The negotiations of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) have been marred by a level of attempted secrecy heretofore unseen in international intellectual property lawmaking. Simultaneously, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has been used in several significant national contexts to prevent the disclosure of data and information in ways that call into question its efficacy as an effective regulation of governmental knowledge. This paper seeks to tie together these two recent developments in order to (a) prevent future international intellectual property law negotiations from being unduly secret and (b) encourage Congress to consider reforming FOIA in light of current public expectations and technological capabilities for transparency and accountability.
Levine, David. 2011. Transparency Soup: The ACTA Negotiating Process and “Black Box” Lawmaking. PIJIP Research Paper no. 18. American University Washington College of Law, Washington, DC.