Vancouver Sun: TPP could could impose draconian restrictions on Canadian Internet users

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Article by Gillian Shaw for the Vancouver Sun:

A coalition of Internet advocates launched a campaign Wednesday against Canada’s participation in closed-door trade talks that could force Canada to rewrite its laws and impose draconian restrictions on Canadian Internet users.

The coalition, which includes Vancouver’s OpenMedia.ca, is calling on the Canadian government to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding negotiations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and to defend Canada’s sovereignty over Internet laws in this country.

“You could end up getting fined just for clicking on the wrong link,” said Steve Anderson, founder of OpenMedia.ca, which has been joined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the US digital rights group Public Knowledge, the Council of Canadians, the global consumer advocacy group SumOfUs.org, software company Tucows, Chilean public interest group ONG Derechos Digitales and the Washington, DC-based watchdog group Public Citizen. “Your Internet access could be terminated; your own content could be removed from the web and you may not have access to the kind of online material you have now.

“I think if this goes through a lot of people will be looking over their shoulder and they’ll be very nervous about what they click on. If you click and end up downloading something that is covered by copyright, you could be dragged into court.”

Canada was a late entry into the TPP negotiations, only invited to join last week by US President Barack Obama .The cost of its entry included what Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa, describes as “second-tier status,” with Canada bound by terms already agreed to among the TPP partners and with no veto authority in future decisions. Read more »

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