President Obama Doesn’t Support SOPA, But Signs ACTA?

    January 25, 2012
    Chris Richardson
    Comments are off for this post.

Move over SOPA, tell ACTA the news? Or is this more of a case of “move over SOPA, it’s ACTA time?” Or does, “Stop! ACTA time!” work? For me, it’s “just when you thought it was safe to go back on the web, ACTA happens.” That’s right folks, while SOPA/PIPA were being placed in the ditch as smoldering husks, President Obama signed the ACTA “treaty,” which is, at its most elementary, a multinational agreement that addresses intellectual property enforcement.

There are many issues involved with President Obama’s signing of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement — which occurred in September 2011 — and whether or not it should be treated as an executive agreement or an actual treaty between the agreeing countries. With an executive agreement, the President does not require the approval of the Senate, whereas, with a treaty, Senate approval is required. That, however, is not the issue, especially when you consider the initial zeal with which the both houses of the U.S. Government supported SOPA and PIPA.

Until the protestation blackouts, that is.

As for ACTA, there hasn’t been a great deal of push back from the Senate concerning President Obama’s signature, although, perhaps there should be. As TechDirt points out:

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.

Does this mean President Obama overstepped his boundaries by signing ACTA? If you follow the letter of the law, as laid out by TechDirt, then yes, yes he did.

Perhaps that what explains one of the latest White House petitions, asking for ACTA to be submitted to the Senate for “Ratification as Required by the Constitution for Trade Agreements.” As you can see, the petition takes the position that ACTA is indeed a treaty and because of that, President Obama’s signature is not enough for the United States to be apart of. From the petition’s page:

The Administration has opposed SOPA and PIPA due to the damage these laws could do to the Internet. But many view the Anti-Counterfeiting Trace Agreement (ACTA) to be far worse.

This Administration supported the negotiation of ACTA in secret with a selected group of nations and with input from many corporate interests. The public and consumers were excluded from this process. FOIA requests were denied because of “National Security” concerns.

We object to the Administration’s negotiation of ACTA in secret, and approval of ACTA by Executive Agreement.

Considering the White House’s stance on both SOPA and PIPA, not to mention, Vice President Biden’s own words about regulating the Internet, which are available in the following video:

…The fact that President Obama signed such an inflammatory piece of legislation is disheartening. Does this mean the only reason the White House spoke out against the infamous acts was because the backlash was so loud? Does this also mean that because the American public, or, at least, those who “reside” on the Internet, is still largely silent concerning ACTA and the potential damage it can do, President Obama didn’t see the harm in signing it?

Of course, if ACTA does have to go to the Senate before its ratified, will it meet any resistance? Any at all?

  • http://www.LAokay.com Steven G

    Funny how Obama says he needs the help of us all to get his job done and then goes off and does something like this. I guess Obama was telling us he needs our support, but not our input? Is he really trying to get re-elected? Obama has acted like a Republican time and time again, and this is just one more example of that.

    • Gibran

      YOU are whats wrong with this country. He’s a democrat, but because what he has made as a DEMOCRAT, You think hes a republican. Get it through your fuckin dumbass head and learn to think, not on what side they are on, but on what they say and do. Who gives a shit which sides they’re on, as long they do good for the country I’m fine. This is coming from a 17 Year Old. Obama is just as bad as bush. At least bush us keep our rights! Obama threw them away like they were yesterdays news! Obama ONLY got elected because he was black. he promised change and NOTHING! Hey Obama, When you said change we weren’t talking about the change in your pocket.

      • Steven G

        I hate to break it to you, but so far Obama has caved in to just about every single Republican idea that was thrown at him.

        • Phil

          OMG no he hasn’t… stop arguing!

          • FjKnight

            “OMG… stop arguing”


            “OMG… shut up I have no idea what the **** I am talking about and have nothing else intelligent to say and have no proof to back up my claims that he is the bestest most greatest president EVAR!”

            Do us all a favor and either rip up your voter registration card or jump off a bridge into shallow water head first into the largest rock you see.

