Will SHAFTA undo our Internet victories?
Since the text has been released, the Trans Pacific Partnership has been widely criticized as a disaster for public health, small business, workers' rights, and the environment.
But, according to Evan Greer of The Guardian, “perhaps the biggest concern is over the impact that [the TPP] will have on the internet.” That's because the final version of the deal has the potential to limit the ways we can access information and express ourselves online.
For starters, the TPP would force all member nations to expand our broken copyright system and allow corporations to censor content by claiming violations. Although our First Amendment protects so-called “fair use” - those important protections are not included in the deal. And, this is only one of the ways the deal threatens our free and open internet.
The Trans Pacific Partnership also poses a serious threat to journalists and whistleblowers by demanding harsh criminal penalties for anyone who dares to share corporate secrets “through a computer network.”
And, if you think we can simply pass our own laws to protect against these threats, think again, because the ISDS will make that virtually impossible. That's the nickname for the Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions, which will allow foreign corporations to sue our government for any law that interferes with their unfettered profits.
Just like our environment, our labor laws, and our small business protections, the Trans Pacific Partnership will devastate our right to a free and open internet.
We've successfully blocked SOPA and PIPA and stood up for net neutrality, but all of that will mean nothing if our lawmakers approve the TPP.
Let's call Congress today – and every day – until they stand up for our workers, our environment, and our internet, and reject the Trans Pacific Partnership once and for all.