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Trans-Pacific Partnership Targets Internet And Labor Rights

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Courtesy of the Roundup, the Real News Network recently did an interview highlighting the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and the stunning implications this rarely discussed treaty would have on labor, environmental, and internet rights. TPP is the next step in expanding Corporate Power at the expense of democracy and free expression.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation the latest round of talks has focused on wildly expanding copyright protection, in essence SOPA 2. But this time Big Business is trying to get through the backdoor by shoving the provisions into a trade agreeement.

EFF and many others are deeply concerned about TPP, because it appears to contain an intellectual property (IP) chapter that would ratchet up IP enforcement at the expense of digital rights. The TPP could turn Internet Service Providers into copyright cops, prompt ever-higher criminal and civil penalties for sharing content, and expand protections for Digital Rights Management. The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has announced that they plan to complete the TPP by the fall of this year.

According to the AFL-CIO TPP will also rollback the very modest gains unions have achieved in recent trade negotiations. But labor and the internet could just be the beginning as TPP could do serious damage to civil society by undermining democracy and further empowering transnational corporations.

The only way this treaty, which will be very unpopular with the American people once they are aware of it, can be approved is if the Obama administration avoids the democratic process by using an authority known as “Fast Track,” which limits the constitutional checks and balances of Congress.

If the TPP is approved, the sovereignty of the United States and other member nations will be dissipated by trade tribunals that favor corporate power and force national laws to be subservient to corporate interests.

Typical corporate maneuvering. On Wall Street they shop for the laxest regulators. Now Big Business is shopping for jurisdictional authority. Experiencing some slight restraint in buying Congress recently with SOPA and deregulation they want to force through a corporate shadow government in a trade deal. With the Obama Administration showing its trademark transparency, what could go wrong?

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.