          • Joe

            You shouldn’t tell him to kill himself. If he dies his vote will still be registered Republican. Just tearing up the voter registration card will be fine.

        • Giants2082

          For the most part, the “caving” was due to the Republicans holding the American people hostage–specifically in terms of the economy and tax cuts for the rich. While I don’t agree with Obama’s actions in this regard, and I think this bill or treaty or whatever it is should be killed immediately, it’s pretty ignorant of you to say he’s been acting like a Republican when he’s been doing pretty much everything in his power to fight against them on behalf of the American people. Congress is somehow doing a good job at throwing him under the bus as the “bad guy”. BTW, this is coming from a Republican.

          • Mae

            He is a bad guy. Call it what it is…

        • JacFearsome

          What about the New START Treaty?
          And his medicare/healthcare shit?
          His foreign policy stances?
          Abortion policy?
          Withdrawal from Iraq?
          Stem Cell Research Policy?
          Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal?
          Of course. That’s all very Republican.

        • Mae

          Gibran, you are so right. It doesn’t matter if they’re Dem or Repub as long as they do good for our country. You keep standing up for your rights, our rights. I apologize that so many of your elders are sitting on their asses letting Obama and other politicians of both parties trample our Constitution.

      • rob

        Umm… does the “patriot act” ring any bells? lol Bush was in office, putting it through. It pretty much removed most of our rights. So, property can be searched and/or seized and you can be detained indefinitely with nothing but suspicion of “conspiring to commit terrorism,” whether you are or not. Evidence? Who needs that? Also, under his watch as president, we entered two wars. one of which was totally unjustified, which played a big part in the sad state our economy is in. I agree that people should disregard party and vote based on the things the politicians stand for, but the rest of your post is total bull s!@#. Which you would know if you weren’t 5 years old when Bush went into office. In other words ‘STFU NOOB!’

        • Zebra

          Yeah, I have to say, limiting freedoms with government regulation is a democratic idea. Although I tend to be more centrist in my political ideologies. I am also 17 and I resent that comment. I actually stay informed, it’s not about age. I do believe; however, that Obama was more than likely elected because of his ethnicity.

          • BlueDOg

            If anything, him being black put him in a disadvantage you noobs. Look stop b!tching about things on the internet and get out there if you want things to change, you complain about America, well i hate to break it to you but America is the way it is because you guys make it that way. You guys dont even care who’s in repin’ you, you only vote on the presidestial elections and you’re only basis for voting for someone is the latest trending person or the opposite party of the last one in office. Grow some balls noobs and make a f#cking difference. Indigo Party all the way!!!

          • Mae

            It is about age, Zebra. It’s about older (than you) people who seem to think they are wiser because they are older. In truth, age tends to close their minds down. They can’t think outside the box of their own opinions. And this…from someone who is old enough to be a gramma.

        • Niya

          Didn’t Obama promise to end the Patriot Act? He signed a four-year extension minutes before the deadline.

          Obama has changed tactics regarding war. Rather than troops on the ground he’s using drones. In his first 2 years he’s killed more people, many of them innocent, than Bush did in 8.

          There is no difference between Democrat & Republican. They are cut from the same cloth.

      • Syn Holliday

        What’s worse though is that since Obama took office, all those opposed to the wars and Gitmo and Bush’s Patriot Act sunk into the woodworks. At least when Bush was in office, there was outrage, there was pressure put on the White House. Where are they all at now? We now have a president who is just as much of a warmonger, who extended the Patriot Act, continues Gitmo, signed the revised NDAA with its indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial (Obama’s administration specifically demanded the “non-citizens” part be taken out – Bush would be proud), proposes increased military spending. What happened to all the outrage?

        • Giants2082

          GTMO has been GREATLY downsized, the Iraq war is over, he’s getting ready to pull troops out of Afghanistan, and he’s downsizing the military (which I disagree with). Before you call Obama a “warmonger” get your facts straight.

