White House Petition Demands TPP Process Be Open & Transparent

from the yeah,-like-that-will-happen dept

It seems that, with every issue that comes up around here, people are quickly putting together White House petitions on the White House’s “We The People” site. The latest, in response to all of these stories about secrecy concerning the negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), is a petition demanding that the process be more open and transparent.

The USTR needs to be more transparent and inclusive in the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty. The public should be informed by regular drafts of language released and open for comment. Members of Technological and on line civil rights groups should be invited to the negotiations.

It doesn’t have many signatures yet, but perhaps we can help change that…

Of course, as I was finishing up this post, I discovered that there’s actually another, similar petition that probably should be signed as well. This one asks the White House to stop participating in the TPP negotiations, which is a much stronger request, and unlikely to actually get agreement from the White House (it also has some silly stuff about “the 1%” which is kinda off topic). I think the more straightforward request that any negotiation actually be open makes a lot more sense. But, either way, it’s good to see more people recognizing that the TPP is the next big problem when it comes to Hollywood expanding copyright laws against the will of the public that it will impact. Help make sure the White House knows this is a concern by signing one or both of these petitions.

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Comments on “White House Petition Demands TPP Process Be Open & Transparent”

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Ninja (profile) says:

Nice, we need awareness. I’m spreading this as much as I can!

The worst enemy we have is lack of awareness, what defeated SOPA/PIPA was awareness.

ACTA is under heavy attack in Europe after the SOPA/PIPA fiasco brought it to light and now TPP. I’ve seen Michael Geist talking about TPP fervently for a while now but I really thought it was limited to Canada/US (which is bad enough already) but now I understand it’s broader than that. That’s what awareness does, takes ppl out of darkness and ignorance and we must help as much as we can.

Anonymous Coward says:

OT: Most Radicalism Linked To The Internet


The Home Affairs Committee said the Internet “was now one of the few unregulated spaces where radicalization is able to take place” and played a greater role in promoting violence than prisons, universities or places of worship ? a pointed rebuke to other government officials who had identified those areas as high risk.

“More resources need to be directed to these threats and to preventing radicalization through the Internet and in private spaces,” said Keith Vaz, chairman of the committee. “These are the fertile breeding grounds for terrorism.”

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

Off topic

I missed the Super Bowl (*GASP*), but I woke up this morning and I wanted to watch the halftime show. Instinctively I went to YouTube and watched it.

Then I thought about TechDirt and I wondered who owned the content. Then I googled the half time show and could not find an official copy. So I went to NFL.com and couldn’t find it and then I went to NBC.com and couldn’t find it.

I guess that makes me a pirate because I watched it on YouTube first, but then I thought about it and looked for the “official” version and it just wasn’t there. So am I a content thief now? Is YouTube to blame? Why can’t the content that we want to watch just be made available? Does SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/TPP fix any of this?

Eileen (profile) says:

OT: Most Radicalism Linked To The Internet

Yeah, clearly it’s a breeding ground for terrorism. I mean, just think of all the attacks in the last ten years as the internet has grown! The lives lost! The damage!

Wait, what? There’s been no attacks and all arrests have been textbook entrapment cases of mentally ill people that were no credible threat before the FBI got to them? whaaat? CRAZY. I guess they’re just lying then.

timmaguire42 (user link) says:

WH Petitions is a watse of time

I find that petition site extremely clunky and stupidly difficult to use (often as not, and for no particular reason, I can’t sign in, but there’s nothing to say my sign in failed, the petition buttons just don;t become functional).

Besides, they never respond to the good petitions. Those grapes are probably sour, anyway.

timmaguire42 (user link) says:

WH Petitions is a watse of time

I find that petition site extremely clunky and stupidly difficult to use (often as not, and for no particular reason, I can’t sign in, but there’s nothing to say my sign in failed, the petition buttons just don;t become functional).

Besides, they never respond to the good petitions. Those grapes are probably sour, anyway.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:


We really should take a page from big content’s book and hire a bunch of sleazy lobbyists to throw money at the politicians.

Donate the money you would have spent on big content’s products to a non-profit specifically dedicated to opposing their insanity.

It would be a double-hit. Take money that they would have gotten and put it to work directly against them.

firefly (profile) says:

USTR is committed to President Obama?s OpenGov Initiative

I found this while trying unsuccessfully to sign one of these petitions:

“USTR is committed to President Obama?s OpenGov Initiative, helping to create a government that is transparent, participatory, and collaborative with the American people. USTR?s OpenGov page will allow for the American public to ask USTR questions, review Annual Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reports, and contact USTR officials. As USTR works to create trade policy that benefits American workers and families, the OpenGov initiative will be a vital tool in maintaining an open dialogue with the American people.
Share Your Ideas

“USTR has created a comment form where you can comment on USTR’s open government plan and priorities.”

