[bestbits] TRADE impacts on Net Neutrality

Carolina Rossini carolina.rossini at gmail.com
Wed Dec 17 10:47:16 EST 2014

press release from PC (our dear Burcu) and also a briefing distributed
today by other groups going deeper on the issues

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Melinda St. Louis <mstlouis at citizen.org>
Date: Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 10:36 AM
Subject: [tpp-allies] PC Press Release: Obama "trade" text leak: net
neutrality, data privacy implicated
To: tpp-allies <tpp-allies at listserver.citizen.org>


*For Immediate Release*:


Angela Bradbery (202) 588-7741, abradbery at citizen.org

Dec. 17, 2014

Symone Sanders (202) 454-5108, ssanders at citizen.org

*Leak of Obama Administration Trade Pact Proposal Reveals Negotiations
Affecting Net Neutrality, Limits on Data Privacy Protections*

*U.S. Internet Governance Policy Should not be Designed in Closed-Door,
Industry-Influenced Negotiations of U.S. Trade in Services Agreement *

WASHINGTON, D.C. – While a domestic debate about net neutrality rages and
public demands for better data privacy protections grow, a U.S. trade pact
proposal leaked today reveals that issues related to both policies are
being negotiated in closed-door trade talks to which corporate trade
advisors have special access, said Public Citizen.

The leaked text is the U.S. proposal for language relating to e-commerce
and Internet issues in a proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), which
is now being negotiated between a 50-country subset of  World Trade
Organization members. The pact would require signatory countries to ensure
conformity of their laws, regulations and administrative procedures with
the provisions of the TISA; failure to do so could subject a country to
trade sanctions. Negotiators are pushing to complete and implement the pact
next year.

“This leak reveals a dangerous trend where policies unrelated to trade are
being diplomatically legislated through closed-door international ‘trade’
negotiations to which industry interests have privileged access while the
public and policy experts promoting consumer interests are shut out,” said
Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “Given the
raging domestic debate over net neutrality, the growing demands for more
data privacy and the constantly changing technology, a pact negotiated in
secret that is not subject to changes absent consensus of all signatories
seems like a very bad place to be setting U.S. Internet governance

Added Burcu Kilic, a lawyer with Public Citizen, “The Internet belongs to
its users. Anyone who cares about an open and free Internet should be
concerned that U.S. trade negotiators are seeking to lock in international
rules about how the Internet functions, and are doing so in a closed-door
process that is not subject to the input of  Internet users. Negotiating
rules internationally, behind closed doors, while the domestic discussion
is ongoing not only makes an end-run around the domestic process, but
excludes the perspectives and expertise needed to make good policy.”

With respect to privacy protections, the leaked text reveals that the U.S.
negotiators are pushing for new corporate rights for unrestricted
cross-border data flows and prohibitions on requirements to hold and
process data locally, thus removing governments’ ability to ensure that
private and sensitive personal data is stored and processed only in
jurisdictions that ensure privacy.

Such measures are considered critical to ensuring that medical, financial
and other data provided protection by U.S. law are not made public when
sent offshore for processing and storage, with no legal recourse for
affected individuals. Numerous U.S. organizations are pushing for
improvements in such policies, which are considerably stronger in other
countries. If the proposed TISA terms on free data movement were to become
binding on the United States, such needed progress would be foreclosed.

For a more detailed analysis of the leaked text and its implications for
net neutrality and data privacy, please see this memo
<https://data.awp.is/filtrala/2014/12/17/19.html> co-written by Professor
Jane Kelsey, University of Auckland School of Law, and Kilic of Public


*Symone D. Sanders *

*Communications Officer | Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch*

215 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

Office: 202.454.5108 | Cell: 402-671-8118

Email:  ssanders at citizen.org

Website: www.tradewatch.org

Twitter: @PCGTW, @ExposeTPP


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*Carolina Rossini *
*Vice President, International Policy*
*Public Knowledge*
*http://www.publicknowledge.org/ <http://www.publicknowledge.org/>*
+ 1 6176979389 | skype: carolrossini | @carolinarossini
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