As the 15th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations draws to a close today, the Internet freedom community is taking stock of what was said, and perhaps more significantly, what wasn’t. Developments over the last few weeks have suggested that the controversial treaty may be losing steam as public opposition gains momentum – and there was plenty of opposition in evidence at the negotiations. The secretive agreement isn’t ploughing ahead unhindered, and this is largely due to the actions of citizens and the Internet freedom community.
Yesterday saw Syria's Internet and mobile communications 'shut off' from the outside world. If repressive regimes have their way at next week's ITU discussions, this restrictive governance of Internet use could be legitimized and applied to citizens worldwide.
Here's Lindsey with an update on next week's ITU and TPP discussions.
Starting Monday, delegates in two sets of negotiations, taking place on the other side of the world, are poised to determine the future of Internet freedom.
Repressive regimes could be granted with dominant control over the Internet following next month's ITU discussions. This would mean greater surveillance over everyday online activity, more expensive access costs, and strict censorship that would have governments deciding what citizens can or cannot see.
According to Internet freedom group European Digital Rights, provisions that would criminalize our Internet use may be dropped from the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA)! While the battle isn’t over yet, this is a huge step forward for the Internet freedom community and the thousands of Canadians who shouted down the same provisions in July of this year, when they were part of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
It's been suggested that a wave of online censorship was enforced over Chinese citizens during a recent Communist Party meeting. This authoritative muffling of free speech might come as little surprise, but the fact that it could extend beyond China's borders is sure to be unsettling.
At closed-door discussions to be held next month, an Internet treaty will be discussed that could grant repressive regimes with dominant control over the Internet. This would lead to greater surveillance over everyday online activity, more expensive access costs and strict censorship that would have governments deciding what citizens can or cannot see.
Join us alongside a coalition of global organizations in speaking out against these restrictive measures at ProtectInternetFreedom.net.
In just under a month, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – an agency of the United Nations – will gather government representatives from around the world to discuss proposed Internet governance rules. These closed-door talks surrounding how everyday citizens use and access the Internet are reminiscent of prior and ongoing trade agreements; decisions about how we use the Internet should be made in an open and participatory way.
As many of you know, two weeks ago Canada and Mexico formally joined the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations as ‘second tier’ negotiators, requiring their governments to accept the unknown provisions that have already been negotiated. The negotiations are storming ahead, keeping up an absurd level of secrecy around decisions that will limit what we can do online, and how we can innovate.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is about to get a bit more crowded, as now Thailand has announced plans to join the ongoing trade talks. The closed-door meetings will include discussions that could radically change your everyday Internet use.
Let TPP negotiators know that citizens worldwide rightfully deserve a seat at the table. Send your message to trade representatives through OpenTheTPP.net.
Article by Daniel Ten Kate and Suttinee Yuvejwattana for Bloomberg News: