TPP OR TRANSPACIFIC PARTNERSHIP PACT TO DESTROY YOUR INTERNET FREEDOM

TPP OR TRANSPACIFIC PARTNERSHIP PACT TO DESTROY YOUR INTERNET FREEDOM

The clock is ticking on a time bomb that could blow up a free internet: the TPP

The agreement poses a grave threat to our basic right to access information and express ourselves on the web

After years of secrecy, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement has finally been released to the public. The shadowy process and overreaching scope of the deal have sparked an international outcry; it’s been roundly condemned as an attack on worker’s rights, the environment, public health, small businesses and startups.

But perhaps the biggest concern is over the impact that it will have on the internet.

TPP is a legally binding pact negotiated between 12 countries, including the United States. Industry lobbyists and government bureaucrats huddled for months in closed-door meetings to draft and debate the deal while journalists, human rights advocates and tech experts were locked out. It can’t accurately be called a “trade deal”. Its 30 chapters and 6,194 pages cover a dizzying range of policy questions that have nothing to do with tariffs, imports or exports.

The final version of TPP confirms advocates’ worst fears. Thanks to, among other things, its dramatic expansion of copyright enforcement, the agreement poses a grave threat to our basic right to access information and express ourselves on the web, and could easily be abused to criminalize common online activities and enforce widespread internet censorship.

To fully grasp the impending trainwreck here, it’s important to understand that copyright laws have a profound effect on what internet users can see and do online. The US regime of copyright enforcement has been repeatedly co-opted by special interests to censor legitimate content from the web. Copyright laws have been used to attack LGBTQ websites, censor investigative journalism and scrub homemade videos from the net just because of the music in the background.



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