I also downloaded the USTR transparency plan (pdf) from this page, which says about the TPP: “This new initiative presented an excellent opportunity to engage more robustly and in new ways with the American public to gain input as the Administration crafts its trade policy.” and refers to this page:


The whole experience of trying to sign this petition is just a bit too Kafkaesque for my tastes. I think I’ll wait ’till tomorrow to read the TPP information which has been posted to make it, not just in compliance with, but exemplary of the OpenGov Initiative. YMMV

Mike Masnick (profile) says:


You guys have to stop being misleading.

I’d argue that applies significantly more to you.

This isn’t a “white house petition”, it’s a public petition, hosted as part of a function of the whitehouse.org website, and nothing more.

It isn’t sanctioned by or support by the whitehouse.

It’s a petition system set up by the White House for people to petition the White House. So, nothing we said was misleading at all.

By the way, a month ago you promised you were never coming back to this site again, but it only took a month before you were back to being the same clueless fool on every post. What happened to your promise?

ColdSteel (profile) says:

White House Petition - Internet Bill of Rights


I am putting together another White House Petition on an Internet Bill of Rights. I would like specific feedback.

Internet Bill of Rights (Draft 3.5)

Please sign our petition to urge the Administration to officially recognize, support and defend an Internet Bill of Rights:

As Americans we are grateful for the daily benefits that a free and open Internet brings to us. We petition all branches of the U.S. Government to protect our precious Internet rights and to ensure that our nation is an example of Internet freedom to the rest of the world. As citizens of the United States of America we petition the Administration and Congress to defend our freedoms by enacting an Internet Bill of Rights.

All humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights, that every person?s rights must be respected and protected online. We believe that these rights include the right to life, liberty, and security online. We believe that the Internet belongs to all humanity and it is the right of every person to have a place within it.

1. Right to Internet Access
Everyone has an equal right to access and use a secure and open Internet. Everyone shall have universal and open access to access the Internet’s legal content, free from discriminatory prioritization, filtering or traffic control on commercial, political or other grounds. Without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

2. Right to Openness of Information
Everyone has the right to seek, access, receive and research information freely on the Internet, without censorship, prior restraint, or other illegal interference.

3. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association
Everyone has the right to the freedom of speech and expression. Everyone has the right to impart their opinions, beliefs and ideas freely on the Internet without censorship, prior restraint or illegal interference. Everyone also has the right to peaceably associate through and on the Internet for all legal social, political, religious, cultural and other purposes.

4. Right to Privacy
Everyone has the right to privacy online. This includes freedom from illegal surveillance, the right to be secure in their persons, homes and businesses, to be free from unreasonable search and seizure by law enforcement, the right to use encryption, and the right to online anonymity.

5. Right of Data Protection
Everyone has the right to personal data protection, including control over individual personal data collection, retention, processing, disposal and disclosure.

6. Protection of Intellectual Property
Every artist, musician, inventor, innovator and creator has the right to intellectual property protection or, if they so elect to release content into the public domain. All creators should be compensated for their works and cultural contributions. Creators should receive intellectual property protection balanced with the public?s need for fair use and eventual release of content into the public domain.

7. Protection of Format Shifting
Everyone has the right to transfer content to a device and format shift that content, provided the content was legally obtained, and is for non-commercial private uses only. Everyone has the right, for non-commercial private uses, to record an Internet broadcast, being broadcast for the purpose of privately viewing the work at a later time, provided that the signal is received legally, only one recording is made, is used for private purposes and is not shared or given away.

8. Protection of Children
Every child has the right to a safe Internet environment. Children require an Internet that will protect them from harmful influences, pornography, abuse and exploitation. All children deserve the opportunity to participate in an Internet that fully promotes vibrant learning, educational ambition, growth opportunities, family enrichment, and rich cultural and social expression.

9. Protection of Individuals
Every individual has the right to a fair and safe online marketplace, to be protected from consumer fraud, deception and unfair business practices. Individuals have the right to be protected from identity theft, hacking, online viruses, spyware, malware, spam and online stalking and harassment.

10. Protection of Legal Rights
All individuals have the right to not to be deprived of the foregoing Internet rights without due process of law. Law enforcement has the right and duty to enforce the laws of our country that impact Internet use, but only to do so and to deprive individuals of their life, liberty or property upon probable cause, supported by evidence. The potential punishments and fines associated with Internet offenses shall be both reasonable and not excessive in relation to the alleged offenses. All individuals should be presumed as innocent of Internet related offenses until proven guilty in a court of law.

Joan Daniels says:

Trans Pacific Partnership a Bad Deal For Americans

This would be the end of the American economy as we know it. Most jobs will be done overseas. It is a real job killer. It is a real economy killer. It gives all the rights to the corporations and it takes government powers away and gives it to the corporations. It is a bad deal for every country on earth. This is a covert takeover of the US and global economies. It is a really bad deal for everyone. It is worst than all the wars combined. It would be the beginning to the end of the America’s way of life. We would be giving our personal powers and rights to the corporations.
This deal is of the devils making.

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