Source: End The Lie
The highly secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations are coming under increased fire from both government officials like Senator Ron Wyden and civil society organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
More information on the somewhat mysterious TPP negotiations emerged recently in a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report published by the Federation of American Scientists which can be read here.
In a recent blog post, Sandra Fulton of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office went as far as to call the TPP the “biggest threat to free speech and intellectual property that you’ve never heard of,” which is likely not all that much of an exaggeration.
Others have characterized the TPP as “SOPA on steroids,” referring to the Stop Online Piracy Act which was abandoned thanks to a great deal of public activism. However, it became quite clear that SOPA would not be the end of these efforts.
As the EFF points out in a blog post, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is going above and beyond in the TPP negotiations by not just pushing for the proposed changes to intellectual property law but the USTR is also making a concerted effort to avoid any and all Congressional oversight.
According to the EFF, “the USTR has recently rebuffed a request from the staff director on the Senate Finance Committee’s International Trade Subcommittee to review documents pertaining to the negotiations.”
Speaking out against the USTR’s activities, Senator Ron Wyden, the Chairman of the Subcommittee, wrote that his office “is responsible for conducting oversight over the USTR and trade negotiations.