Thanks to support from Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), I had a chance to attend the latest round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, from December 3rd to the 12th, in Auckland, New Zealand. I agreed to attend and make a presentation to the negotiators. It’s clear to me that the TPP is extreme, and that its problematic secrecy is due to it being driven by industry lobbyists rather than citizens. While the entire process is illegitimate by any democratic standard, I hoped that through my presentation and presence, I could demonstrate that citizens are engaged and have a right to participate. I also wanted to make it clear that new restrictions on Internet freedom will not be tolerated. I recount my experience below, but for a rundown of the major developments at this TPP negotiating round, be sure to check out this excellent piece by OpenMedia’s Catherine Hart. You can also find great reports from the EFF, KEI, and the Australian Digital Alliance.
Thanks to all of you who have joined us at OpenMedia in our campaigns, last Friday I had the opportunity to address some of the lead bureaucrats and lobbyists behind the threat to Internet freedom that is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). My goal was to bring the voices of Internet users to their attention and to demonstrate that citizens are watching en masse. I told these TPP decision-makers that citizens are not going to let them make our Internet more expensive, restricted, and surveilled just to protect Big Media’s outdated business model. I even went so far as to pass around an iPad that displayed a stream of your comments. I made sure it was clear: if lobbyists and bureaucrats are going to try to make new rules for the Internet behind closed doors, we’ll push back and bring open citizen participation to them. I’ll have a more detailed report-back shortly, but for now I’ve posted the script and slides of my presentation below. I hope you like it.
The latest round of talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership may have concluded, but the controversy continues on the effects the TPP may have on Canadians' Internet use. When we presented your comments and messages from OpenTheTPP.net directly to TPP lobbyists last week, Canada's chief negotiator refused to comment on whether the TPP would overwrite current copyright laws. The silence and secrecy surrounding this devastating trade agreement needs to end. Join us in speaking out at StopTheTrap.net and stay tuned for a full report-back of OpenMedia's presentation to TPP officials. Article by Daniel Tencer for The Huffington Post A prominent consumers’ advocate says he’s worried Canada will sell out its new copyright law in favour of tough new restrictions on consumers as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Steve Anderson, executive director of OpenMedia, says Canada’s chief negotiator at the TPP talks, Kirsten Hillman, would not answer a question on whether Canada would fight to maintain the copyright policies it put into effect earlier this year.
The government has mistakenly sent us at OpenMedia a non-disclosure agreement intended for lobbyists involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This is confirmation that this secretive and extreme agreement is being put in place on behalf of bureaucrats, not citizens. We're on the ground at the ongoing TPP negotiations, set to read out your comments to officials this Friday. Send in your messages at OpenTheTPP.net and help us speak out against the TPP's Internet trap. Article by Daniel Tencer for The Huffington Post The Harper government is creating a secret “consultation group,” likely comprised of lobbyists, who are getting inside information about Canada’s participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, observers allege. Advocacy group OpenMedia has obtained a non-disclosure agreement (see below) it says the federal government mistakenly sent to it, asking the recipient to keep secret the information it receives about negotiations on the controversial economic and trade agreement. “I think it confirms that lobbyists are being permitted to have access to information about the TPP that is otherwise kept secret from public interest groups and citizens in general,” OpenMedia executive director Steve Anderson told The Huffington Post Canada in an email.
The secretive and restrictive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is nearing its 15th round of negotiations, which will be held from December 3-12 in Auckland, New Zealand. This will be the first round of negotiations that Canadian and Mexican representatives will be attending since they signed onto the negotiations in October. The TPP could allow Big Media conglomerates to filter content, block websites, and fine consumers, and so far the negotiations have largely shut out citizen input. So in order to make sure your voices are heard, we launched a petition, and then a few months ago we developed a tool that would allow you to voice your opinions about this undemocratic attempt to restrict the Internet. You responded in droves, speaking up for Internet freedom and sending in your comments on the negotiations. First we took the petition signatures to a lead TPP negotiator, then we projected citizen comments on the walls inside the TPP’s “stakeholder engagement” session. Now, we’re scaling up even further, by going to the TPP negotiations in person to read out your comments.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is about to get a bit more crowded, with Canada formally joining as 'second-tier' negotiators at next month's talks. These closed-door meetings will include discussions that could censor, criminalize and apply fines to everyday Internet users. Let the lobbyists and bureaucrats behind the TPP know that citizens worldwide rightfully deserve a seat at the table. Send your message through OpenTheTPP.net – we'll be sharing what you have to say at next month's negotiations. Article by Maira Sutton for EFF.org The next round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations will take place from December 3-12 in Auckland, New Zealand, and it will be done with the same level of secrecy as the last 14 rounds. And like all of the previous rounds of talks, it will take place in a luxury venue, only this time in a high-end casino, that itself is embroiled in its own controversy over corrupt dealings.
Last week, negotiators and trade representatives behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement met in Virginia for another round of discussions. Once again, citizens of the pro-Internet community were left out of these secretive negotiations and public interest groups had their opportunities to speak out allocated in a series of 10-minute ‘stakeholder presentations’. These presentations came with heavy criticism from our on-the-ground partners, with Public Knowledge even comparing the setup to a ‘science fair’ where stakeholders would have to compete in drawing attention to their booths and EFF noting that TPP officials refused to even comment on provisions in leaked TPP documents. The lack of a clearly defined mandate for the presentations resulted in much confusion and less opportunity to engage with negotiators. A member of Public Knowledge had this to say: Often I saw negotiators and stakeholders watching from just outside the doorway of the rooms. Also, because the rooms were so close together and their doors were all open, the noise from other rooms or the hallway sometimes distracted from the presenters, who did not have microphones.
Over the past week, we've been asking you to submit your comments, images and opinions regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Yesterday, our coalition partners met with negotiators and shared your feedback – turning heads and creating discussion based on what YOU had to say. Your messages were provoking and united by a shared opinion that we deserve to know more about the secretive TPP trade agreement. If you haven't already, feel free to share your thoughts in a comment below or at OpenTheTPP.net. We'll continue to gather your comments and report back in more detail soon. Picture of the OpenTheTPP stream in action
The latest round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership are underway this week, with lobbyists and corporate advisers making decisions on ways to regulate and restrict our Internet use. The TPP's regressive approach to intellectual property is shrouded in secrecy and only made available to 600 or so industry representatives. Even Canada won't have a say in the negotiating process until they are formally admitted to talks in December. Join our http://OpenTheTPP.net/ campaign to share your comments with negotiators and let's push to make the TPP text available to citizens worldwide. Article by Stuart Trew for The Council of Canadians A 14th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade and investment negotiations begins in Virginia, U.S.A. today as scorn for the agreement’s proposed intellectual property chapter piles up. To be fair, that scorn is almost entirely aimed at the United States’ positions on patent and other monopoly protections for pharmaceutical firms, as well as on copyright and internet rules, which civil society observers and even other TPP negotiating countries see as regressive, unnecessary, dangerous to public health and harmful of online privacy and innovation.