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Last post Author Topic: Internet freedoms restrained - SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/CETA/PrECISE-related updates  (Read 97044 times)

IainB

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Looks like the Kiwis are starting to build a strong opposition to TPP:
Quote
From: http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/
If the TPPA goes ahead, we risk:
    medicines costing more
    GM labelling being scrapped
    internet access being criminalised
    copyright law being expanded
    parallel importing being banned
    te Tiriti o Waitangi being overridden

We would also be committing to special new rights for foreign investors, and to giving those investors the power to sue our government for making laws which they oppose.

IainB

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And as if to substantiate the point...
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
How The Copyright Industry Made Your Computer Less Safe
from the welcome-to-the-world-of-drm dept
I've already written one piece about Cory Doctorow's incredible column at the Guardian concerning digital rights management and anti-circumvention, in which I focused on how the combination of DRM and anti-circumvention laws allows companies to make up their own copyright laws in a way that removes the rights of the public. Those rights are fairly important, and the reason we have them encoded within our copyright laws is to make sure that copyright isn't abused to stifle speech. But, anti-circumvention laws combined with DRM allow the industry to route around that entirely.

But there's a second important point in Doctorow's piece that is equally worth highlighting, and it's that the combination of DRM and anti-circumvention laws make all of our computers less safe. For this to make sense, you need to understand that DRM is really a form of security software.

  • The entertainment industry calls DRM "security" software, because it makes them secure from their customers. Security is not a matter of abstract absolutes, it requires a context. You can't be "secure," generally -- you can only be secure from some risk. For example, having food makes you secure from hunger, but puts you at risk from obesity-related illness.

  • DRM is designed on the presumption that users don't want it, and if they could turn it off, they would. You only need DRM to stop users from doing things they're trying to do and want to do. If the thing the DRM restricts is something no one wants to do anyway, you don't need the DRM. You don't need a lock on a door that no one ever wants to open.

  • DRM assumes that the computer's owner is its adversary.


But, to understand security, you have to recognize that it's an ever-evolving situation. Doctorow quotes Bruce Schneier in pointing out that security is a process, not a product. Another way of thinking about it is that you're only secure until you're not -- and that point is going to come eventually. As Doctorow notes, every security system relies on people probing it and finding and reporting new vulnerabilities. That allows the process of security to keep moving forward. As vulnerabilities are found and understood, new defenses can be built and the security gets better. But anti-circumvention laws make that almost impossible with DRM, meaning that the process of making security better stops -- while the process of breaking it doesn't.

  • Here is where DRM and your security work at cross-purposes. The DMCA's injunction against publishing weaknesses in DRM means that its vulnerabilities remain unpatched for longer than in comparable systems that are not covered by the DMCA. That means that any system with DRM will on average be more dangerous for its users than one without DRM.


And that leads to very real vulnerabilities. The most famous, of course, is the case of the Sony rootkit. As Doctorow notes, multiple security companies were aware of the nefarious nature of that rootkit, which not only hid itself on your computer and was difficult to delete, but also opened up a massive vulnerability for malware to piggyback on -- something malware writers took advantage of. And yet, the security companies did nothing, because explaining how to remove the rootkit would violate the DMCA.

Given the post-Snowden world we live in today, people are suddenly taking computer security and privacy more seriously than they have in the past -- and that, as Doctorow notes, represents another opportunity to start rethinking the ridiculousness of anti-circumvention laws combined with DRM. Unfortunately, politicians who are way behind on this stuff still don't get it. Recent trade agreements like the TPP and ACTA continue to push anti-circumvention clauses, and require them around the globe, thereby weakening computer security.

This isn't just an issue for the "usual copyright people." This is about actually making sure the computers we use are as secure and safe as they can be. Yet, in a world with anti-circumvention provisions, that's just not possible. It's time to fix that.

Some people (not me you understand), might say that through **AA-driven DRM, SOPA/PIPA and NSA surveillance, the US Corporatist-led government has been and still is deliberately facilitating a prolonged and hugely successful pincer move on Internet freedom and privacy, making a hypocritical travesty of the American Constitution in the process, but I couldn't possibly comment.

IainB

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Now it is become as Hydra:
SOPA backers seek to restrict online rights again -- but this time outside the law | Intellectual property - InfoWorld

This is presumably (still) being pushed by the enormous combined resources of the US government administration and corporate lobbyists.
As said here:
Quote
Mark Zuckerberg Says The US Has Become A Threat To, Rather Than A Champion For, The Internet | Techdirt
from the indeed dept

Better late than never: it appears that Mark Zuckberberg is finally really pissed off about the NSA surveillance efforts.
(Read the rest at the link.)
___________________________
I find this rather amusing. These people are creeping out of the woodwork professing to be "Shocked, I tell you! Shocked!"
Yeah, right.
Pass the popcorn.

