Secret Treaty Is Very, Very Scary


Boing Boing, the EFF and Michael Geist are reporting that a secret treaty that could determine the future of file sharing is being negotiated without any input from the public at an international conference in Seoul.

The treaty, called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, has, of course, leaked, and it goes way beyond counterfeiting. Instead, according to the EFF, it “will deal with new tools targetting “Internet distribution and information technology.””

According to Cory Doctorow and the EFF, the terms of this agreement, which was drafted by the Obama Administration, could cause ISP’s worldwide to shut down service at just the accusation of illegal file sharing, and if one person in a household were to be accused of violating the law, everyone in the household would lose service. It could also, according to Doctorow, make it “impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger”

Basically, if a service provider ends up being responsible for the actions of its customers, it will shut off access at the very suggestion of anything illegal. This leads to bad things.

The EFF suggests you contact your Senators. I do, too.

(via Susan Taylor Chehak)

Seth Fischer’s writing has twice been listed as notable in The Best American Essays and has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize by several publications, including Guernica. He was the founding Sunday editor at The Rumpus and is the current nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. He is a Dornsife PhD Fellow at USC and been awarded fellowships and residencies by Ucross, Lambda Literary, Jentel, Ragdale, and elsewhere, and he teaches at the UCLA-Extension Writer’s Program and Antioch University, where he received his MFA. More from this author →