Showing posts with label Internet governance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Internet governance. Show all posts

Monday, April 29, 2013

What Is TPP? It's the Biggest Global Threat to the Internet Since ACTA

Katitza Rodriguez and Maira Sutton

The United States and ten governments from around the Pacific are meeting yet again to hash out the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) on May 15-24 in Lima, Peru. The TPP is one of the worst global threats to the Internet since ACTA. Since the negotiations have been secretive from the beginning, we mainly know what's in the current version of this trade agreement because of a leaked draft [PDF] from February 2011. Based upon that text, some other leaked notes, and the undemocratic nature of the entire process, we have every reason to be alarmed about the copyright enforcement provisions contained in this multinational trade deal.

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. Moreover, the TPP is worst than U.S. copyright rules: it does not export the many balances and exceptions that favor the public interest and act as safety valves in limiting rightsholders’ protection. Adding insult to injury, the TPP's temporary copies provision will likely create chilling effects on how people and companies behave online and their basic ability to use and create on the Web.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Global Telecom Governance Debated at European Parliament Workshop

Rebecca Bowe

In recent weeks, the corner of the blogosphere that concerns itself with Internet-related policy has come alive with posts, comments and op-eds addressing the theory that a little-known United Nations telecom agency, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is gearing up for an Internet power grab. Concerns about this possibility spurred a U.S. Congressional hearing last month; and across the Atlantic, a June 19 workshop hosted at the European Parliament in Brussels provided a forum to sort out “Challenges to the Internet Governance Regime” as they relate to the ITU.

The UN agency, which is made up of 193 member states and specializes in information and communication technologies, is in the midst of preparing for a December conference where it will re-negotiate an important treaty establishing the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs).

These regulations lay the ground rules for how big telecoms interact with one another in an international context, setting up systems for things like revenue-sharing, and have historically only dealt with telephony and have never reached into the realm of Internet architecture. At Tuesday’s workshop, representatives from the European Commission, civil society organizations, Google, and other organizations were on hand to share their insights about the how this treaty revision may affect Internet governance.