EFF and Public Knowledge filed suit on September 17 2008 against the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) demanding information about a secret intellectual property enforcement treaty that the government has put on a fast track to completion.
The United States Canada the European Community Switzerland Japan the Republic of Korea Singapore Australia New Zealand Mexico Jordan Morocco and the United Arab Emirates are currently negotiating the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The full text of the treaty remains secret but a document leaked to the public shows that ACTA could include criminal measures increased border search powers and encouragement for Internet service providers to cooperate with copyright holders. Despite the significant impact ACTA could have on consumers and the lack of official information available to the public treaty proponents want a deal signed by the end of the year. Because of the questions raised by ACTA EFF and Public Knowledge filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in June for records on the treaty and the negotiations surrounding the deal but the USTR failed to respond prompting the suit.