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International Internet Restrictions: Weekly News Update from OpenMedia.ca

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Hi I'm Lindsey and this is your Weekly News Update from OpenMedia.ca.

A newly leaked part of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement—which is the secretive agreement that citizens are fighting at StopTheTrap.net—signalled that U.S. lobbyists are far from backing down in their push for restrictive Internet-related measures.

So some background: a few weeks ago the U.S. Trade Rep proposed a new copyright provision for the TPP after tens of thousands of citizens and a diverse coalition of groups voiced our concerns. Noting our distaste for things like content blocking and the threat of fines, they put together a new provision that they claimed was far less extreme.

When that provision was announced, we were—don't get me wrong—very pleased that the USTR was taking action based on citizen outcry. We love when we know that the pro-Internet community is being heard. But the devil, of course, is in the details--we didn't know much about the proposal's wording, and when it comes to international law, wording counts for a lot.

So this new leak contains the very restrictive, very disappointing language around the measures the USTR had proposed, and it continues, like other parts of the TPP, to put users' rights last.

So that's frustrating. And that's not even the whole story.

U.S. reps appear to be going on a lobbying tour of TPP negotiating countries, travelling to more Internet-friendly places like Malaysia and Vietnam, which recently proposed very reasonable revisions that would prevent the TPP from being able to totally replace national-level Internet governance.

Big media lobbyists want those revisions crushed. It strongly benefits their bottom lines to have one set of rules that put their interests first imposed worldwide. Which is why citizens need to take a stand, and remind our governments that they must put the public interest first.

So let's get louder. We know that the lobbyists behind the TPP can hear us--now we need to keep up the momentum, and we need to make our voices impossible to ignore. Sign the StopTheTrap.net petition, spread the word, and affect change.

For the Internet, this is Lindsey with OpenMedia.ca signing off.

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