Like we didn't already know that the US has become a threat to, rather than a champion for, the Internet. ...
Goodness gracious! Has it really?    :tellme:

Some people (not me, you understand) might suggest that the threat statement could be rephrased as "...a threat to, rather than a champion for, the Internet, democracy, consumer and other freedoms, and sovereign nation rights.", but I couldn't possibly comment.

IainB

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Good point made here (see my emphasis):
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Copyright As Censorship: Turkey's Prime Minister Copyrights His Recorded Calls To Get Them Off YouTube | Techdirt
Copyright As Censorship: Turkey's Prime Minister Copyrights His Recorded Calls To Get Them Off YouTube
from the copyright's-not-about-cenosrship? dept
Just recently, we noted that Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has tried to shut down social media sites in the past, was once again threatening to ban YouTube and Facebook. The main issue: recordings of some of his phone calls were put online by those opposed to him. Erdogan has supported banning those sites by claiming that the recordings were "fabricated." Of course, it appears he's figured out there's a more modern and efficient way to censor content you don't want people to see: copyright.

Via Ankarali Jan comes the news that Erdogan has "taken out a copyright" in his own phone calls in an attempt to get them removed from those sites. Of course, that more or less admits that the calls are "real" -- though, as some have pointed out, he's never argued that the calls weren't his voice, just that they were edited inaccurately. Still, while more narrowly targeting the calls, rather than banning the whole site, may be seen as a slightly better path, the fact that his tool of choice is copyright should certainly remind us, once again, how frequently copyright is a tool for censorship, rather than having anything to do with its stated purpose.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2014, 04:53:56 AM by IainB, Reason: Minor correction. »

IainB

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SOPA now being rebranded as 'Notice And Staydown'.
« Reply #329 on: March 17, 2014, 04:55:38 AM »
From techdirt.com:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
The Rebranding Of SOPA: Now Called 'Notice And Staydown' | Techdirt
from the catchy-and-stupid dept

On Thursday morning, the House Judiciary Committee held its latest in a long series of hearings concerning potential copyright reform -- sometimes referred to as "the Next Great Copyright Act" after the Copyright Office kicked off the process with a talk on that topic (I'd quibble with the word "great" in there given how things are going so far). The latest hearing focused on Section 512 of the DMCA, better known as the "notice and takedown" provisions, or, more broadly, as the "safe harbor" provisions, which (mostly) protect service providers from being held liable for infringement done by their users. You've heard all of the arguments concerning this on both sides before -- and we had a post describing 5 myths likely to come up during the hearings (which did not disappoint). If you missed it, you can live through the torture below:
Or, if reading is your thing, Professor Rebecca Tushnet did her usual amazing job of taking insanely detailed notes of both the speechifying section and the Q&A section. There's a lot to cover, so we're going to break it down into a few different posts. This one is going to focus on the catchy phrase that came up repeatedly throughout the hearings: the idea that rather than the "notice and takedown" provision we have today, there should be a "notice and staydown." While mentioned repeatedly during the hearing, the concept was also outlined by two of the more maximalist (and clueless) defenders of extreme copyright law, Reps. Judy Chu and Tom Marino, in an opinion piece pushing for such a "notice and staydown" concept.

The idea is, more or less, that if a site receives a takedown notice concerning a particular copy of a work, it should then automatically delete all copies of that work and, more importantly, block that work from ever being uploaded again. This may sound good if you're not very knowledgeable about (a) technology and (b) copyright law. But if you understand either, or both, you quickly realize this is a really, really stupid solution that won't work and will have all sorts of dangerous unintended consequences that harm both creativity and the wider internet itself.

First, as was pointed out in the 5 myths piece, content itself is not illegal. It's actions concerning a piece of content. So, by doing a notice and staydown, you're guaranteeing that perfectly legitimate uses -- including both licensed uses and fair uses -- get blocked as well. That's because to determine if something is infringing, you have to view it in the full context. No matter how much some copyright maximalists want to believe that copyright is a strict liability law, it is not. The very same content may be infringing in some cases and not infringing in others. Not checking the context of each use would clearly block forms of perfectly legitimate expression. That's a big problem.

Second, and perhaps even bigger, is the fact that such a law would more or less lock in a few big players, like YouTube, and effectively kill the chance of any startup or entrepreneur to innovate and offer a better solution. Throughout the hearing, you hear people refer to Google's ContentID system -- which takes fingerprints of audio and video works and matches new uploads against it -- as an example of a proactive system "done right." Except, that system cost Google somewhere around $50 or $60 million to build. No startup can replicate that. And, even then, if you ask plenty of regular YouTube users, ContentID is really, really bad. It kills off fair use work all the time, it creates tremendous problems for legitimate and licensed users of content who suddenly find their content pulled and strikes on their account. It more or less proves that even if you have all the money in the world, no one can yet build a fingerprinting system that is particularly accurate.

