$17,000+ Bounty Offered For Leaks Of TPP Negotiating Texts
from the go-ahead-and-claim-the-money-ustr dept
We’ve talked about the ridiculous secrecy around the negotiating texts for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. It makes no sense to have these documents secret and out of the view of the public, but it’s what’s happening. Because of that, we’re forced to deal with very occasional leaks to get a partial view of what’s being negotiated in our name without any oversight. ACTA was a somewhat similar situation, but there were more regular leaks there — and we’ve heard that the USTR, in particular, has taken great pains to make it much more difficult to leak TPP text without revealing who leaked it.
However, it appears that some are (in some ways, quite literally) upping the ante in trying to pressure people into leaking the text. The folks over at ZeroPaid point us to some group that claims to have raised over $17,000 as a bounty for leaked TPP negotiating texts. They’re asking for more pledges, though I have no idea whether or not the effort is legit. ZeroPaid points out that the site appears to be a project of Just Foreign Policy, which seems to at least be a legitimate organization, according to Guidestar. For what it’s worth, the site also claims that you won’t actually have to pay until the text is leaked, at which point they will ask you to fulfill your pledge.
The group’s concerns seem reasonable as well:
The TPP negotiations have taken place under an unprecedented shroud of secrecy, denying all but a very few any input into the terms of the agreement. The chapters that have been leaked are quite disturbing, revealing plans that would threaten public health, the environment, internet freedom, and the general well-being of perhaps billions of people. Here’s a little taste of what the agreement would include: foreign investor protections that would help corporations offshore jobs, powers that allow multinational corporations to challenge domestic regulations before international tribunals, a strengthening of patent and intellectual property rules which would, among other things, raise the price of life-saving medicines in third world countries, and the ability for Wall Street to roll back safeguards meant to restore financial stability worldwide.
Will this be incentive enough for someone to leak the text? I’m not so sure. I’d think that someone’s basic conscience about having access to such a document should be a better reason, but you never know…