The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an international trade agreement five years in the making. Although the details around the agreement are secret, certain chapters, namely those around intellectual property rights, have been released via WikiLeaks.
The new details reveal strict rules on Internet regulation. Under this agreement, Internet service providers (ISPs) would be forced to keep logs of everything you do online. This means every website you visit, every action you make, will be recorded.
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What Is the TPP, Anyway, and Why Is It So Important?
The TPP was created to help improve trade relations, lower tariffs, and create more jobs for participating countries. These are noble endeavors, sure. But it’s going to do a lot of other things too, such as enacting stricter privacy laws and stronger copyright protection, and allowing even more legal cushioning for the pharma industry. Yikes!
The 12 nations currently included in the TPP are the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, Peru, Chile, and Brunei.
Under the deal, every country included will be forced to change their laws to make it easier for U.S. film studios to seek damages over copyright infringements. If approved, the TPP will be the largest trade deal in history. It will account for 40 percent of the world’s economy and cover more than 792 million people.
Why So Secret?
If the TPP is such a big deal, why is everything so hush-hush?
The TPP is more than just an international trade deal. It will shape the global economy. And while Congress is touting the deal as a way to “maintain a balance between the rights of intellectual property holders and the legitimate interests of users and the community,” the truth is that it’s one of the biggest, scariest, and most corrupt deals ever to reach Congress.
In fact, Congress recently granted the Obama administration fast-track authority, so if the agreement is signed, it will bypass both public review and any chance for modification.
That means the biggest trade deal of our time will be signed in secret, with only pro-interest groups having access to the information, the process, and the amendments.
That’s some scary #&@^.
Just How Bad Is the TPP?
The TPP is baaaaaaaaaad. The TPP leaks provide a sneak peek into an Orwellian future where everything you do is recorded, logged, and put away so it can be accessed at the whim of government agencies.
Under the new agreement, copyright terms would extend to life of the author plus 70 years. It would also mean heavier criminal sanctions for people who infringe upon copyright laws or are found to share files, with extra harsh jail times and/or crushing legal fines.