The Trans-Pacific Partnership Will “Significantly” Restrict Online Freedoms
March 20, 2014
In October, Senate Finance Committee chairmen Sen. Orrin Hatch and Sen. Max Baucus called on Congress to fast-track legislation that would give President Obama’s trade representative, Michael Froman, power to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a broad-reaching, secretive trade agreement that, among other things, would create new internet regulations that concern open internet activists.
Today, 25 tech companies, including Reddit, Automattic (WordPress.com), Imgur, and Boing Boing, sent an open letter to Sen. Ron Wyden urging him to oppose any form of a TPP fast track.
After thanking Sen. Wyden for his staunch defense of “users and online rights,” and congratulating him on his appointment as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, the coalition wrote, “These highly secretive, supranational agreements are reported to include provisions that vastly expand on any reasonable definition of ‘trade,’ including provisions that impact patents, copyright, and privacy in ways that constrain legitimate online activity and innovation.”