The ink was barely dry on the federal government’s new copyright reform bill when they signed on to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a controversial new trade agreement that could toss that piece of legislation under the bus, along with the minimal protections it provided to Canadians who use intellectual property.
Leaked chapters from the agreement point to a truly global overhaul of intellectual property rights enforcement practices that would undermine Canada’s ability to create and enforce its own intellectual property laws-laws that make sense for citizens. OpenMedia says the TPP
“…would give Big Media new powers to lock users out of our own content and services, provide new liabilities that might force ISPs to police our online activity, and give giant media companies even greater powers to shut down websites and remove content at will. It also encourages ISPs to block accused infringers’ Internet access, and could force ISPs to hand over our private information to big media conglomerates without appropriate privacy safeguards.”
Like so many other international negotiations, the TPP has been a behind-closed-doors deal. Even though Canadians could now be subject to increased scrutiny, surveillance, and criminalization, they’ve been locked out of the discussion from the beginning. It’s hard to see this scheme as anything other than policy laundering-governments using “international obligations” like the TPP as an excuse to impose unpopular and even oppressive legislation on their own citizens.
This week, Canada officially joined the TPP and according to Gillian Shaw at the Vancouver Sun, is set to take part in the 15th round of negotiations in Auckland in early December. By doing so, our government has implicitly agreed to everything that was set out in the first 14 rounds, even though we had absolutely no say in those proceedings.
FIPA is a long-time defender of the privacy rights of citizens, and we work hard to advance the values of openness, accountability, and transparency. The TPP, on both procedural and substantive grounds, shows flagrant disregard for those rights and values. That’s why we’re committed to collaborating with organizations around the world to stop it in its tracks.
If you share our concern, visit the Stop The Trap campaign page today and add your voice by signing the petition. Stand up for transparency, accountability, and privacy.