The Department of Foreign Affairs has issued a release that provides an update on the most recent round of ACTA negotiations (the release will be mirrored by other countries). It reports that governments met last week in Paris to continue ACTA negotiations. In addition to the three issues addressed at earlier meetings (international cooperation, enforcement practices and institutional issues, as well as criminal enforcement), Internet issues were now added to the mix.
The release notes that governments are aware of the concerns with the lack of transparency in the process and plan to discuss the matter further (presumably when they next meet in Morocco in March 2009). Transparency does not require discussion, it requires action. This is quite clearly an intellectual property agreement (not a trade agreement) with negotiations that are conducted in secret to avoid the spotlight and possible objections from developing countries and civil society. The time has come for Canada to stand up and say that this is wrong and that it will not continue with the process until it meets appropriate standards of transparency.