OpenMedia launches new tool to enable Canadians to go face to face with those behind international Internet Censorship talks set to kick off in Ottawa
The secretive meetings concern a wide-ranging 12-country international agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Leaked documents suggest Canada’s Internet could become far more expensive, censored, and policed.
“This could be the first and last time they bring a proper negotiating round to Canada, so we have to make it count,” said OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “We’re determined to lift the lid on this secretive process and make sure online innovators and citizens overall are heard. Millions of people around the world are speaking out about the TPP’s potential impact on our everyday lives - nobody wants to end up with a criminal record for something as innocent as uploading a holiday video with a copyrighted song in the background.”
Anderson continued: “The TPP would never pass with the world watching - that’s why they’re trying to ram through this reckless Internet censorship scheme behind closed doors. I’m glad we’ll have an opportunity to meet face to face with the key negotiators behind the TPP. We’ll be taking the concerns of citizens and Internet users directly to negotiators, and making it clear that unpopular Internet censorship plans have no place in the 21st century.”
Extreme copyright provisions pushed for in secret by large media conglomerates would kick entire families off the Internet, merely for unproven accusations of copyright infringement. Experts say that the TPP’s Internet censorship proposals would invade people’s privacy while criminalizing everyday sharing and free expression online.
To date, talks on the highly controversial deal have taken place behind closed doors in near-total secrecy. However, under pressure from millions of pro-Internet citizens, negotiators have agreed to meet with OpenMedia and leading Canadian digital policy experts to discuss how the TPP could censor free expression online and damage our digital economy.
OpenMedia.ca’s new Internet Voice tool can be found at: https://OpenMedia.org/FaceToFace
OpenMedia is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.
About the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement:
The 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— are meeting in Asia this week 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.
U.S. negotiators are pushing hard to force smaller nations into accepting a censored Internet. However, reports have indicated that the intellectual property provisions have been quite a “challenging” issue for those behind the agreement.
Over 139,000 people have now signed a petition at https://OpenMedia.org/censorship, which demands that negotiators reject copyright proposals that would restrict the open Internet, access to knowledge, economic opportunity and our fundamental rights.
Communications Manager, OpenMedia
- Internet governance expert says U.S. trying to strong-arm Canada into economically-damaging Internet censorship rules in international agreement. Source: OpenMedia.ca
- Full text of the TPP’s Internet censorship chapter - source: Wikileaks
- Detailed expert analysis of the leaked TPP draft can be found at: http://keionline.org/node/1825
- 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.