Putting on my vigilante hat…!

Posted May 16, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Thin Edge of the Wedge Time!

EFF discovers secret meeting in Dallas

Hmmm, I sort of feel like I’m on the National Enquirer‘s front page…

Seriously, those of us who use the Internet and enjoy its free-wheelin’ nature need to pay attention when someone like the Electronic Frontier Foundation gets worried. I can just imagine that the government is just going nuts at an entire “dimension” not under their control. “Rules are needed!” “It’s a lawless frontier!” Then there are the corporations who would just love to find a way to charge us for each time we access the Internet or for every email we send to every person on each email. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I sound like a conspiracy theorist, don’t I? * snicker * Seriously, There are busybodies in government just dyin’ to jam us up with laws and rules and you know how people get about money, so…getting back to the EFF concern…

The Electronic Frontier Foundation learned about a secret meeting in Dallas between trade reps that could affect online speech and create

new, international standards for intellectual property enforcement. Worst of all, Internet users and free expression advocates like EFF aren’t allowed in the room and are forbidden from seeing the negotiated text.

Click here to join EFF in demanding a Congressional hearing* so lawmakers can learn what’s in the TPP and hear from all affected stakeholders, not just deep-pocketed industry representatives.

* The link takes you to a page requesting your zip code. It then finds the names of your representatives, making it easy to let them know that this just ain’t on.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk claims they have made “extraordinary efforts” to include public stakeholders in negotiations, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Like ACTA, negotiations have actively excluded civil society and the public, while welcoming private industry representatives with open arms.

EFF’s International IP Director Gwen Hinze traveled to Dallas to demand transparency, but she wasn’t allowed to see the draft text or be present for the negotiations. Here’s how Gwen described the tactics the USTR is using to shut Internet users out from the negotiations:

Unlike previous negotiation rounds, there will be no official forum for stakeholders to present their views to the assembled TPP country negotiators. Instead, stakeholders are being asked to register their interest in sponsoring a table to provide negotiators who might so happen to stroll past with information on particular topics.

The public should be front and center in these negotiations, not relegated to a table outside.

Join EFF in calling on Congress for more transparency in TPP. Negotiators can’t just shut out the public and their elected representatives.”

TPP: Internet Freedom Activists Protest Secret Trade Agreement Being Negotiated This Week

“The U.S. content industry will try anything to preserve its profit margin and power over the creative content market at the expense of the Internet. They will use any tactic that circumvents democratic processes to make new rules for the Internet that favor their interests and not the interests of Internet users or the technical community that actually builds the Internet as we know it. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is yet another example of these tactics.”

Read more at Another backroom deal.

Defending your digital rights,

Maira Sutton
International Team
Electronic Frontier Foundation

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