It looks like SOPA was a distraction.
» Obama Signs Global Internet Treaty Worse Than SOPA Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
Months before the debate about Internet censorship raged as SOPA and PIPA dominated the concerns of web users, President Obama signed an international treaty that would allow companies in China or any other country in the world to demand ISPs remove web content in the US with no legal oversight whatsoever.
The groups pushing the treaty also want to empower copyright holders with the ability to demand that users who violate intellectual property rights (with no legal process) have their Internet connections terminated, a punishment that could only ever be properly enforced by the creation of an individual Internet ID card for every web user, a system that is already in the works
“The same industry rightsholder groups that support the creation of ACTA have also called for mandatory network-level filtering by Internet Service Providers and for Internet Service Providers to terminate citizens’ Internet connection on repeat allegation of copyright infringement (the “Three Strikes” /Graduated Response) so there is reason to believe that ACTA will seek to increase intermediary liability and require these things of Internet Service Providers,” reports the Electronic Frontier Foundation
The treaty will also mandate that ISPs disclose personal user information to the copyright holder, while providing authorities across the globe with broader powers to search laptops and Internet-capable devices at border checkpoints.
In presenting ACTA as an “international agreement” rather than a treaty, the Obama administration managed to circumvent the legislative process and avoid having to get Senate approval, a method questioned
by Senator Wyden.
“That said, even if Obama has declared ACTA an executive agreement (while those in Europe insist that it’s a binding treaty
), there is a very real Constitutional question
here: can it actually be an executive agreement?” asks TechDirt. “The law is clear that the only things that can be covered by executive agreements are things that involve items that are solely under the President’s mandate. That is, you can’t sign an executive agreement that impacts the things Congress has control over. But here’s the thing: intellectual property, in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, is an issue given to Congress, not the President. Thus, there’s a pretty strong argument that the president legally cannot sign any intellectual property agreements as an executive agreement and, instead, must submit them to the Senate.”.