If such a rule did get put in place, however, it would basically just guarantee that the few big players who could afford both the technology and the legal liability/insurance over the inevitable lawsuits, would be able to continue hosting user generated content. That's more or less ceding much of the internet to Google and Facebook. Considering how often copyright maximalists like to attack big companies like Google for not "sharing the wealth" or "doing their part," it's absolutely ridiculous that their biggest suggestion is one that would effectively give the big internet players more power and control.

The reality of the situation is that "notice and staydown" is really just SOPA 2.0 in disguise. The whole goal of SOPA was to basically to shift the issue of copyright infringement to the tech industry from the MPAA/RIAA. The idea was that if you add liability to the tech players, then it would magically force the tech companies to figure out a way to "clean up" infringement (leaving aside all the collateral damage). That's the same thing with "notice and staydown." The real issue is trying to shift the liability burden to tech companies.

It's the same story over and over again. The business model that the legacy players used to rely on has melted away in the age of the internet. Rather than truly adapt and change, they just get jealous of successful tech companies, and think that those companies somehow "owe" them money. And the best way to legally do that is to get politicians to magically place legal liability on those companies, so they have to pay up. Notice and staydown has nothing to do with actually stopping copyright infringement. It's about taking the burden off of the legacy players, easing the need for them to adapt and change, while trying to force big tech companies to pay up. The irony, of course, is that in the process it would harm much needed innovation from startups and entrepreneurs (the companies that the content creators really need the most) and lock in bigger, more powerful internet players.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 07:00:35 AM by IainB »

IainB

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Hypocrisy in spades...
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Even The German Government Wants Corporate Sovereignty Out Of TAFTA/TTIP | Techdirt
from the well,-at-the-moment dept

As we've noted, if there's one aspect of TAFTA/TTIP that practically everyone agrees is a bad idea, it's corporate sovereignty. Even against that background, it's still slightly surprising to read in the well-regarded German newspaper Die Zeit that the German government too wants it out of TTIP (via @FSchweitzer, original in German):
Quote
    The German federal government rejects special rights for corporations in the free trade agreement between the EU and the USA. "The federal government is doing all it can to ensure that it doesn't come to this," said the Secretary of State in the Federal Ministry of Economics, Brigitte Zypries, on Wednesday during question time in parliament. "We are currently in the consultation process and are committed to ensuring that the arbitration tribunals are not included in the agreement," said Ms Zypries.
_________________

The Secretary of State then went on to make a point many others have emphasized:
Quote
    "The German federal government's view is that the U.S. offers investors from the EU sufficient legal protection in its national courts," said the SPD politician Zypries. Equally, U.S. investors in Germany have sufficient legal protection through German courts. "From the beginning, the federal government has examined critically whether such a provision should be included in the negotiations for a free trade agreement," Zypries said.
_________________
Corporate sovereignty measures were added to earlier bilateral agreements when the legal systems of the country receiving foreign investment raised issues about their independence or where there was a fear that local governments might expropriate property with impunity. Neither can seriously be considered a risk in the case of the EU and US, and so investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) is redundant, as the German government recognizes here.

If this really is Germany's view, it will have major consequences for the negotiations, since the European Commission won't be able to get TAFTA/TTIP accepted by the EU without Germany's full support. There remains some room for doubt, though, as the German Secretary of State also said:
Quote
    arbitration tribunals of this kind should only be brought in as a last resort after exhausting all legal remedies brought in national courts.
_________________

If ISDS is excluded from TTIP, then that comment makes no sense, since there won't be the option to turn to supra-national tribunals after exhausting the legal process in national courts. So maybe Germany expects to be "persuaded" by concessions from the European Commission to change its mind at some point. But even if the German government is not totally abandoning the idea of corporate sovereignty, the fact that a senior politician is prepared to go on the record with the comments quoted above is significant. Germany's leaders obviously feel the need to distance themselves from ISDS, which is fast turning into a serious political liability.

IainB

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I am made unspeakably annoyed by an email I received this morning.
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
email from: David Moon, Demand Progress <info@demandprogress.org>

This is urgent. The TPP Internet censorship plan is being finalized in secret meetings right now.  We're teaming up with several other organizations and millions of people to block it.

We need all hands on deck at this crucial moment.  We'll be delivering millions of petition signatures in about a week, and we want your name to be one of them -- just click here.

Here’s the situation: President Obama himself is in secretive meetings with key political figures and lobbyists in Asia to lock the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Internet censorship plan into place.

