At IT Guys head quarters, we’ve been watching the Trans Pacific Partnership for a while and in short, it’s scary.
Every year recently, one of these “limit internet freedoms” bills tries to sneak by the public. SOPA, PiPA, DMCA, etc. Now there’s a new one, that’s wrapped around a lot of other non-internet related agreements, TPP. And this time, it’s top secret.
If you haven’t been paying attention to the news, or internet, or Facebook meme, political cartoons, or just the media in general, the trans pacific partnership is a multi-national agreement to allow the 12 participating countries that make up 40% of the worlds GDP to relax policies on international so that countries can compete better with each other and free up the marketplace for international commerce.
Sounds good in theory
The idea is that the trade agreement would create more jobs in the US, import less expensive products, and help the world economy by spreading job creation across the globe.
In reality, it doesn’t do any of that. In fact just the opposite.
The TPP favors corporations, and gives them extra-judical powers to sue countries over policies that affect their profits. That last statement is vague and it’s meant to be.
The challenge is that can be interpreted in many ways. But for the sake of time, we’ll focus on the affect it will have on the internet.
One of the scariest facets of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is that the public isn’t allowed to read it. In fact none of the countries populations that are a part of the TPP, some 800 million people are allowed to read it. The only people that get to see it are congress and the corporations that wrote the bill.
Why is no one allowed to read the TPP?
The political spin artist at be have claimed that the TPP isn’t being released to the public because it’s a negotiation tactic for the corporations and political leaders. “It’s a way for them to read the bill without showing their hand “. But that doesn’t make any sense. If a bill is able to read by everyone, what difference does it make whether or not it’s public. The real reason that the TPP is not being made public, officials have stated is because the if the full text of the TPP was made public, the people would oppose it.
We took a look at the leaked chapters from the TPP from wiki-leaks to find out why. The section that concerns us in the computer support industry in the front range is specifically the chapter on intellectual property. More specifically the parts relating to internet service providers.
According to the TPP, to paraphrase, internet service providers must take actions to regulate content they provide access to that could affect the profits of corporations.
Effectively, the TPP would limit the freedom of speech on the internet in the United States. Period. All of the other provisions aside, thats enough to lose our vote. Aside from that, there’s many other articles that protect the TPP from ever being amended, or repealed unless all 12 countries agree on the amendment or the repeal.
The negatives clearly outweigh the positives for the majority of the people affected by the bill. Still, the bill has been fast tracked through the senate, and it’s up to congress to stop the TPP.
There may be many more positives to the TPP that we’re over looking. In theory it’s supposed to support company investment, job creation, increase our nation’s security, etc. But at the end of the day, if the internet is challenged, I wouldn’t care if it came with a sports car in my garage.
The TPP has to be stopped
Do all of the research you can stand, and make up your own mind about the TPP. If your as outraged as we are, write to your congressman. Tell them what you think. Don’t let your internet be silenced.