Citizens call on leaders to say no to extreme Internet censorship proposals at final TPP talks in Indonesia next week
September 26, 2013 – Led by OpenMedia International, citizens of twelve Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) nations are telling their leaders to reject extreme Internet censorship proposals when they meet in Bali, Indonesia next week.
The proposals are contained within leaked drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a highly secretive deal that has been negotiated behind closed doors by trade bureaucrats and industry lobbyists. Civil society groups have been nearly completely excluded from the TPP talks, which world leaders are planning to conclude at next week’s APEC summit.
This morning, OpenMedia launched a Say No to Internet Censorship petition working with U.S advocacy group RootsAction, which appeals to world leaders to reject extreme proposals that will make the Internet more expensive, censored, and policed. Experts say that, “kids could be sent to jail for downloading” and whole families could be kicked off the Internet.
“With talks about to conclude, this could be our last chance for citizens and innovators to speak out against the huge damage the TPP will do to free expression online,” says OpenMedia Executive Director Steve Anderson. “Powerful old industry interests are pressuring leaders to agree to costly Internet censorship proposals that could break our digital future. Heads of state should make a commitment to not impose Internet censorship rules through the TPP.”
Anderson continued: “The TPP will invade our privacy, cost us money, and criminalize our online activity.” An open Internet is vital for to our future - we will not allow the open Internet to be undermined by media conglomerate lobbyists who are desperately trying to shore up their failing, outdated business model.”
The Say No to Internet Censorship petition asks TPP leaders to:
Protect the right of everyone to access the Internet in their daily lives.
Do not force ISPs to act as “Internet Police” monitoring our Internet use, censoring content, and removing whole websites.
Preserve the democratic rights of sovereign countries to draft their own copyright laws.
Citizens are speaking out right now at https://OpenMedia.org/censorship
OpenMedia is a network of people and organizations working to safeguard the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy.
About the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement:
The TPP is one of the most far-reaching international free trade agreements in history. We know from leaked TPP draft texts that participating nations would be bound to much stricter and more extreme copyright laws than now exist under current national laws. These new rules would criminalize much online activity, invade citizens’ privacy, and significantly impact our ability to share and collaborate online.
Negotiators from 12 of the TPP negotiating nations—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States—met in Malaysia to discuss these changes without input from the public, creators, or most businesses. The negotiating documents are classified—unless you are one of just 600 industry lobbyists permitted to participate.
TPP meetings took place in Malaysia from July 15th to the 24th. Negotiators have indicated that they are in the “home stretch”, with leaders of the participating countries expecting a resolution sometime in October. However, reports have indicated that the intellectual property provisions have been quite a “challenging” issue for those behind the agreement.
Over 15,000 people have now signed a petition at http://OurFairDeal.org, which demands that negotiators reject copyright proposals that would restrict the open Internet, access to knowledge, economic opportunity and our fundamental rights.
Internet users around the world can tell decision-makers that it’s time to open up their secretive process and let our voices be heard by speaking out at www.OpenMedia.org/DigitalFuture.
Communications Coordinator, OpenMedia
In August 2013, OpenMedia and the Our Fair Deal Coalition launched an alternative process to the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, enabling citizens to have their say on shaping their digital future.
In May 2013, OpenMedia and Coalition partners sent TPP Trade Ministers a letter to demand a ‘Fair Deal’ on provisions that would restrict Internet use in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.
We also sent a message to new U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman by purchasing a hard-hitting Washington D.C. newspaper ad.
In December 2012, OpenMedia’s Steve Anderson took our message direct to TPP negotiators in Auckland. Read his full report from Auckland here.
- In June 2012, OpenMedia joined with a diverse coalition of groups to launch the StopTheTrap.net petition - a petition which gained over 135,000 signatures and which was hand-delivered to TPP negotiators in San Diego.