We know from leaked documents that this secretive plan will censor your use of the Internet and strip away your rights. If finalized, this plan would force ISPs to act as “Internet Police”, monitoring our Internet use, censoring content, and removing whole websites.

It will give media conglomerates centralized control over what you can watch and share online.

We urgently need your help to fight back. Add your voice right now and we’ll project a Stop the Secrecy message on key buildings in Washington D.C. to ensure Obama, the media, and everyone else knows this censorship plan must be stopped.

Once key leaders finalize TPP Internet censorship plans it will be used to globalize censorship across the world. This may be our only chance to stop it.

Our attention-grabbing message will shine a light on their secret plan and will make clear to Washington lobbyists that the Internet community will never accept the TPP’s secrecy or censorship. The more who speak out, the larger our projection will become, and the more people we can reach.

This is a decisive moment: we need to act right now -- join us, OpenMedia, and DailyKos as we fight back.

Join with millions of people all over the world to shine a light on the TPP’s job-killing Internet censorship plan. Let’s send decision-makers and the lobbyists pulling the strings a message they can’t ignore: "Stop the secrecy now."

With every voice that is added to our call the Stop The Secrecy projection in Washington bigger and brighter.

We’ve stalled them before and we can kill this censorship plan if we act together at this critical moment.

The bureaucrats and lobbyists think they can ram through this damaging binding plan behind your back and without your consent.

Click here to help make sure they don't let them get away with it.

Thank you for being a part of history,

Demand Progress

If one wants to, one can add one's name to the petition at: https://stopthesecrecy.net/?src=dp, where it says (my emphasis):
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Quote
The TPP is huge: It covers 40% of the global economy and will overwrite national laws affecting people around the world.3

The worst of the TPP threatens everything we care about: democracy, jobs, health, the environment, and the Internet.  That's why decision-makers are meeting in Asia under extreme secrecy and pushing 'Fast Track' laws to cement the plan into place.

This is no way to make decisions in the 21st century. We need to raise a loud global call to expose this dangerous secrecy now.

With every voice that is added to our call, a donor will contribute to make the Stop The Secrecy projection on buildings in Washington D.C. bigger and brighter. We need to make this as big as possible when Obama returns to Washington on April 30th.

Please add your voice to help us build one of the largest online campaigns the world has ever seen.
 
Maximize Our Impact by Spreading the Word:

Image: StopTheSecrecy spotlight
 
Are you in the U.S.? Check out 'Save the World: Stop Fast Track' from Global Trade Watch:
Save The World: Stop Fast Track


Click here if you haven't added your voice yet.

IainB

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  Aaron's Law sounds like some good legislation, if it gets passed....
Quote
The Internet and all those who care about Aaron Swartz took a big step forward today
Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Sen. Ron Wyden just introduced "Aaron's Law", which would fix some of the worst parts of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), including those which make it a potential crime to violate terms of service agreements -- that fine print that nobody reads at the bottom of a website.
The CFAA is the law under which Aaron and other innovators and activists have been threatened with decades in prison. It is so broad that law enforcement says it criminalizes all sorts of mundane Internet use: Potentially even breaking a website's fine print terms of service agreement. Don't set up a MySpace page for your cat. Don't fudge your height on a dating site. Don't share your Facebook password with anybody: You could be committing a federal crime.
It's up to us to keep the Internet open, a place for sharing ideas, exploration and activism -- not for stifling creativity and criminalizing innovators.
As the bill's sponsors put it in a Wired.com Op-ed, "The events of the last couple of years have demonstrated that the public can speak loudly thanks to the Internet. And when it does, lawmakers will listen."
Let's make sure they hear us. Join us in calling on Congress to pass "Aaron's Law."
http://act.demandpro...ign/aarons_law_intro

Related to the above, I received an email today from Lawrence Lessig, DemandProgress.org <info@demandprogress.org>:
Go to http://www.demandprogress.org/ if you would like to follow this up with your contribution.
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Quote
More than seven years ago, Aaron Swartz, the cofounder of Demand Progress, convinced me to give up my work on copyright and Internet policy, and take up the fight against corruption.
 
That fall, we started Change Congress, and for the next five years, we conspired on the best way to build a grassroots movement around this issue — because we both realized that was the only way we could ever win. Washington will not fix itself. We have to fix it for it.
 
Then a federal prosecutor distracted him. And then destroyed him. And the hope that I had — that someday he would return to this fight, and help us win it — was over.
 
All of us know how difficult that loss was. But when I had recovered enough to think, I resolved again to do everything that I could to win the fight that he had started me on.
 