          • Joshua

            Obama? the guy that gloated about assassinating an American citizen, a warmonger? Naaaahhhhh

          • Syn Holliday

            Get your facts straight. Bush’s plan was to get out of Iraq also, and like Obama, he kept pushing the withdrawal date further and further. And all Obama did was replace the troops with security contractors so we’re still spending massive amounts of money on it. And we still have troops in Afghanistan. Borrowing money from China to pay to have troops in Australia to protect ourselves from China? Yup, the Republican frontrunner candidates agree with Obama on that move.

          • Syn Holliday

            The private military contractors are basically hired soldiers, and look the same. So while we’re still paying the troops who return home and Obama takes his bows, we will also be paying non-bid defense security contractors.

            The State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security does not have a promising record when it comes to managing its mercenaries. Potential for diplomatic disaster? Now, the department will be commanding a much larger security presence, in areas the U.S. still considers war zones.

            And the Department blocked the Congressionally-appointed watchdog for Iraq from acquiring basic information about contractor security operations, such as the contractors’ rules of engagement. That means no one outside the State Department knows how its contractors will behave.

          • Mae

            Of course, it is an election year. He has to do something to draw attention away from unemployment, home foreclosure signs in every neighborhood, the lousy economy – food prices still rising, gas at all time highs – one in five children now living in poverty, millions more now in poverty,lots more distressing statistics out there…and he is a war-monger. You don’t think so? Why do you think he waited until an election year to bring them home? Why is he saber-rattling at Iran? Don’t be so naieve.

      • Leon

        Actually, uh, YOU’RE what’s wrong with this world. Get your head out of your ass and look at the bigger picture.

      • Maxx

        “At least bush us keep our rights!”

        I know, right? That Patriot Act really keeps our best interests at hart, doesn’t it? Man, that GW sure was a swell guy!

      • Jax

        He didnt get elected only because he was black you racist child. If your going to spout those kinds of preverbial crap dont go around insulting someone who puts their imput in things even if they have no idea what they are saying they are still excersising their right to FREE SPEACH! Obama is hypocritical and there is no chance of him winning the re-election. Bush Jr wasnt bad either and you should read up on him and what he successfully accomplished, like the bill he passed that allowed the continuation of the division that caught bin laden even though his term ended, yes Bush was the reason Bin Laden got caught. Hete to break that to ya Obama fans. Anyways, dont be judgemental because of race, Obama was supported only partially because he was HALF-black most of it was because no one wanted Clinton, i didnt. And every presidential candidate promises change get that through your head there like a child running for their schools student coucil president position “I promise no homework and no uniforms” there all hypocrites. Your 17 and should read more before you present allogations like that, and cursing doesnt make you sound smarter or makes what you say more important it just makes you seem like a child without a vocabulary. Grow up. However yes, you are correct, there is no difference what side they are on, only what they do in office. Its the issues and not what “team” presents them that are important. Everyone should realize that teams only divide. we should all stand united with a common voice and should not be afraid of others judgement, and should certainly never be afraid of the government. However this bill makes me very affraid, and very angry. I have never hated the president, not when he increased national debt over 3x what it was, or when he instituted his horrible health care reform that cost america trillions and alot of the things in it wont be instituted until 2013. But i very much loath him now.


        We are all anonymous if we so choose to be.

      • MsP

        He has not kept the rights to anything, hence the North American Union, he signed for this and most of the public knows nothing of it, but it overrides the immigration laws and the Constitution will eventually be of use due to this. Whether this side or that one, they all say something good to get in, but they are working towards the same agenda. Now you do some homework and maybe you will figure this out. K.I.S2

    • Alan

      Hey, dumbass you do know bush signed it in 08. Obama had to sign it because its a fucking trade agreement. If he didn’t sign it America should put sanctions on the U.S. LOOK INTO THE ISSUES BEFORE YOU SAY ANYTHING.

      • north


      • Syn Holliday

        The fact that you’re signing it indicates there is a choice. He didn’t have to sign it.

      • Joshua

        You’re being played, every time Obama does something we hate he says it related to the bush Admin or congress or whatever. The whole system is corrupt they are all working together, the people that controlled bush are the same that control Obama, THE BANKS are the problem and both sides of the government are bought! they are with them, they are not with the people!

