Trans-Pacific Partnership Would Impose Global Internet Censorship

The Electronic Frontier Foundation describes TPP as the biggest threat to the Internet in years. The atrocious provisions of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was defeated in Congress, have simply been transferred to TPP.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being touted as a free trade agreement that will benefit the Pacific Rim countries, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. It is being called “one of the most significant international trade agreements since the creation of the World Trade Organization.” It standardizes 12 countries’ laws, rules and regulations in order to streamline trade.

But the American public hardly knows anything about TPP. Secret meetings are being held by un-elected government trade representatives to discuss it. In place of Congress, corporate representatives are making decisions on everything related to trade. Corporate interests are essentially replacing American laws. The only non-governmental interests allowed are “members of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee, 600 representatives from legacy big business interests like the RIAA and pharmaceutical industry groups.” (RIAA is the Recording Industry Association of America.) Google and Facebook are not present.

Members of Congress have been prohibited from attending the meetings or even viewing drafts of the agreement, but employees of the mega-corporations that stand to benefit from it have their own logins. This is peculiar considering the Obama administration claims it is supportive of open government. In contrast, the George W. Bush administration published the draft text of the last similar kind of agreement, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, in 2001. Even the 153-member World Trade Organization posts document drafts on its website for scrutiny. Only in June were drafts of the TPP agreement opened up to Congressional scrutiny, andeven then members were prohibited from taking detailed notes or speaking publicly about what they saw.

Read the rest of the article at the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research

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