WASHINGTON (CN) – The federal government has refused to release the text of its multi-billion-dollar agreement with the European Union on Internet gambling, a reporter claims in Federal Court. The reporter says the government is keeping the document secret on the “inconceivable” grounds of “national security.”
Plaintiff Ed Brayton, with the Center for Independent Media, claims, “the settlement almost certainly entails a financial cost to American taxpayers, either in direct payments as restitution to other nations or as a result of allowing them to enact trade barriers and tariffs against American goods and services in order to balance off the negative effect of our online gambling laws. Analysts have estimated that the cost could be in the tens of billions of dollars to American taxpayers, who surely have a legitimate right to know what kind of trade settlements their government is cutting with other countries at our expense.”
Brayton claims it is “virtually inconceivable that the release of that settlement to the public could possibly harm national security in any way.”
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative claims the document is properly classified as secret, and affecting national security, under Executive Order 12958, according to this complaint.
Brayton is represented by Bonnie Robin-Vergeer with the Public Citizen Litigation Group.