  • Lewis

    Doesn’t it still need to go through Senate? Or did I miss that?

  • JeromeBerglund

    Check out this commercial we made to combat SOPA and PIPA!

    Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92I0hrYvdjI
    Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/35405496

  • K

    Wake up ppl -.-



    Anonymous & Polish Underground takes Down Government Websites. Goodnight

  • fox

    I don’t remember Bush being under a microscope like this. Funny how he tries to help and gets bashed. Seems to me he signed for the lesser evil of the thre. This was obviously a win lose situation.

    • Ryan Vann

      What? That makes zero sense. He could have not caved like a bitch boy, and signed nothing. Just because proposals are made, doesn’t mean a president must accept one. That is what is called a false choice or false dilemma.

  • Amber Anaesthetic

    This is what Internet users had nightmares of. As if SOPA and PIPA weren’t bad enough, why not let the whole darn thing go world-wide, right? And this is why Obama won’t be re-elected.

  • Ben Smith

    Can you provide a source that states he signed ACTA? Because I Googled it and NOTHING came up. That’s always a red flag for me, but I’ll assume you had a source and ask you myself. I won’t believe it until there’s a source. :/

    I did, however, find an article mentioning that he signed the “America Invents Act” in September. Maybe you’re mistaking that for ACTA? They both have a couple A’s C’s and T’s. I can see how you made the mistake. ^_^

  • Shelby

    Enjoy the internets while you can…

  • Shelby

    What’s funny is, I didn’t even know ACTA existed. I thought, “Hey, SOPA is out. We’re safe, right?” And a week later, ACTA rears it’s ugly head and takes over. What happened? Was SOPA built to distract us from ACTA?

    • Jax

      SOPA and PIPA got mass attention due to large search engines like google and wiki, and also due to the Hacktavists such as Anonymous’ Anons and the Lulz sec. ACTA was induced by Obama withought running through the congress of senate because he declared it as an executive agreement which apparently falls under the presidents juristiction however European countries call it a treaty…but he doesnt…its not under the presidents mandible and according to Act 1 section 8 of the constitution it should have been delegated to congress and not the president, basically he did it illegally. legally the president cannot sign intellectual property agreements as an executive aggreement and instead has to submit it to the senate…but he didnt…cuz ya know he obama and all that bs.

  • Danielle A

    This sickens me.

  • Kaylee

    We can not judge the actions of others based soley on a mistake. Yes, ACTA is a bad thign and Obama had no business signing it. However, think of everyone as a child when you are young, you make mistakes and learn from them. We can only hope he learns his lesson.

    • Ryan

      How many mistakes does this child have to male before his toys are taken away? Lets start with ObamaCare: horrible failure (IMHO) that infringes on our constitutional rights like being ordered to pay for health care. Or we can talk about his immigration freeze that enabled an illegal alien to murder 3 citizens, and I’m sure there are more cases out there. How about the stimulus? We taxpayers owe a combined $133,000,000.00 total for that debacle. not to mention that Washington has not had a balanced budget since his self righteous a$$ took office. Take away his toys and ground him for life. (All claims i have made are easily found via Google)

      • Ryan

        *make not male, that’s silly.

      • T0m

        I don’t remember any part of the constitution that states that the people have a right to not pay or pay for healthcare. Please provide reference point.

  • Sarah

    guess who i’m not voting for in the 2012 elections! VOTE RON PAUL!!!! oh and Obama thanks for putting millions of people at risk because we can’t afford name brand pills.

  • Scorchface

    I can see the US having a revolution. Prepare your guns everyone.

  • Angus Moonwright

    I’ve been working to fight ACTA for years and when I thought it was finally gone, this happens.

  • Janie S

    The people around the world who worked so hard to create the internet did it to make our lives easier. Do the people who approve of all these acts think their making our lives any easier by using the excuse that they’re “preventing piracy”? I don’t think that’s really whats happening here. This will affect everyone and everything. I honestly don’t think some of the people who are signing these ridiculous bills actually get on the internet. Maybe they should.. Then they’d realize this would destroy everything people around the world depend on.

