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Paul Merrell

» Obama Signs Global Internet Treaty Worse Than SOPA Alex Jones' Infowars: Th... - 2 views

  • 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 White House has circumvented the necessity to have the treaty confirmed by lawmakers by presenting it an as “executive agreement,” although legal scholars have highlighted the dubious nature of this characterization.
  • 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.”
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