Leaked documents reveal extreme Internet censorship plan in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) - Internet users around the globe outraged
November 13, 2013 – This morning WikiLeaks released secret documents that have confirmed an extreme Internet censorship plan is being pushed behind closed doors as part of the International Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Over 100,000 people from around the world have already spoken through an online campaign at http://openmedia.org/censorship
Internet freedom group OpenMedia reviewed the nearly 100 pages of highly classified documents released to the public to discover extreme Internet censorship provisions, including secret transnational censorship courts that would override national laws.
The documents focus on the highly contentious Intellectual Property chapter, which negotiators from the 12 participating countries have struggled with since their talks first began. This leak signals the first time the public or media have had access to the draft text since a previous leak in 2011. Throughout the entirety of the TPP, the deal has been negotiated behind closed doors by trade bureaucrats and industry lobbyists.
The leaked chapter also confirms that the most aggressive censorship rules have been pushed by media conglomerates in the United States. The text also identifies which countries have agreed to specific policies, as well as which countries have pushed back.
The release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. Decision makers from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States are expected to be in attendance.
Internet freedom group OpenMedia is calling for Obama and other TPP heads of state to make a firm public commitment to pull Internet censorship provisions from the TPP.
“The leaked TPP documents confirmed our greatest fears,” says OpenMedia Executive Director Steve Anderson “The TPP’s Internet censorship plan could knock whole families off the Internet and censor web content from view. Over 100,000 have spoken out against the secretive and extreme Internet censorship plan and we want a firm commitment by all TPP heads of state to pull these provisions immediately. As it stands this agreement has no place in the 21st Century.”
Burcu Kilic, an intellectual property expert with Fair Deal member Public Citizen, had this to say about the big media-inspired proposals in the leaked draft, “...think about the SOPA debacle – to limit Internet freedom and access to educational materials, to force Internet providers to act as copyright enforcers and to cut off people’s Internet access. These proposals are deeply unpopular worldwide.”
Detailed expert analysis of the leaked draft can be found at: http://keionline.org/node/1825
Groups from several TPP nations have banded together to call for a Fair Deal in the TPP -- more at: http://OurFairDeal.org
Internet users are encouraged to join the over 100,000 who have spoken out at http://openmedia.org/censorship
OpenMedia is a network of people and organizations working to safeguard the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy.
About the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement:
TPP is one of the most far-reaching international free trade agreements in history. We know from leaked TPP draft texts that participating nations would be bound to much stricter and more extreme copyright laws than now exist under current national laws. These new rules would criminalize much online activity, invade citizens’ privacy, and significantly impact our ability to share and collaborate online.
Negotiators from 12 of the TPP negotiating nations—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States—met in Malaysia to discuss these changes without input from the public, creators, or most businesses. The negotiating documents are classified—unless you are one of just 600 industry lobbyists permitted to participate. TPP meetings took place in Malaysia from July 15th to the 24th.
Negotiators have indicated that they are in the “home stretch”, with leaders of the participating countries expecting a resolution sometime in October. However, reports have indicated that the intellectual property provisions have been quite a “challenging” issue for those behind the agreement.
Over 15,000 people have now signed a petition at http://OurFairDeal.org, which demands that negotiators reject copyright proposals that would restrict the open Internet, access to knowledge, economic opportunity and our fundamental rights.
David Christopher Communications Manager OpenMedia 1-778-232-1858 email@example.com
In August 2013, OpenMedia and the Our Fair Deal Coalition launched an alternative process to the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, enabling citizens to have their say on shaping their digital future.
In May 2013, OpenMedia and Coalition partners sent TPP Trade Ministers a letter to demand a ‘Fair Deal’ on provisions that would restrict Internet use in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.
We also sent a message to new U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman by purchasing a hard-hitting Washington D.C. newspaper ad.
In December 2012, OpenMedia’s Steve Anderson took our message direct to TPP negotiators in Auckland. Read his full report from Auckland here.
In June 2012, OpenMedia joined with a diverse coalition of groups to launch the StopTheTrap.net petition - a petition which gained over 135,000 signatures and which was hand-delivered to TPP negotiators in San Diego.