[governance] Re: [bestbits] TRADE impacts on Net Neutrality

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Thu Dec 18 02:21:12 EST 2014

This below is a very important development, and the analysis 
<https://data.awp.is/data/filtrala/15/analisis.cleaned.pdf> by Prof 
Kelsey and Dr Kilic is really really good.

The upshot in my view is; the global Internet would finally be governed, 
has to be governed, like any other important social system. The real 
question that we face, especially in the context of these new 
revelations, is; whether

(1) the Internet should be governed as a 'trade system', and among a few 
willing countries, which represent the most powerful countries plus 
those who are willing to partake of the fruits of cooptation, or

(2)  it should be governed as a/unique new global infrastructure of 
communication, information, and social organizing/ (and thus of many a 
social system, including trade) in venues that are open to all countries 
of the world, more powerful or less, big or small.

(Included in the above is the question whether the key value flow on the 
Internet, data, is to be considered in a framework of its multiferous 
enmeshment with many sectors of our society, or just as a commodity for 
trade, with some minor 'exceptions' admitted here and there.)

One would think that for a civil society group the above is a simple 
choice to make. But unfortunately, most civil society actors in the IG 
space have focussed on narrow specific issues missing this larger 
framework, and thus missing the wood for the tree. Willy nilly, in my 
view, it amounts to complicity with option 1 above .

Kelsey and Kilc's analysis begins with a very pertinent listing of US' 
objectives. While all three listed objectives are instructive, I 
especially quote no 3

"prevent or restrict government regulation that impedes the activities 
and profits of the major global services industries, and guarantees 
unrestricted cross-border data flows, which impacts on consumer 
protections, privacy laws, regulatory constraints and competition policy."

How effective the US strategy has been on this count is obvious... It 
has kept the IG world embroiled in the multistakehoder versus 
multilateral debate as it goes ahead building the global architecture of 
IG and of the Internet through its secret agreements like the TISA. When 
the pressure becomes too much, like post Snowden, it throws a NTIA 
transition ball for kids to play with, which is both the not most 
important global IG issues, and even in its best possible outcome does 
not really change much. But quite good to divert people' thinking and 
energy for a year or two. And if one asks, but what about non-tech 
issues, it comes up with the WEF based NetMundial Initiative, and gets 
enthusiastic civil society backers - though anyone will ask the 
question, how the US push to prevent public interest governance of the 
Internet for the sake of protecting its big business interests (see the 
quote above) is addressed by new forums where those very big business 
interests will now direct participate in public policy development. But 


On Wednesday 17 December 2014 09:17 PM, Carolina Rossini wrote:
> 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 
> <mailto: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 
> <mailto:tpp-allies at listserver.citizen.org>>
> http://www.citizen.org/documents/press-release-net-neutrality-leak.pdf
> _For Immediate Release_:
> _Contact_:
> Angela Bradbery (202) 588-7741 <tel:%28202%29%20588-7741>, 
> abradbery at citizen.org <mailto:abradbery at citizen.org>
> Dec. 17, 2014
> Symone Sanders (202) 454-5108 <tel:%28202%29%20454-5108>, 
> ssanders at citizen.org <mailto: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 policies.”
> 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 Citizen.
> ###
> *Symone D. Sanders *
> *Communications Officer | Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch*
> 215 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003
> Office: 202.454.5108 <tel:202.454.5108> | Cell: 402-671-8118 
> <tel:402-671-8118>
> Email: ssanders at citizen.org <mailto:ssanders at citizen.org>
> Website: www.tradewatch.org <http://www.tradewatch.org/>
> Twitter: @PCGTW, @ExposeTPP
> ---
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> -- 
> -- 
> /Carolina Rossini /
> /Vice President, International Policy/
> *Public Knowledge*
> _http://www.publicknowledge.org/_
> + 1 6176979389 | skype: carolrossini | @carolinarossini
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