Right now, EFF representatives in Auckland, New Zealand are being shut out of the 15th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), a secretive, multi-national trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe. Hundreds of delegates and private representatives from the 11 participating nations are gathering at an Auckland casino to discuss this contentious trade agreement. EFF joins KEI, the Stop the Trap Coalition, Derechos Digitales and many other organizations representing public interest concerns to sound the alarm over the TPP's intellectual property chapter.
Up until now, civil society representatives have been denied full access to these trade meetings. But this time, the barriers are far higher: civil society has been granted only one day—less than 15 minutes of time—to present to the delegates our concerns about how this secretive agreement could harm free expression on the Internet and have other dire consequences for consumers worldwide.
EFF and other public interest groups have traveled around the world to defend user interests in these negotiations. Denying our access to these meetings is an affront to democratic ideals.
We have issued the following statement:
Digital Rights and Health Experts Frustrated by New Rule to Shut Out Civil Society from TPP Negotiation Venue
Academics, experts, consumer groups, Internet freedom organizations, libraries, educational institutions, patients and access to medicines groups have flown a long way from around the world to Auckland, New Zealand, to engage with delegates in the 15th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.
For the first time, however, we have been locked out of the entire venue, except for a single day out of the 10 days of negotiations. This not only alienates us as members of public interest groups, but also the hundreds of thousands of innovators, educators, patients, students, and Internet users who have sent messages to government representatives expressing their concerns with the TPP. All of us oppose the complete unjustifiable secrecy around the negotiations, but more importantly, the IP provisions that could potentially threaten our rights, and innovation.
These new physical restrictions on us are reflective of the ongoing lack of transparency that has plagued the TPP negotiations from the very beginning.
Industry lobbyists looking to protect their outdated business models have, if anything, been provided greater access and influence over the drafting of the agreement than our groups. We are here on the ground in Auckland to ensure that the TPP really levels the playing field for access to knowledge, access to health and medicines, innovation, and economic development around the world. No matter how much they continue to block us from these negotiations, the more determined we become to ensure that citizens and expert voices are heard.
American Medical Student Association (US)
Consumers International (International)
Electronic Frontier Foundation (International)
Electronic Frontiers Australia (Australia)
InternetNZ (New Zealand)
Knowledge Ecology International (US)
Malaysian AIDS Council (Malaysia)
Malaysian Women’s Action for Tobacco Control and Health – MyWATCH (Malaysia)
New Zealand Nurses Association (New Zealand)
ONG Derechos Digitales (Chile)
Public Citizen (US)
Public Health Association of Australia (Australia)
Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (International)