Newsflash:
Dr. Syed Taj 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 5274 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)

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PDA In Your State

Join "Countdown to Coverage" Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper

CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries in January.

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Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

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Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Pulic Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

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Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative on the TPP

If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently opposed to Fast Track, they may not completely understand all the implications. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.

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