clearly not something the world needed.  So what’s the big deal?  Well, for one it creates a precedent for signing into international law without the proper processes (as in being voted upon).  It’s also something that would be incredibly difficult to change without completely backing out of.  Though it says it won’t change current laws, it’s the enforcement that is imposed on our legal system that is nearly completely out of our control to change or correct.  That and it basically strong arms any country that doesn’t have the same laws.

In any case, no matter how you look at it, this was a bad idea.  I’m all for the full transparency of our government.  There really aren’t any parts (other than sensitive things that would endanger peoples’ lives) of our system that needs to be secretive, especially when it comes to creating policy.  So yeah, there you go, Sam’s your uncle!  Bad times all around.  It’ll be interesting to see if there will be any kind of blowback from this with future policy creation, but as it stands right now I guess it’s a win for the other guys.

Sources: Ars Technia, Wiki