TransPacific Partnership: Darrell Issa Releases Text, Full Document Still Secret

1:08 pm in Uncategorized by Kit OConnell

TPP Protest in Addison, Texas. Photo by Kit O'Connell.

Despite a petition with over 44,000 signatures, as well as recommendations by NGOs, legal experts, and congressmen, the Office of the United States Trade Representative still refuses to release the text of the TransPacific Partnership:

The first question, from Citizens Trade Campaign, was a request that text be made available to the public so that stakeholders could have more informed positions when speaking with negotiators. Weisel said that while the U.S. position is that constantly evolving TPP chapter texts cannot be released to the public.

While activists continue to work to obtain a list of those who have seen the complete text, Congressman Darrell Issa made the dramatic move to release the copyright and intellectual property portion of the agreement. Pieces of this chapter had been previously leaked, angering activists with  Electronic Frontiers Foundation, Anonymous, and supporters of an accessible, open Internet. They see the agreement as reproducing or worsening many of the more destructive portions of defeated laws like the Senate Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

In his press release, Issa said:

At a time when the American people and Internet users all around the world are rightfully wary of any closed-door negotiations that could adversely impact their ability to freely and openly access the Internet, the Obama Administration continues to pursue a secretive, closed-door negotiating process for the Trans Pacific Partnership.

My contacts suggest that this release, apparently the entire chapter on intellectual property, is more than most outside the shadowy negotiations have seen before today. The chapter is hosted on Keep The Web #Open, where the public is invited to read it and give the feedback, a process many believe should have been possible from the beginning.

Thanks to Anonymous for drawing my attention to these stories.