I spoke at TED 6 weeks after he died, laying out the argument as clearly as I could for the reform we needed. And last March, again at TED, I announced the most ambitious plan this reform movement has ever had: that by Aaron’s 30th birthday — election day, 2016 — we would win a Congress committed to fundamental reform.
 
I’m writing you today to ask you to join this movement — now, because we now face a critical challenge that we must meet if this plan is going to work.
 
Our idea is to run this campaign in two stages — in 2014, with a pilot to test the strategy and prove we can win, and then in 2016, with a full scale campaign to win.
 
We estimate the cost of the 2014 plan will be $12 million, and we decided to raise at least 1/2 through a kickstarter-like campaign.
 
I set the initial goal at $1 million in 30 days.
 
We raised it in 13 days.
 
Now we have launched a second, and insanely more difficult campaign to raise $5 million by July 4. If we meet that goal, and I get it matched, then we have the funds we need to win the campaigns we need in 2014, on our way to winning in 2016.
 
We need your help. If you can pledge, please do. We will only collect you pledge if we hit the $5 million goal. And just as important, if you can spread this, please please do.
 
Very few believe we can do this. But I do. If we can get a million people to view our site, we will meet our goal.
 
You are part of the million person army that Aaron helped to build, and that the Demand Progress team now continues to grow. Aaron pushed me to make this my cause. Let me push you now to at least pledge.
 
Thank you for all you have done. And thank you especially if you can help us to do this critical bit too.
 
-Lawrence Lessig
Paid for by Demand Progress (DemandProgress.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. Contributions are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

One last thing -- Demand Progress's small, dedicated, under-paid staff relies on the generosity of members like you to support our work. Will you click here to chip in $5 or $10? Or you can become a Demand Progress monthly sustainer by clicking here. Thank you!

IainB

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TISA (Trade In Services Agreement) - coming soon to a bank near you?
« Reply #333 on: June 23, 2014, 10:31:43 AM »
Rust never sleeps.
I've posted this here because of its relevance to privacy of information (data). It's a techdirt.com post about the TISA (Trade In Services Agreement), which is apparently a tool being negotiated that will - amongst other things - force nations to ease up on financial market regulation and bring in more laissez-faire in perpetuity (as if there hadn't been enough of that already, on the lead up to the last Global Financial Theft Crisis). However, TISA looks to be something more - a sort of battering-ram to allow financial institutions and governments to grab national financial account data of customers and to heck with privacy and public services. I'm sure it's all in a good cause...    :o
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Details Leak On How Secret Global Treaty Will Force Countries To Further Deregulate Financial Sector
from the yet-another-ratchet dept

WikiLeaks has been rather quiet recently -- probably something to do with Julian Assange being stuck in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for the last two years. But today, we saw a flash of the old, dangerous WikiLeaks, with its publication of a major leak concerning the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA). Although Techdirt wrote about this in April, for many this is the first time they have heard about this secretive deal, which has probably come as something of a shock given the global scale of its ambitions and its likely impact. Here's how WikiLeaks describes its latest release:

    Today, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text for the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex, which covers 50 countries and 68.2%1 of world trade in services. The US and the EU are the main proponents of the agreement, and the authors of most joint changes, which also covers cross-border data flow. In a significant anti-transparency manoeuvre by the parties, the draft has been classified to keep it secret not just during the negotiations but for five years after the TISA enters into force.

    Despite the failures in financial regulation evident during the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis and calls for improvement of relevant regulatory structures, proponents of TISA aim to further deregulate global financial services markets. The draft Financial Services Annex sets rules which would assist the expansion of financial multi-nationals -- mainly headquartered in New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt -- into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers. The leaked draft also shows that the US is particularly keen on boosting cross-border data flow, which would allow uninhibited exchange of personal and financial data.

The leaked document itself is pretty dry and inscrutable, so wisely WikiLeaks has asked an expert in the field, Professor Jane Kelsey of the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand, to provide a detailed commentary, and this is the best place to start when coming to grips with the leak. Here's her chilling summary:

    The secrecy of negotiating documents exceeds even the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and runs counter to moves in the WTO towards greater openness.

    The TISA is being promoted by the same governments that installed the failed model of financial (de)regulation in the WTO and which has been blamed for helping to fuel the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

    The same states shut down moves by other WTO Members to critically debate these rules following the GFC with a view to reform.

    They want to expand and deepen the existing regime through TISA, bypassing the stalled Doha round at the WTO and creating a new template for future free trade agreements and ultimately for the WTO.

    TISA is designed for and in close consultation with the global finance industry, whose greed and recklessness has been blamed for successive crises and who continue to capture rulemaking in global institutions.

