In addition to consolidating corporate power over 40% of the world’s economy, the recently agreed upon Trans-Pacific Partnership deal will target internet-based investigative journalism and make it a crime to expose corporate crime.
United States trade representative Michael From announces TPP deal in Atlanta
The Independent reported on Monday:
One particularly controversial part of the provisions make it a crime to reveal corporate wrongdoing “through a computer system”. Experts have pointed out that the wording is very vague, and could lead to whistleblowers being penalized for sharing important information, and lead to journalists stopping reporting on them.
The draconian aspects of the TPP related to the internet were exposed in 2013 by Wikileaks.
Leaked drafts revealed it would police, censor and make the internet more expensive.
In addition to intimidating journalists and limiting access, the agreement contains provisions that require social media and online content providers such as Facebook and YouTube to remove content after one complaint.
The strict rule is already in effect in the United States, but the provisions will require this in all countries covered by the agreement.
The agreement also allows countries to seize computers of individuals allegedly involved in copyright infringement, which is broadly expanded under the deal.
In 2013, the Electronic Frontier Foundation warned the “TPP is likely to export some of the worst features of U.S. copyright law to Pacific Rim countries: a broad ban on breaking digital locks on devices and creative works (even for legal purposes), a minimum copyright term of the lifetime of the creator plus seventy years (the current international norm is the lifetime plus fifty years), privatization of enforcement for copyright infringement, ruinous statutory damages with no proof of actual harm, and government seizures of computers and equipment involved in alleged infringement.”
On Monday the United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations reached an agreement on the accord.
It will now go before Congress where it stands a chance of defeat as a contentious presidential cycle unfolds.