Secret negotiations to regulate the internet begin today in Dallas with TPP
Last month in Chile, informal, secret negotiations were held on the controversial but little known Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Today, the latest round in secret negotiations is being held in Dallas, Texas.
The President’s Office of the United States Trade Representative website describes TPP as “an ambitious, 21st-century… agreement that will enhance trade and investment among the TPP partner countries, promote innovation, economic growth and development, and support the creation and retention of jobs.”
Leaked TPP provisions would, amongst other things, make international the US government’s all-encompassing copyright laws; force states to establish or maintain a system that provides for pre-established damages (monetary), which shall be available upon the election of the right holder (entertainment industry); make ISPs liable beyond the DMCA standards; establish legal incentives for ISPs to cooperate with copyright holders in combatting unauthorized storage and transmission of copyrighted materials (legalized corporate extortion); allow for the circumvention of US case law to identify internet users (suspected of storing and transmitting copyrighted materials) for any ISP; and would include the US/Korea side letter (KORUS) on shutting down websites.
Since TPP is an executive agreement, not a treaty (a critical difference), it means that the agreement’s terms and conditions can be agreed upon in secret. Political and business leaders, lobbyists and bureaucrats are crafting the architecture of TPP, not Internet users or those forces who spur technological innovation.
Another worry is that if TPP is signed by the President, it will make SOPA and PIPA easier to pass. It’s a backdoor form of legislation.
Now that the negotiations are on American shores, opposition should be ramped up.