Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another Effort to Take the Internet Away From the People.

Behind closed doors, in Dallas Texas, trade representatives of big corporations are secretly negotiating a massive trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which includes regulations for the Internet – including intellectual property provisions that could potentially "harm online expression, privacy and innovation on the Internet".

This Agreement may be even worse than ACTA as it could tie the hands legislators and create new, international standards for intellectual property enforcement. Internet users and free expression advocates like EFF aren’t allowed in the room and are forbidden from seeing the text, even though U.S. Trade Representatives claim  they have made “extraordinary efforts” to include public stakeholders in negotiations. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Like ACTA, negotiations exclude the public, while welcoming private industry representatives with open arms.
Last week, 32 legal scholars sent a letter to the office of the USTR demanding transparency in the process. Including the release of the text and demand for real participation from civil society, they demanded the immediate release of “reports on US positions and proposals on intellectual property matters that are currently given only to Industry Trade Advisory Committee members under confidentiality agreements.” This is key because there is nothing that could justify the withholding of such reports that simply outline the U.S. position on intellectual property from the public. This is especially true given the fact that the U.S. government’s proposals could impede Congress from engaging in domestic legal reform of legislation regulating IP.
US Congressman Darrell Issa just released the Trans Pacific Partnership Intellectual Property Rights Chapter on KeepTheWebOPEN.com. Only problem is, it's the old 15-month old version. How stupid do they think we are?

Via Public Citizen:
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated in secret and the stakes for the 99% couldn't be higher...The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) "free trade" agreement is a stealthy policy being pressed by corporate America, a dream of the 1 percent, that in one blow could:

• offshore millions of jobs,

• free Wall Street and its banksters from oversight,

• reduce Internet freedom,

• ban policies needed to create green jobs and rebuild local economies,

• decrease access to medicine by extending drug company monopolies,

• empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards, such as tobacco control and clean air and water regulations.

Closed-door talks are on-going between the U.S. and Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam; with countries like Japan and China potentially joining later.

600 corporate advisors have access to the text, while the public, Members of Congress, journalists, and civil society are excluded. And so far what we know about what's in there is very scary!

But there's still time to organize to shine a light on the horrors of the TPP and convince our governments to instead pursue policies that benefit the 99% in our countries. Watch this video (you may want to mute) and then take action by signing our petition calling for an end to secrecy in the TPP negotiations.

TPP: Spreading NAFTA to Asia and Chile...Guaranteed to screw you and me.


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