    A sample of provisions from this leaked text show that governments signing on to TISA will: be expected to lock in and extend their current levels of financial deregulation and liberalisation; lose the right to require data to be held onshore; face pressure to authorise potentially toxic insurance products; and risk a legal challenge if they adopt measures to prevent or respond to another crisis.

One of the most worrying features of the TISA proposals is the following:

    The crucial provision is Art X.4, which would apply a standstill to a country's existing financial measures that are inconsistent with the rules. That means governments must bind their existing levels of liberalization for foreign direct investment on financial services, cross-border provision of financial services and transfers of personnel. The current rules will be the most restrictive of financial services that a government would be allowed to use. They would be encouraged to bind in new liberalization beyond their status quo.

This is the familiar "ratchet" that we see in copyright law. Here, it means that restrictions on the financial industry can only be reduced, never increased, no matter how badly they screw up the global economy (again). Doubtless proponents of TISA will claim that signatories to the agreement will -- of course -- retain their sovereignty and ability to take "prudential measures" for the good of their people, just as they have said regarding corporate sovereignty in TPP and TAFTA/TTIP. But as Kelsey points, part of the leaked document shows that is simply not true:

    the article is comprised of two sentences that contradict each other. If a government takes a prudential measure that is inconsistent with the agreement, it cannot do so as a means to avoid its commitments under the agreement! So any prudential measures must be consistent with the other provisions in the agreement.

Put another way, governments will have total freedom to legislate in any way they please provided it is compatible with TISA -- which means that it must be in favor of the financial industry, not the public. Another section that is written entirely for the benefit of the financial companies, not the public, concerns the protection of personal data:

    nothing shall be construed to require a Party to disclose information regarding the affairs and accounts of individual consumers. That means TISA does not affect states' ability to require disclosure of information, presumably to the government, about individuals. It is not concerned with protecting personal privacy or preventing those who hold the personal data from abusing it for commercial or political purposes.

Given the sensitivity of data protection issues in Europe, this is likely to become a major stumbling block to the ratification of TISA by the European Parliament, assuming it gets that far. Indeed, it's significant that one of the leading German newspapers, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, used the headline "U.S. grab account data of European citizens" when reporting on the leak (original in German.) That underlines the fact that alongside the new information that the WikiLeaks document reveals about the secret negotiations, another important aspect of the leak is that the mainstream media in Europe are finally aware of TISA, and are likely now to start exploring critically its effect on key areas like privacy and public services.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

Renegade

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Rust never sleeps.

I'm glad you posted that article, because I certainly wasn't going to.

On a meta level, I posted in the Basement about "following the money". Not a relevant issue, and not a particularly interesting one, but an excellent example of the same sort of corruption.
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http://cryptome.org/...om-netsol-attack.htm

Of interest as it's about censorship of Cryptome (an important leak/info site). The reason for them being taken offline is a bit ridiculous.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

IainB

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http://cryptome.org/...om-netsol-attack.htm
Of interest as it's about censorship of Cryptome (an important leak/info site). The reason for them being taken offline is a bit ridiculous.
Surely not censorship? Just a set of unlucky coincidences, I would think.     
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             

IainB

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An email and blog post requesting our/your action, from OpenMedia.org, if you haven't added your voice yet:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
24 hours to do something meaningful about it | OpenMedia

We have just 24 hours until key decision-makers behind the Trans Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) Internet Censorship plan begin meeting in Ottawa, Canada.1

Please Note: This is your last chance to use our easy-to-use “Internet Voice” to get your comment right in the hands of those crafting this extreme and secretive plan.

Your diligence over time has allowed your OpenMedia team to get a face-to-face meeting with them.

It’s crucial that we have as many original comments as possible to show TPP insiders when we meet them.

Nj, will you take this last opportunity to join Internet users across the globe and have your comments put in the hands of TPP decision-makers?

–Steve

Footnotes
[1] Trans Pacific Partnership deal elusive as talks set for Ottawa. Source: CBC News.

I strongly object to any State or Government or commercially sanctioned moves to act in any way that could end or limit free expression online as we currently know and enjoy it. This would be a threat to the free world, to democratic freedom and to the American Constitution.
This thing seems to be being driven home with a pile-driver and backed by the US government, so it's probably bound to be pushed through in the shorter term, but at least a protest can be made beforehand.
Democratic freedom at its finest.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 04:47:55 PM by IainB, Reason: Minor edit at end of post. »

IainB

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An email and blog post requesting our/your action, from OpenMedia.org, further opportunity to add your voice:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Refer link: TPP - Save Free Expression | OpenMedia

The email says:
Our window is closing
Meghan Sali contact@openmedia.org via mail.salsalabs.net
   05:38 (10 hours ago)

- images from contact@openmedia.org

TPP negotiators received citizen comments in a face-to-face meeting with OpenMedia just hours ago but now chief negotiators are stepping in to ram the censorship plan into place. We only have 48 hours before negotiations end; now, more than ever, we need you to stand up for Free Expression. Amplify our voices here, and take action to end Internet Censorship.

