Canada’s Private ACTA Talking Points

While the Canadian government has dutifully followed the U.S. line on ACTA with bland releases following each of the four 2008 negotiation sessions, newly obtained documents under the Access to Information Act reveal that the Canadian delegation may be speaking out on some of the public concerns that have been raised around transparency and the exclusion of many countries from the negotiation process [download here].  The documents include several noteworthy revelations:

First, the documents confirm that the leaked ACTA document from last year was indeed the ACTA Discussion Paper distributed among governments.  At the time, there was some question as to whether this was an industry wish-list or a government document.  The Canadian documents confirm that this was a government document, a suggested intervention notes that "we would like to raise the issue of communications.  As you all know by now, the ACTA Discussion Paper has been leaked . . . "

Second, the documents reveal that Canada submitted two "non-papers" to the other countries in advance of the first round of negotiations last year.  The two papers focused on (1) institutional and procedural issues to be addressed during the negotiations and (2) institutional issues following the negotiation of ACTA. 

Third, the documents include suggested interventions for the Geneva meeting last June. 
The suggestions reveal that, contrary to publicly stated positions on the Canadian ACTA FAQ that the process has not been kept from the public and that excluding other countries makes sense, Canada may be saying something different around the negotiation table.  Proposed interventions include:

Canada is still committed to developing an ACTA which will contribute to addressing the global problem of counterfeiting and piracy, taking into account each partner's different interests and domestic systems.

We would also like to reiterate at this point the importance of considering the interests and needs of potential future ACTA partners in the context of our formal negotiations.

We have also held public consultations on ACTA in April and received around 30 submissions.  We are currently still analyzing the comments received, but after a quick overview, we noted that the issue of transparency in the formal negotiation process is important for many of our stakeholders.  Stakeholders have also requested additional information on the scope of the proposed ACTA, as well as further information on why the Agreement is being negotiated in this manner, as opposed to in existing multilateral fora such as WIPO or the WTO.

The briefing documents conclude with an indication that Canada would be interested in hosting an ACTA meeting in the coming year.  While the document suggested Fall 2008, it does not appear that that offer has been accepted, though a Canadian-based round of ACTA negotiations could be on the agenda for 2009.


  1. Dwight Williams says:

    This is interesting!
    If they *are* speaking up against the secrecy in the actual negotiations, then good on’em.

    Here’s hoping that it’s so…

  2. Devil's Advocate says:

    Optimism based on heresay?
    Until the ACTA process is actually conducted openly and includes everyone, what reason would anyone have to be optimistic about its intentions?

  3. Devil's Advocate says:

    Canada want to host
    Canada has hosted Bilderburg more than once. I guess ACTA’s a logical inclusion.

  4. and on blocking definition BY ISPs
    And my definition of block includes filtering/shaping.throttling

    and it all comes down to your definition of BLOCK

    impediment to movement is a block PERIOD
    think American foot ball and the “blocker” position
    he either tries to stop you or impede your ability to get round him.

    That analogy is the best work of the word block.

    a you might try and block a hacker form gaining entry but if he takes time to this impediment and finds a way through he is in effect unblocked and unhindered, it still was an impediment to his full on movement which without a BLOCK ( your login and security) would have meant he was not impeded.

    bells view on block is the brick wall syndrome.
    if you cant move through it your blocked, of course there are no ways around that wall so that’s there idea of the block ( picture yourself encircled by 4 walls and one above and below with no tools out )

    That is not a real world example of what they do and the block impediment above is and does apply.
    because its all software and or hardware derived form such ( a firewall ) i can eventually find an exploit that will get me through there wall that means they are impeding me. which by definition is a block.

    Another way to think of it is water.
    You need X number of glasses a water a day to live.
    Bell water man puts a filter on it so you can’t get that much, you die, but before that you get trickles of water that are impeded by the filter, so this is ok and is not a block …i see.

    I think in these trying times we should try this to save money and see how it works.
    Lets filter our electricity so that the lights only work when your at work and same with water. AND no tv or music for you cause that is not gonna work during those times.

    OH we could save billions in health care if we FILTER patients at the emergency door.
    Sorry you can’t come here yet come back in 10 hours when we are unfiltering the lines.

    It is easy now to see what there is a double standard here.
    OH sorry your house burnt down we were on filtered duty which means 95% of us can’t do anything until you don’t of course need it
    LETS TRY traffic shaping at police stations and firehalls and hospitals we could save billions !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!