OTTAWA – The federal government is secretly negotiating an agreement to revamp international copyright laws which could make the information on Canadian iPods, laptop computers or other personal electronic devices illegal and greatly increase the difficulty of travelling with such devices.
The deal could also impose strict regulations on Internet service providers, forcing those companies to hand over customer information without a court order.
Called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ACTA, the new plan would see Canada join other countries, including the United States and members of the European Union, to form an international coalition against copyright infringement.
The agreement is being structured much like the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA except it will create rules and regulations regarding private copying and copyright laws.
Federal trade agreements do not require parliamentary approval.
The deal would create a international regulator that could turn border guards and other public security personnel into copyright police. The security officials would be charged with checking laptops, iPods and even cellular phones for content that "infringes" on copyright laws, such as ripped CDs and movies.
Thanks to Rex Hughes for the link.