The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Internet Freedom

This July, I wrote an op-ed for C4SS about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would strengthen the patent monopoly’s power to restrict access to medicines. But medical access is not the only area where the Trans-Pacific Partnership would threaten liberty. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s leaked sections on “intellectual property” suggest that the treaty would restrict freedom of speech online. Earlier this month, EFF presented their concerns at an event hosted by the Office of the US Trade Representative. Their report on this event should be very interesting to C4SS readers. It shows the lack of transparency involved in the TPP negotiations, as well as the propaganda campaign that the entertainment industry is mounting to protect themselves from the competition and free expression the internet has enabled.

If you wish to understand how corporate capitalism operates as a state-guaranteed system of privilege, the TPP provides a perfect illustration. In a truly Orwellian fashion, basic liberties are being restricted for the explicit purpose of restricting competition, and yet it’s being passed off as “free trade.”


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