At the expense of netizens’ civil liberties

Google wants unlimited data via obscure TPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is opposed by virtually every major advocacy group that works to uphold netizens’ civil liberties. The international agreement undermines public domain and privacy without ensuring protection for free speech. It criminalizes modifying personally purchase devices, even though it’s yours and you have no commercial plans. It enables gigantic multi-national corporations to evade due process and use clandestine international quasi-judicial courts to undermine your digital rights. And it sets a scary precedent, where anti-internet lobbyists use trade agreements to pass poor internet policy that kills innovation, competition, research, and threatens your civil liberties.

Yet, companies we all rely on like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Airbnb, and even Snapchat have just endorsed the TPP through the Internet Association. This sounds ludicrous, right? Why would someone support something like that? I bet you know the answer — a big, fat, deep river of cash in which your civil and digital liberties drown. That’s right, it’s all about the money.


The TPP promises Apple, Google, Facebook, and others unrestricted flow of cross-border data in the countries that sign. In other words, they have unrestricted access to the citizens of each country to mine and sell as much data as they could ever possibly want — an endless supply of consumers. Technically speaking, they already have unrestricted access to most, if not all, of the 12 nations in the agreement. Which is another reason why this scenario is so ridiculous. The TPP just makes it impossible to restrict future flow of data under penalty of international law. That means these internet giants are just securing their access to the data. It doesn’t solve a problem, it just prevents a potential business problem should one of the nations want to restrict data to that particular company. Let’s be honest, if it’s not happening now, it won’t be happening any time soon.

Are our civil liberties worth nothing next to money?

Itis security for unlimited consumers, but at what cost? Surely, there are other ways to secure unlimited access to citizens of other countries without undermining those same citizens’ digital and civil liberties. The US Congress could vote on this within weeks and they’re watching the public and looking for reactions.

I urge you to go to Fight for the Future and sign this petition to speak out against the TPP.

Then please share it with your friends. We can get some companies to drop their support and protect our rights and the future of the internet we know and love.


Original published on Medium.


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