TPP Could Outlaw Jailbreaking Smartphones

By now, most people will have heard the many ways in which the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement between Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, United States, Vietnam, Chile, Brunei, Singapore, and New Zealand, will restrict or prevent free expression for users of internet and related technologies, but with the full release of the proposed agreement via Medium, it seems TPP could affect the way citizens of member countries use technology in previously unforeseen ways.

Evan Greer, Campaign Director of technology advocate group Fight for the Future, has highlighted several articles within the released proposal that potentially seek to prevent users from modifying the firmware or unlocking the network carrier restrictions on a smartphone, specifically citing article 18.68, Technological Protection Measures, which protects against circumventing DRM.

“This section attempts to make it a crime to circumvent any “Digital Rights Management” (DRM) locks on a device, even if you own it,” Greer writes. “It could criminalize people who unlock their phones in order to use accessibility software, for example, or make it illegal to circumvent DRM on a computer in order to use Linux.”

“Now that we can read the final TPP text,” he adds, “it’s obvious why it was kept in total secrecy for so long: this agreement is a wishlist for powerful special interests and multinational corporations. The Intellectual Property chapter confirms our worst first about the TPP’s impact on our basic right to express ourselves and access information on the Internet. If U.S. Congress signs this agreement despite its blatant corruption, they’ll be signing a death warrant for the open Internet and putting the future of free speech in peril.”

WikiLeaks has even stirred up fears that, according to article 14.17, open source software could be outlawed.

https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/662330352904577024/photo/1

While businesses almost uniformly benefit from TPP, it seems that the price of that is impinging on the rights and freedoms technology users and consumers.

Image courtesy of Alochonaa.

WikiLeaks Reveals ISPs to Disclose Copyright Infringer Details Under TPP

WikiLeaks has been revealing details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership since the deal was agreed (but not signed) by Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, and Chile last week after years of negotiation, and the latest documents show that internet service providers in participating countries will be forced to hand over the details of any user thought to be infringing upon copyrighted materials.

The leaked document (which can be found on the WikiLeaks website), while representing a draft with the final wording yet to be agreed, purports to be the “final” version of the intellectual property chapter.

“This is the highly sort-after [sic] secret ‘final’ agreed version of the TPP chapter on intellectual property rights,” the document released by WikiLeaks reads. “There is still a finishing ‘legal scrub’ of the document meant to occur, but there are to be no more negotiations between the parties … The document is dated October 5, the same day it was announced in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, that the 12 nations had managed to reach an accord after five and half years of negotiations.”

Under the agreement, ISPs will be subject to “legal incentives” to encourage them to block copyright infringing materials and assist the copyright owners in preventing the transmission of storage of such materials. ISPs are considered liable for its users; therefore, if one of its users is found infringing copyrighted material, the ISP is considered responsible, presumably to force it into shopping its users rather than take the rap for piracy. Copyright holders can submit a list of infringing IP addresses to ISPs and expect to receive details of the offending users in return.

TPP is still being ratified by its 12 member countries prior to signing. Organisations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation are still fighting against TPP, specifically the Intellectual Property Chapter.

Thank you ZDNet for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Alochonaa.

Newly-Signed TTP Could be “Biggest Global Threat to the Internet”

After five years of negotiations – and of opponents protesting against it – the Trans-Pacific Partnership has been signed. The TPP agreement covers around 40% of the world’s economy and is designed to facilitate the free market – across Pacific countries Brunei, Chile, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States, and Vietnam via a multinational business agreement. A similar deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP, is currently being negotiated between Europe and the US, with the plan met by similar opposition from the public. Both TPP and TTIP have been called a threat to consumers, public services, and, especially, the internet.

So, why is TPP a bad thing? Why has the Electronic Freedom Foundation-branded TPP “one of the worst global threats to the internet”? One clause of the agreement in particular has become a serious point of contention. It criminalises the exposure of corporate misconduct “through a computer system”, meaning that whistleblowers or journalists that reveal information online about a business that has behaved badly – whether in the public interest or not – could be prosecuted. The wording of the agreement is so vague that it could even extend to consumers criticising companies on a public forum.

Another point of concern is a modification to rules governing takedown notices. Under TPP, one single complaint is enough to force online content providers, like Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, to take down the offending content, opening the internet up to a new form of censorship.

In a post entitled “What Is TPP? Biggest Global Threat to the Internet Since ACTA“, the EFF’s Katitza Rodriguez and Maria Sutton wrote:

“The TPP is likely to export some of the worst features of U.S. copyright law to Pacific Rim countries: a broad ban on breaking digital locks on devices and creative works (even for legal purposes), a minimum copyright term of the lifetime of the creator plus seventy years (the current international norm is the lifetime plus fifty years), privatization of enforcement for copyright infringement, ruinous statutory damages with no proof of actual harm, and government seizures of computers and equipment involved in alleged infringement.”

Pressure group Expose The TTP added, “Under this TPP proposal, Internet Service Providers could be required to “police” user activity (i.e. police YOU), take down internet content, and cut people off from internet access for common user-generated content.”

Thank you The Independent for providing us with this information.