  • Ben Smith

    I’ll ask again because the last person tried to insult my intelligence while not actually giving me a source that says what you’re claiming. Irony is one of my favorite forms of comedy. I love being told I’m stupid for asking a question and then getting an answer that doesn’t actually answer the question I asked, as if it was just too easy.

    So, what source are you using that says Obama signed ACTA in September?

    The techdirt article refers to a possible signing but nowhere does it even mention “September” or even that he’s signed anything at all. It talks about the implications of a hypothetical signing. Maybe the author missed that.

  • Joshua

    You idiots need to stop arguing over which party screwed us over more and realize that the federal government isn’t on our side, Republican, Democrat, they are all putting it to the people.

    • Erica K


    • Tavbro

      …i see your point.
      of course we’re going to lose.

  • Erica K


    Hell, I spent hours, days reading up on things on SOPA and PIPA and saw NOTHING on ACTA.

    If the reasoning behind ‘yes to ACTA, no to SOPA’ is that there was ‘less backlash’, I just- ugh. ACTA is practically the same thing.

    Well, I’m not putting blind faith into this one article. I’m going to look up things a bit more.

    But still. Obama better not come to Oahu again. I’m going to be sick if I watch the news and see people cheering him. People that don’t know about these acts because the news doesn’t mention ANYTHING.

  • Tavbro

    Really? Obama signed it?
    uhhhm.no he didn’t ,if he did i wouldnt be alive anymore.
    2 .the video to this,THE LAST QUESTION.
    AND HIS answer. i hate what he said. find something else else where.
    the internet ALONE. we do not need this bull shit
    about ACTA and closing DOWN the internet.

  • Lynn Hanner

    This is BS. Obama has shown once and for all that he is full of #%@@ (Transparent government?). He is Allowing our internet to be censored, and we need him gone now that we know his motives.

  • Jeremy Hebeda


    • Jeremy Hebeda

      Yea, he’s lost my vote.


    Those Of You “leaders” that FOOLISHLY signed: ACTA may as well have Signed away Our Breath to the Most Inhumane Massacre of A Movement….We NEVER Even Got A Chance To Debate,,,,ARE CLONES HUMAN….Or Are They Just: “Intellectual-Property”…to be Used in SLAVE-FORCE (as Cobal Clone Factory and MANY others erupting…) The CLONE Used For Sexual-Abuse THIS Is One Of The Multiple Reasons For Passing This Act….In Order To OWN Breath!–And What PAIN and ABUSE!–has Nobody even Challenged the ETHICS….And Now So As Rael Predicted THE JOKE IS ON US….He’s Got HIS Day After All…Like a “king” on his “chess-board”…letting SCIENTISTS take the Heat for him–as he “separates” from the “Lab-Image” that he Initiated and Funded….I Don’t Want To SELL Breath!–All Who Signed ACTA sold DNA and BREATH…to the “GODS”…or so they WISH they were….



  • Anonymous

    I refuse to vote for any politician who supports internet censorship legislation. !@$#$%# you Obama. This will not be forgiven. 2012 is going to be douche vs turd for sure.

  • Scottie

    It just goes to show ya… the best way to influence the government is to make your point heard on an international basis… Let’s face it if American people were properly educated about there governmental office holders, well maybe they’d be able to keep a few of there more important promises. Right now all they get is mild criticism but if you can persuade followers away, well you suddenly got there ears WAY more than corporations do. Ya don’t like something, use your right and Petition the son of a bitch till it changes! –with respect, a 17 year old male.

  • obin

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  • Rebecca Smith

    I recall early on someone making the comment that they knew SOPA wouldn’t cut muster, so they had ACTA essentially the same shit, as their ‘back up compromise’ ready and waiting.

    Give me a break, that shit is going to be SO ABUSED and we are now all screwed and might as well give permission for them to watch us via WEBCAM 24/7.

    Richard Nixon was a babe in arms compared to Obamonster