Stop the Secrecy

Freedom of Expression

The TPP Internet Censorship Circus is in town and it’s more secretive than ever

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 15:17 -- Eva Prkachin

The bureaucrats and industry lobbyists negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership have gone to great lengths to keep their plans a secret before, but this takes the cake. After scheduling the next round of bargaining for Vancouver, negotiators quietly made a last minute switch to Ottawa with only a week to go before the round began.

The TPP is an international agreement involving Canada and 11 other countries, involving 40% of the global economy, that threatens to censor free expression online amongst other concerns spanning environmental protections, jobs, public health, and even our democratic rights.

Throughout this week in Ottawa, negotiators worked to ink a binding international agreement behind closed doors, which experts say could block web content, invade your privacy, and make your Internet more expensive.

EFF: We Join Dozens of Organizations and Businesses to Protest TPP Copyright Proposals

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 14:54 -- Eva Prkachin

Internet start-ups, educators, tech firms, and advocacy groups are fighting back against the TPP's proposed Internet censorship plan. Check out how the fight is going and add your voice at

Article by Jeremy Malcolm and Maira Sutton for EFF

Today, EFF and its partners in the global Our Fair Deal coalition join together with an even more diverse international network of creators, innovators, start-ups, educators, libraries, archives and users to release two new open letters to negotiators of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Huffington Post: What the Top-Secret TPP Talks Mean for the Future of the Internet and Democracy

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 13:02 -- Eva Prkachin

The Internet thrives on the ability for users to share and adapt content freely, without fear of unreasonable reprisal. TPP negotiators want to take that power away, and replace it with restrictive laws that would force ISPs to heavily police their users. Help us fight TPP censorship and secrecy by speaking out at

Article by Maira Sutton for the Huffington Post

It's always the most sinister, and yet cowardly things that live in the dark.

Five ways extreme copyright rules can be used to censor the Internet

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:09 -- Eva Prkachin
Guest blog by Cynthia Khoo

Imagine finding that your favourite music blog, political forum, or video remix has disappeared overnight. What happened? It may well have fallen victim to censorship via notice-and-takedown, copyright law's most misused tool.

If popular user-driven websites such as eBay, YouTube, or Wordpress receive a copyright infringement notice, they must take down the offending content or risk being sued. The problem is that anyone can send a notice, and nobody confirms if the claim is legal or reasonable before taking action. As a result, Internet content disappears rapidly, amounting to wide-scale censorship of what is normally protected speech.

Check out the casualties at Chilling Effects and EFF's Takedown Hall of Shame. Below are five major ways that individuals and organizations are abusing copyright law to get away with online censorship.

No avenue for citizen engagement in controversial TPP talks

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 16:33 -- Josh Tabish

This week, members of the Coalition are headed to Ottawa, Canada to be part of the most recent round of Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, taking place July 3-11. The negotiators have created no formal way for civil society groups or members of the public to participate in this round of discussions.

The talks were originally set to take place in Vancouver, but, with just under a week to go until the round started, the location was changed to the nation’s capital in Ottawa - nearly 3,500km away.

Members of the OurFairDeal Coalition are concerned that rules proposed in the intellectual property (IP) chapter of the TPP would reduce the ability of everyday people to access information, and seriously hinder innovation both on and offline. The coalition will be on the ground providing expert insights into the effects of the proposed provisions.

The TPP so far

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 15:03 -- Jason Hjalmarson

This week, the latest Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) round began in Ottawa, Canada. In what is becoming a disappointingly familiar story, the talks have been shrouded in near-total secrecy. Only a week ago, the venue changed mysteriously from Vancouver to Ottawa, leading your OpenMedia team to wonder whether TPP organizers were keen to dodge criticism from the many civic interest groups, including ourselves, that call Vancouver home. Despite the snap location change, we’ve been working hard to shed light on how this reckless deal could make the Internet more expensive, censored, and policed. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Shining a light: our “Bat Signal” at work

The TPP goes on tour

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 10:50 -- Eva Prkachin

Negotiators of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have gone to extreme lengths to stop civic interest groups and the public finding out what’s being discussed at the next round of closed-door trade talks happening in Canada this month.

Originally slated to take place at the beginning of July in Vancouver, a leak from insiders this week revealed a last-minute change of venue, with the round moving from Vancouver to Ottawa - over 3,500 km away - with only a week to go before the beginning of negotiations.

A secretive international trade deal, the TPP proposes a major overhaul of provisions that allow for sharing and collaborating online, and experts have warned that if enacted the TPP will make our Internet more censored, expensive, and policed.

24 hours to do something meaningful about it

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 10:37 -- Josh Tabish

We have just 24 hours until key decision-makers behind the Trans Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) Internet Censorship plan begin meeting in Ottawa.1

Please Note: This is your last chance to use our easy-to-use “Internet Voice” to get your comment right in the hands of those crafting this extreme and secretive plan.

Your diligence over time has allowed your OpenMedia team to get a face-to-face meeting with them.

It’s crucial that we have as many original comments as possible to show TPP insiders when we meet them.