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Campaigns Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper Trans Pacific Partnership There's an International Plan to Censor the Internet in the Works -- Let's Stop It in Its Tracks
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 00:05

There's an International Plan to Censor the Internet in the Works -- Let's Stop It in Its Tracks

Written by  Thanh Lam | AlterNet

How the Trans Pacific Partnership making its way through Washington seriously undermines citizens’ rights to participate in a free and open Internet. One month. That’s the time left before the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could become a finalized agreement.

For those who are drawing blank looks -- and understandably so -- the TPP is a highly secretive trade deal involving 12 nations around the Pacific Rim.

Described by experts Lori Wallach and Ben Beachy of Public Citizen as “one of the most significant international commercial agreements since the creation of WTO”, the TPP is more than a trade agreement - it’s an underhanded attempt by old industry interests to censor the Internet.

The lack of general awareness about the TPP is exactly what unelected trade officials and lobbyists hope for; the more covert the negotiations, the easier it is to usher in extreme new Internet censorship rules.

The TPP’s extreme Internet censorship plan
The changes proposed by the TPP could seriously undermine citizens’ rights to participate in a free and open Internet. We know from leaked drafts that these draconian measures could criminalize your everyday use of the Internet, force service providers to collect and hand over your private data, and give old industry conglomerates more power to fine you for Internet use. As opposed to fostering a global forum in which citizens can engage with one another, the TPP would stifle any kind of innovation within the Internet community.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation underlines the dangers of the TPP:
“The copyright provisions in the TPP will carve a highly restrictive copyright regime into stone and prevent countries from enacting laws that best address and promote users’ interests. In this final stage, it’s time for us to demand that our lawmakers join those who are already denouncing this agreement. We must drag this out into the light and reject international laws that uphold corporate interests at the expense of users’ rights.”

Obama fast tracks the TPP, bypasses democracy
If it isn’t bad enough that these talks have occurred behind closed doors, President Obama is now taking this secrecy even further by attempting to “fast track” the deal through Congress.

This means that elected U.S. Congress members would be forced to vote on the agreement without the possibility of sharing, discussing, or amending its contents. Under such intense pressure from the President, it seems as though the most comprehensive and covert post-WTO trade agreement could be finalized by as early as the end of October. The urgency to wrap up this controversial deal is reaffirmed by the White House’s recent announcement that they’ll go ahead with the TPP -- despite the current government shutdown.

Unsurprisingly, Congress members have not taken to Obama’s undemocratic, fast track plans without protest. Several representatives have recently spoken out against this backdoor deal, including Rep. Rosa DeLauro: “I oppose fast-track authority like what we have had in the past [...] we are not just here to rubber stamp what gets done.” Echoing this sentiment is Rep. Alan Grayson, who has described the Obama Administration’s secrecy about the TPP as “an assault on democratic government.”

Over 100,000 citizens against Internet censorship
It’s not just Congress that has spoken up. Over 100,000 citizens from all across the Trans-Pacific region have made it clear that they’re against the TPP’s dangerous Internet censorship plan. As negotiations are set to wrap up by the end of this month, this really is the last chance for global citizens to let their decision-makers know that they will pay a hefty political price for supporting a deal that censors the Internet.

It’s time to put an end to Internet censorship now. Join the over 100,000 others who have spoken up and sign the petition against Internet censorship today at https://OpenMedia.org/censorship

Link to original article from AlterNet

Read 6939 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 00:26

Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track - Where Does Your Legislator Stand

Click your state to see your Senators and Representatives

Green = Most Legislators Oppose Fast Track, Yellow = Some Opposition, Orange = Oppose TPP, Gray = Unknown
DeLauro 13 - Signed 2013 DeLauro/Miller letter
Pocan - Signed Freshman Letter Opposing Fast Track
W/M - Signed Ways and Means Letter opposing TPP
Gibson - Signed Rep. Chris Gibson letter opposing TPP
SOPA - Oppose Stop Online Piracy Act - voted against
Currency - Oppose Currency Manipulation (Signed Michaud Letter)
Textile - Oppose changes to "First Yarn" (Signed Textile Industry Letter)

Published Letters to the Editor

  • Pacific trade pact would do more harm than good: Guest opinion

    If government and big business representatives from 12 countries spend years negotiating a massive new trade bill but don't tell the general public about it, does it still go into effect? Can it still accelerate the flow of American jobs to countries that have abysmal records on human rights and labor rights, countries like Vietnam? Can it still spur a race to the bottom where Americans forfeit their moral, environmental and employment standards for larger trade deficits of cheap imported goods and minimum wage employment at home?

    Written on Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00 Read more...

Join our Twitter Storm

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Then call and ask them to oppose Fast Track on the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Sample script is below.

Script

“I'm a constituent, and I am strongly opposed to my representative giving away Congress’ constitutional authority to control our trade policy. We send people to Congress to stand up for us, not give away their power to stop more American job offshoring and protect us from dangerous imported food that doesn’t meet our safety standards. This latest so-called trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), would not only do that - but also ban Buy American and increase our medicine prices. That’s why it’s crucial that Congress not give away its authority to make sure every provision of TPP is in our interest before this massive deal can be signed. Good trade deals don’t need to be railroaded through Congress using Fast Track. I hope my representative will commit to opposing this outrageous legislation.”

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Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of

Flush the TPP

Congress only has one more week in session this year, the week of December 9. So far our pressure to stop the TPP has been working. Visit Flush the TPP for calling scripts and links to Members of the Ways and Means Committee.

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