Transparency Needed on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

By Micheal Geist – Law Bytes , Toronto Star | June 9, 2008

Last week, Canadian negotiators huddled with representatives from the United States, Europe and Japan at the U.S. Mission in Geneva to negotiate the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The ACTA, shrouded in secrecy until a leaked summary of the agreement appeared on the Internet last month, has sparked widespread opposition as Canadians worry about the prospect of a trade deal that could lead to invasive searches of personal computers and increased surveillance of online activities.

While documents obtained under the Access to Information Act reveal internal ACTA discussions as early as 2006, the trade negotiations only came to the Canadian public’s attention last fall when International Trade Minister David Emerson revealed the government’s intention to participate in the negotiations.

Leaked document: Discussion Paper on a Possible Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement