That this House is deeply concerned by the secrecy surrounding international negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA); notes that any agreement reached could affect the measures to protect copyright online currently being debated in the Digital Economy Bill; believes that if the companies affected by the agreement are party to the discussions and able to influence decisions, parliamentarians who represent the public and are responsible for legislation in these areas should also be kept up-to-date with developments and be able to contribute to the debate; seeks assurances from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills that the provisions of the Digital Economy Bill will not be superseded by ACTA; and urges the Government to work to achieve release of details of the negotiations to hon. Members as soon as possible.
As I and many others have pointed out, the secrecy surrounding this treaty is scandalous, and is entirely due to the fact that the media industry is trying to push through punitive new online laws that will impact negatively all businesses and general users, and which would rightly cause outrage if discussed openly.
The good news is that word is finally getting out about ACTA, and more and more people are demanding to know what is being done in their name. Politicians, too, are increasingly concerned about the way this is being done behind closed doors with no parliamentary oversight. This Early Day Motion will help keep up the pressure on the UK government to come clean about the dirty deeds that are being perpetrated as part of ACTA.