Activists desperately want someone to leak the full text of the secretive, multinational trade agreement that would, according to one draft, kick users off the Internet if they’re suspected of downloading copyrighted material.
In fact, they want it so badly that they’ve offered a $30,000 reward.
A little clarification on that bounty: it might be a violation of international law to directly pay someone for the text. So activists at Just Foreign Policy did the next best thing: they opened a campaign for people to pledge to donate money to Wikileaks if someone passes it to the site.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an agreement between nations along the Pacific (including the United States) is currently in its 14th round of negotiations. It would set international standards on everything from agricultural standards to Internet protocol, and it's drawn intense scrutiny from activists and critics because member nations refuse to actually let the public what it is they're agreeing on.
The pledge drive rose rapidly—$10,000 by the beginning of September and $25,000 in time for protests outside the TPP negotiations Sunday in Leesburg, Virginia. The number stands just over $30,000 as of this writing.
“It’s a question of transparency,” Robert Naiman, Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy, told the Daily Dot.
“There’s a difference between ‘you hear our concerns’ and we get to see what you’re doing based on the text.”
Bits of the TPP have been leaked for several years, though the full, current text is unknown to the public. That’s spurred fears that a host of sectors will face potential problems under the agreement. In addition to harsher penalties for Internet-based copyright violations, activists fear, for instance, corporations could sue member countries for policies they prefer, companies would reduce food safety standards, and pharmaceutical companies could force higher prices for medicine in poorer nations.
But again, that’s still speculation, based on bits of text from earlier leaked drafts.
“It’s just clear there’s a discussion we’re not able to have in the United States right now,” Naiman said.
Photo by Kevin Collier