Last week, negotiators and trade representatives behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement met in Virginia for another round of discussions. Once again, citizens of the pro-Internet community were left out of these secretive negotiations and public interest groups had their opportunities to speak out allocated in a series of 10-minute ‘stakeholder presentations’.
In July we posted an update on some moves being made by the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to take over management of the Internet. We were concerned about this development because allowing the ITU to control the Internet could allow nations like China and Russia to legitimize undemocratic practices, including censorship and control over their citizens’ Internet access. As a result, we joined with the pro-Internet community to demand that when the issue is debated in December at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), these negotiations are transparent and civil society groups and the public are able to participate.
During a visit to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), James Love of Knowledge Economy International (KEI) was surprised to find that he couldn't use the Office's wifi to get to the KEI website. Instead, he got this message:
Your request was denied because this URL contains content that is categorized as: "Political/Activist Groups" which is blocked by USPTO policy. If you believe the categorization is inaccurate, please contact the USPTO Service Desk and request a manual review of the URL.
As trade talks concerning the Trans-Pacific Partnership continue into this week, so does discussion concerning the TPP's threats to free speech, Internet privacy and due process. With your assistance in responding to our OpenTheTPP.net campaign, we've already brought some of this discussion directly to trade representatives and negotiators in a push to open up the TPP to further public discourse.
The TPP's Internet trap is expansive with its ability to control, criminalize and fine your everyday Internet use. Lori Wallach of Public Citizen helps to break down the multiple layers of Internet stipulations that are being included in TPP negotiations. There is one thing that isn't being included in TPP negotiations: your opinion. Make it be known—stand up for your Internet rights by joining our campaign at http://StopTheTrap.net/.
Why does the TPP pose such a threat? Watch and share this video from Public Knowledge to help shed some light on the shady secrecy that surrounds the TPP.
Pro-Internet Australians are expressing some heavy concerns about the TPP. Writer and comedian Dan Ilic went on Ten News to talk about the dangers of this secretive international trade agreement, and how it truly is an Internet trap. Check it out and share it around to spread the word about the issue and the petition at http://StopTheTrap.net/
In this interview, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Maira Sutton breaks down the secrecy that surrounds the TPP's Internet trap, and the huge implications the TPP will have for our digital future. Check it out for a thorough rundown of this obscene agreement, then sign the petition at http://StopTheTrap.net/.
The pro-Internet community has come together to launch a huge new campaign at http://StopTheTrap.net. Together, we're pushing back against the TPP: an agreement that is secretive, extreme, and could criminalize your daily use of the Internet. Take action now.
Imagine a world where you could be dragged to court and receive a large fine for simply clicking on the wrong link, where service providers would hand over information about your online activities without privacy safeguards, and where online content could be removed by big media conglomerates at will.