Take action!

Dear XX,
Revealed: “Chief negotiators” are now stepping in to finalize a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) plan that could censor expression online for generations.1 2

We only have 48 hours before their meetings in Ottawa, Canada conclude: Let’s raise a loud global call for TPP chief negotiators to back off and save free expression now --->

In just the last few days, tens of thousands of pro-Internet Citizens spoke up using our Face-to-Face tool3 to defend the right to access the Internet in their day to day lives without fear of censorship and surveillance.

As Harold Jaffe from the U.S. shared with us using our Internet Voice Tool:

“The proposed mechanisms of the TPP undermine some of our most valued principles--the equitable and transparent rule of law, the sovereignty of nations, and the authority of the people to determine how we are governed, among others. It is imperative that negotiations be brought into the light and the unjust, unconstitutional consequences of the plan be exposed.”

Make your voice louder, and make all our voices louder to Save Free Expression Online.

*If enough people speak out now we’ll put up a giant “Save Free Expression” banner in front of the TPP meeting building – a banner that decision makers and the media can’t ignore.

Negotiators have now heard your voices loud and clear, but they’re feeling the pressure from Big Media lobbyists and government officials to push ahead with this irresponsible plan.

Demand decision-makers and world leaders remove Internet Censorship from the TPP. Speak out today.

Thank you for recognizing that we need your help – we need your voice to protect the possibilities of the open Internet.

–Meghan, Josh, and Steve, on behalf of your OpenMedia Team

P.S., We’ve been fighting hard against the TPP’s extreme censorship, and we won’t stop until negotiators have abandoned their plans to censor the Internet. It’s the generous support we receive from the pro-Internet community - people like you - that’s made this fight possible. Help us defend your rights online by chipping in today.

Footnotes
[1] Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Source: EFF
[2] TPP talks in full gear as chief negotiators join working-level meeting. Source: Mainichi
[3] Face to Face with Internet Censorship. Source

Mind you, if one was a proponent of Transnational Progressivism, one might not want to stop TPP just yet.

Renegade

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Mind you, if one was a proponent of Transnational Progressivism, one might not want to stop TPP just yet.

What's wrong with trade? Trade is good. And partnerships are good too. Surely the TPP will be good for everyone!

And dammit! I'm going to prove it... hold on while I go grab a link and the text of the treaty...

<elevator_music time="until you go mad" />

Err... it appears that there is no official text or transparency...

http://tppinfo.org/r...-texts-country-info/

What was I saying before about trade & partnerships being good? I might want to reconsider that in this case... ;)



But seriously, this is just insane. There's no good reason for the secrecy.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

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They're ba-a-ack!

http://www.theguardi...ormation-sharing-act

Quote
The Senate is giving more power to the NSA, in secret. Everyone should fight it

Politicians are still trying to hand over your data behind closed doors, under the guise of 'cybersecurity' reform. Have we learned nothing?

One of the most underrated benefits of Edward Snowden's leaks was how they forced the US Congress to shelve the dangerous, privacy-destroying legislation– then known as Cispa – that so many politicians had been so eager to pass under the guise of "cybersecurity". Now a version of the bill is back, and apparently its authors want to keep you in the dark about it for as long as possible.

Now it's called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (Cisa), and it is a nightmare for civil liberties. Indeed, it's unclear how this kind of law would even improve cybersecurity. The bill was marked up and modified by the Senate intelligence committee in complete secrecy this week, and only afterward was the public allowed to see many of the provisions passed under its name.

Cisa is what Senator Dianne Feinstein, the bill's chief backer and the chair of the committee, calls an "information-sharing" law that's supposed to help the government and tech and telecom companies better hand information back and forth to the government about “cyberthreat” data, such as malware. But in reality, it is written so broadly it would allow companies to hand over huge swaths of your data – including emails and other communications records – to the government with no legal process whatsoever. It would hand intelligence agencies another legal authority to potentially secretly re-interpret and exploit in private to carry out even more surveillance on the American public and citizens around the world.

Feinstein. Hmm... Where have I heard that name before?

Yeah... more at the link. Same old, same old. Just this time it's called "CISA".

