OpenMedia.ca welcomes Official Opposition call for access to text of TPP agreement which threatens online expression
Momentum rapidly building behind citizen-backed Our Fair Deal campaign for greater TPP transparency and an end to extreme Internet Censorship proposals
The NDP’s call comes as TPP negotiations take place behind closed doors in Brunei, with citizens and public interest groups locked out of the process entirely. The TPP is a highly secretive trade deal that threatens to break our digital economy. We know from leaked TPP draft texts that it contains extreme Internet censorship rules, pushed for by U.S. media conglomerates, that would criminalize online activity, invade citizens’ privacy, and cost Internet users money.
“I am delighted to see that the Official Opposition is calling for much-needed greater transparency around these highly secretive talks,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “It is ridiculous that U.S. Members of Congress can read the TPP text, but our own parliamentarians cannot. The government needs to stand up for Canadians and immediately redress this imbalance. All Canadian MPs must be given access to the TPP text so they can participate in debate and represent their constituents effectively. In fact all citizens should be permitted to view proposals being put forward in our name.”
Anderson continued: “The NDP is joining hundreds of thousands of citizens taking part in campaigns like OurFairDeal.org, calling for more transparency. We cannot allow a small cabal of unaccountable bureaucrats and unelected lobbyists to cook up extreme new rules that could wreck Canada’s digital economy and undermine expression online.”
This past spring OpenMedia.ca sent the government's Trade Minister, Ed Fast, a letter outlining concerns but they have yet to recieve a response.
OpenMedia.ca is part of the Our Fair Deal Coalition which brings together thousands of citizens and over 30 major organizations from across the Trans-Pacific region. The Our Fair Deal Coalition aims to prevent the TPP from changing copyright law in extreme ways that could wreak havoc on our society.
Over 16,000 citizens are speaking up to call for greater transparency and an end to extreme Internet censorship proposals at OurFairDeal.org
OpenMedia.ca is a citizen-backed, post-partisan organization that believes it’s important to acknowledge politicians from all parties who listen to Canadians and speak out about threats to digital freedom and the open Internet. The group encourages politicians of any party or affiliation to stand up for their constituents’ interests in this matter as well.
OpenMedia.ca is a network of people and organizations working to safeguard the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy.
Through campaigns such as StopTheMeter.ca and StopSpying.ca, OpenMedia.ca has engaged over half-a-million Canadians, and has influenced public policy and federal law.
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 Brunei 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.
Internet users around the world can tell decision-makers that it’s time to open up their secretive process and let our voices be heard by speaking out at www.OpenMedia.org/DigitalFuture.
Online Community Facilitator, OpenMedia.ca
About the Our Fair Deal International coalition
Starting at first in New Zealand and then connecting with organizations and people internationally, a group of individuals from the fields of Internet policy, art, information technology and law got together to discuss a TPP campaign with a copyright focus. What resulted was the idea of a fair deal, one that opens up trade opportunities for TPP member states but doesn’t force copyright and other IP-related changes on us that could damage our future.
Members of the Fair Deal coalition include:
Affinity Bridge, Article 19, Australian Digital Alliance, Australian Library & Information Association, Association for Progressive Communications (APC), Internet NZ, BCFIPA, The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), Consumers International, Council of Canadians, Creative Freedom, Demand Progress, Derechos Digitales, Electronic Frontiers Australia, Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF), Engine.is, Fight for the Future, FreePress, Gen Why Media, Hiperderecho, Library & Information Society of New Zealand, Movements for the Internet Active Users, NZRise, NZOSS, OpenMedia.org, Public Citizen, Public Knowledge, Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, Scoop, Tech Liberty NZ, TechDirt, Tuanz, Tucows, TradeMe