Copyright vs free speech: TPP will take away basic rights if ratified
December 10, 2013
Through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), US corporatists are aiming to exert their legal control globally, by backing a move to extend intellectual property (IP) laws. But according to Snowden leaks, the move will come at the cost of free speech.
We, the citizens of the world, already owe NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a huge debt of gratitude. Even the limited publication of a few of the documents he disclosed to journalists has to date provoked a political and public debate in countries across the planet – and who knows what other nasties lurk in the cache of documents yet to be exposed?
Thanks to Snowden, Millions of people – as well as many governments – have woken up to the fact that privacy is the vital component of free societies. Without that basic right we are unable to freely read, write, speak, plan, and associate without fear of being watched – our every thought and utterance stored up to be potentially used against us at some nebulous future date. Such panoptic global surveillance leads inevitably to self-censorship and is corrosive to our basic freedoms, and individual citizens as well as countries are exploring ways to protect themselves and their privacy.
As I and others have said before, we need free media to have a free society.
But even if we can defend these free channels of communication, what if the very information we wish to ingest and communicate is no longer deemed to be free? What if we become criminalized purely for sharing such un-free information?