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

IainB

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'Hidden From Google' Remembers the Sites Google Is Forced To Forget
« Reply #341 on: July 14, 2014, 11:11:41 PM »
Could be worth making a bookmark for this and even putting it in your feed-reader...
I detest the whole idea of censorship of legitimate publicly available information  - in hardcopy media or on the Internet - by those who have something they are ashamed of or simply wish to hide, or would rather the public did not see.
There is such a thing as publicly accepting responsibility and accountability for one's actions, or the actions of one's family or company - something that a great many criminals, perverts, political/financial/scientific fraudsters, ne'er-do-wells and media and other corporates tend to refuse to do. Allowing these miscreant people/organisations to draw a veil over their past sins is an attempt at rewriting history and risks being a step down a slippery slope to Totalitarianism by the dirty-handed (also in the legal sense) members of society.
It is thus perhaps unsurprising that this cack-handed idea was introduced by EU legislators.

Quote
'Hidden From Google' Remembers the Sites Google Is Forced To Forget
Posted by Unknown Lamer on Monday July 14, 2014 @08:12PM
from the freedom-eagle dept.

Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Hidden From Google, the brainchild of a web programmer in New Jersey, archives each website that Google is required to take down from European Union search listings thanks to the recent court decision that allows people to request that certain pages be scrubbed from Google's search results if they're outdated or irrelevant. That decision has resulted in takedown requests from convicted sex offenders and huge banking companies, among thousands of others."
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 11:40:19 PM by IainB, Reason: Minor corrections for clarity. »

IainB

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Openness and transparency.
Here is something else of interest along similar lines as the above:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Bot Tweets Anonymous Wikipedia Edits From Capitol Hill
samzenpus posted yesterday | from the noting-the-changes dept.
89

mpicpp writes about a new Twitter bot that reports all of the anonymous Wikipedia edits being made from the US Senate and House of Representatives. Ed Summers, an open source Web developer, recently saw a friend tweet about Parliament WikiEdits, a UK Twitter "bot" that watched for anonymous Wikipedia edits coming from within the British Parliament's internal networks. Summers was immediately inspired to do the same thing for the US Congress. "The simplicity of combining Wikipedia and Twitter in this way immediately struck me as a potentially useful transparency tool," Summers wrote in his personal blog. "So using my experience on a previous side project [Wikistream, a Web application that watches Wikipedia editing activity], I quickly put together a short program that listens to all major language Wikipedias for anonymous edits from Congressional IP address ranges and tweets them." The stream for the bot, @congressedits, went live a day later, and it now provides real-time tweets when anonymous edits of Wikipedia pages are made. Summers also posted the code to GitHub so that others interested in creating similar Twitter bots can riff on his work.

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Openness and transparency.
Here is something else of interest along similar lines as the above:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)

I posted about that in a new thread here: http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=38393.0

It's making news as well.

http://www.vice.com/...viour-from-wikipedia

Quote
POLITICAL STAFFERS TRIED TO DELETE THE SENATE SCANDAL (AND OTHER BAD BEHAVIOUR) FROM WIKIPEDIA
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

IainB

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Sorry, I didn't mean to duplicate anything you had posted - in fact I wasn't aware of that other discussion thread (hadn't seen it). I bunged it in here as it followed on from the "Right to be forgotten nonsense", as I said:
Quote
I detest the whole idea of censorship of legitimate publicly available information  - in hardcopy media or on the Internet - by those who have something they are ashamed of or simply wish to hide, or would rather the public did not see.
There is such a thing as publicly accepting responsibility and accountability for one's actions, or the actions of one's family or company - something that a great many criminals, perverts, political/financial/scientific fraudsters, ne'er-do-wells and media and other corporates tend to refuse to do. Allowing these miscreant people/organisations to draw a veil over their past sins is an attempt at rewriting history and risks being a step down a slippery slope to Totalitarianism by the dirty-handed (also in the legal sense) members of society.

Renegade

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Sorry, I didn't mean to duplicate anything you had posted - in fact I wasn't aware of that other discussion thread (hadn't seen it).

No reason that it can't be in multiple places. It touches on multiple areas.

There are more now as well. I posted a few more in that thread above. Some edits are just hilarious. :)
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CISPA is now CISA.

http://www.cispaisback.org

Oh, gee. Such surprise! Very unexpected. Wow.  :-\
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IainB

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Deja vu the Lernaean Hydra.

IainB

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Last gasp chance to have a say re TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership)?
« Reply #348 on: October 18, 2014, 01:08:08 AM »
For those as may be interested and for your action: There is a potentially useful crowdsourced(?) report at OpenMedia.org to push back against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Internet censorship plan with a positive alternative from the pro-Internet community: OUR DIGITAL FUTURE

I actually think it may be like the proverbial "p#ss#ng in the wind" as the TPP rather looks like it was a done deal at the outset.
Democracy it ain't.

Renegade

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^ Related, I posted this link over in the dev forum:

http://www.patreon.com/

It's a crowd funding platform for content creators.

Deja vu the Lernaean Hydra.

And yes. Exactly that. EXACTLY!
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker