Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

NY Times: The verdict is in on Obama's efforts to sell the top secret TPP

“A snow job” - that’s the verdict of this Nobel Prize-winning economist on Obama’s efforts to sell his top-secret TPP.

Article by Paul Krugman for The New York Times

One of the Obama administration’s underrated virtues is its intellectual honesty. Yes, Republicans see deception and sinister ulterior motives everywhere, but they’re just projecting. The truth is that, in the policy areas I follow, this White House has been remarkably clear and straightforward about what it’s doing and why.

Every area, that is, except one: international trade and investment.

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Huffington Post: Did you know Canada is the most sued nation under free trade agreements?

Now Canada wants to sign on to another massive, secretive agreement that will exploit our 'partners' and establish unaccountable supra-national tribunals to further erode democratic decision-making at the national level. 

Article by Sunny Freeman for the Huffington Post

Canada is the most-sued country under the North American Free Trade Agreement and a majority of the disputes involve investors challenging the country’s environmental laws, according to a new study.

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BREAKING: Fast Track and the TPP knocked off course by U.S. Senate vote

BREAKING: Obama’s own Senators have just put the brakes on Fast Track and the TPP, potentially putting the brakes on the process for the foreseeable future.

Slated for debate in the Senate this afternoon, President Obama’s Trade Promotion Authority Bill, better known as ‘Fast Track Legislation,’ was shut down before it even reached the floor, effectively derailing the plan to pass the Bill as soon as possible and demonstrate momentum to the 11 other countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

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An international network of organizations launches campaign to safeguard the Right To Link

Legislators in European Parliament and Commission are considering updates to copyright proposals that would censor links for Internet users

May 6, 2015 A large network of over 50 organizations from 21 countries is coming together to “Save The Link”. Today, the network is launching a multilingual international campaign aimed at pushing back against efforts by powerful media conglomerates to censor links and stifle free expression on the Internet. One of the proposals being advanced could make users personally liable for the content of websites they link to online.

The campaign launches as legislators in the EU are considering a major copyright review, including amendments to the European Union’s Copyright Directive that experts say would fundamentally undermine the right to link. In addition, a recent leak from the European Commission reveals measures that could force online companies to monitor the activities of Internet users in order to block content in other countries.

In tandem with the launch of the campaign, organizers have set up a Thunderclap social media amplification tool demanding that legislators protect the right to link. The message will reach over 1.4 million people.

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As government announces costly new copyright terms, leading experts send letter to Industry Minister urging him to fix existing loopholes that are exposing Canadians to threats and abuse

For months, foreign media giants have abused Canada’s copyright system by threatening Canadians with penalties that are impossible under Canadian law, in order to intimidate them into paying extortionate charges

April 23, 2015Leading Canadian copyright experts and organizations are urging Industry Minister James Moore to fix dangerous loopholes in Canada’s copyright rules. In a joint letter to Minister Moore, 17 organizations and experts set out in detail what needs to be done to safeguard Canadians from media giants trying to abuse the system. The letter comes just days after the government quietly announced in Tuesday’s budget that it will extend copyright terms on sound recordings from 50 to 70 years, a move that will cost customers millions.

As a result of a loophole in Canada’s new copyright rules, Canadians have been inundated by threatening and misleading notices from U.S.-based rights-holders. The notices threaten recipients with penalties that are impossible under Canadian law - such as $150,000 lawsuits and disconnection from the Internet. Experts want James Moore to act fast to close the loophole, which he was warned about but chose to ignore, before the new rules came into force in January.

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Link blocking threatens journalism, full stop.

Modern Journalism couldn’t happen without the power to link freely. And here’s just one example to show us the gravity of the situation:

Last year, U.S. journalist and privacy activist Barrett Brown was sentenced to over five years in jail. He had initially been indicted in 2012 on charges stemming from links he posted online. The links he posted–which he was later proven never even to have opened–pointed to material sourced from a hack on StratFor, a shady intelligence contractor with close ties to the U.S. government and many large corporations.

Those charges were later dropped, but Brown was eventually sent to jail for obstructing the FBI investigation into the links he’d posted online. Ironically, he wouldn’t have felt a need to hide his laptop when the FBI came knocking had they not come knocking in the first place.

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