CCIA: Apply open-government efforts to ACTA

The Computer and Communications Industry Association praised the administration's efforts to make agencies more transparent, but said it is still frustrating that the Open-Government Directive may not have much impact on important proceedings that have carried over from the last administration.

Specifically, CCIA wants the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations to be more open.  That way, any flaws with the agreement--and CCIA believes there are many--can be worked out before it becomes final.

“Our most serious concerns are about the substance of ACTA," said Ed Black, CCIA president and CEO. "This is an example of the type of government decision-making dominated by big players in the backrooms that a true openness policy is intended to prevent."

“It would seem that negotiations begun in excessive secrecy by the Bush administration, pushed and developed by the Chamber, and other special interests, would be an exceptionally appropriate target to apply the new openness policy without restraint."

Last week the Senate confirmed Victoria Espinel as the new Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, whose primary job will be stepping up efforts to stop the sale of pirated and counterfeited movies, music and software, among other products.

She will be posted in the White House, which will drive the transparency initiatives. Espinel is expected to play a role in final ACTA negotiations. It will be interesting to see if her addition will ease the tension surrounding the negotiations.