From its inception the Internet has been about us: the users. Yet time and time again old government and industry bureaucracies have tried to restrict Internet freedom.
Their latest effort comes in the form of the TPP’s Internet trap. This extreme and secretive scheme is an attempt by giant entertainment conglomerates to blanket new Internet restrictions on several countries at once, all while avoiding the democratic process. They failed to push similar schemes through SOPA/PIPA and other initiatives in other countries, and now the TPP is their best chance to lock down our Internet use.
A little over two weeks ago, we launched a campaign with SumOfUs and a coalition of groups, to push against the TPP. We didn’t know what to expect—OpenMedia is small non-profit organization that tries to punch above its weight, sure, but taking on something this big is new territory for us.
Thankfully, the pro-Internet community (that's you) rallied together against the Internet trap. We're closing in on 100,000 signatures from around the world on the StopTheTrap.net petition.There are more new organizations signing on as coalition members than we can keep up with. We're also now three quarters of the way to reaching our crowdfunding campaign goal that will allow us to build a unique digital platform connecting organizations and people in the Internet freedom movement together so that we can be more powerful and effective.
We were lucky to have partners on the ground in San Diego—where the last round of negotiations has just taken place—like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Public Knowledge, Derechos Digitales, and Public Citizen. The EFF and Public Knowledge presented at the “stakeholders’ forum”—a sorry excuse for real public participation, but an opportunity nonetheless—and at a rally outside, with tens of thousands people backing them up through our campaign.
These groups, alongside pro-Internet citizens around the world, also delivered thousands of (double-sided) pages of the printed petition to TPP negotiators, making it abundantly clear just how widespread the dissent against the Internet trap truly is.
When the pro-Internet community comes together en masse behind a campaign like StopTheTrap.net, we start to see real change. Your support gives our community’s public interest lawyers leverage and power, and lends credibility to our cry for people-centric (not lobbyist-centric) decisions.
It’s working. In the U.S., 130 members of Congress have asked for TPP documents, arguing that the lack of transparency simply isn’t acceptable. Adding to that, Canada’s largest opposition party has also come out against the TPP’s Internet trap since the petition started to grow. On top of this, coalition partner InternetNZ and others are stepping up in a big way with their own national campaign called A Fair Deal.
Not only is the pro-Internet community taking huge strides against the TPP’s Internet trap, we’re also starting to craft a positive vision for our digital future. OpenMedia has joined hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of people to create a Declaration of Internet Freedom . We're also proud to be a part of today's launch of the Internet Defense League . This is only the start and there’s much work to be done, but together we are turning the tides towards and open, affordable, surveillance-free Internet.
Internet trap negotiators were prevented from negotiating away our digital rights at the last round of meetings that just passed, but we know that they plan to meet again already on September 6-15 in Leesburg, VA, USA. Whether or not we succeed moving forward depends on people like you. Please take the next step with us, and invest in the Stop The Trap campaign now.
Let’s stop the Internet trap and let’s craft a vision for an Internet that works for all of us.
We win by facing threats to the open and affordable Internet by amplifying our voices by speaking out together. Let’s get louder.
- Steve and Lindsey, on behalf of your OpenMedia team
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