Darrell Issa Puts Old Leaked TPP IP Text Up For Discussion

from the why-isn't-ron-kirk-doing-this? dept

We've written a few times now about Rep. Darrell Issa, and the Madison platform his office has set up to allow for crowdsourcing opinion on legislation and other government documents. He originally used it for his OPEN Act, but then later posted the text of ACTA as well. His latest move is to post the leaked text of the US's negotiating position on TPP. This is the same text that leaked out last year. It would be nice if the USTR did something like this itself with the latest text, but that's not how USTR Ron Kirk works. To him "transparency" is only sharing the text with big industry special interests, and declaring it a matter of "national security" if anyone else wants to see it.

Issa recognizes how this is dangerous to a functioning democracy, when our federal government is negotiating deals in back rooms, despite the fact they will have a massive impact on the public:
“At a time when the American people and Internet users all around the world are rightfully wary of any closed-door negotiations that could adversely impact their ability to freely and openly access the Internet, the Obama Administration continues to pursue a secretive, closed-door negotiating process for the Trans Pacific Partnership,” Issa said. “I have decided to publish the intellectual property rights chapter of TPP in Madison so that the public can provide input to those negotiating this agreement, and to push this Administration - and the federal government as a whole - to be open, transparent and inclusive when it comes to international intellectual property rights agreements that have potentially serious consequences for the Internet community.”
Again, it's great that he's added this text to the Madison platform, but it's disappointing that it's still the old leaked version, rather than anything more up to date. The version he posted is now 15 months old, and there have been a bunch of additional negotiations since then. Still, it's good to see others in the federal government trying to encourage discussion on this agreement, even if the USTR continues to hide in secrecy (unless you're a big corporate lobbyist, of course).

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  • icon
    Pjerky (profile), 15 May 2012 @ 4:07pm

    Subject To Law

    Personally I think that any law/rule that is secret or is negotiated in secret should be automatically considered illegal. The same with any legal interpretations. There is no way anyone that is subject to a law can possibly follow a law they don't even know the details of or if it exists. The same with interpretations of the law.

    And you shouldn't be subject to any law that you or someone that can represent you (outside of big businesses and the government itself) can have any input on. It just doesn't make any sense to require that of anyone.

    You wouldn't do this at a company. Create a rule that you expect all your employees to follow, but never tell them what it is and even have secret interpretations of it. You would get sued in very short order and possibly be shut down depending on the severity of the case.

    There are so many inequities and possibilities for discrimination that no one in their right mind would allow this in the business world. So why allow it in the government world?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PlagueSD (profile), 15 May 2012 @ 4:15pm

      Re: Subject To Law

      There are so many inequities and possibilities for discrimination that no one in their right mind would allow this in the business world. So why allow it in the government world?


      Because the Government is no longer run "By the people, for the people." It's run "By the lobbyists, for the Corporations."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 16 May 2012 @ 12:08pm

      Re: Subject To Law

      Create a rule that you expect all your employees to follow, but never tell them what it is and even have secret interpretations of it.

      Like the patriot act?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2012 @ 4:07pm

    Yet he voted YES on CISPA

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mason Wheeler, 15 May 2012 @ 4:23pm

      Re:

      ...and designed OPEN, SOPA's only-slightly-less-evil little brother. I wish people who should know better would stop talking about Issa like he's some sort of Defender Of The Internet. This is a guy who is still buying into the industry rhetoric about how ordinary users are criminals and they laws are needed to protect their intellectual property from us.

      Simply because he favors less draconian remedies than what we've been hearing does not make up for the fact that he makes no secret of believing in a made-up "problem" that has no basis in reality. If anything, he's the lesser of two evils.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mike Masnick (profile), 15 May 2012 @ 5:45pm

        Re: Re:

        ...and designed OPEN, SOPA's only-slightly-less-evil little brother.

        OPEN was a necessary evil in response to SOPA. Supporters of SOPA needed to see *something* they could support, and thus OPEN was created to fit that bill. I don't think anyone behind OPEN ever was pushing it as a real solution.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Mason Wheeler, 15 May 2012 @ 7:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, they didn't need to see "something they could support," they needed to see that their constituents are starting to learn that the entire concept is a lie and the issue is politically toxic. OPEN throws a monkey wrench in actual progress.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            The eejit (profile), 16 May 2012 @ 1:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            To be fair, at least he's trying to work within the limitations he has. Which is a lot more than I can say for the vast majority of the clownboat called Congress.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2012 @ 5:53pm

      Re:

      I think he may even be a co-sponsor of CISPA. I wonder if he has put CISPA on his "Madison platform" or if that is only for legislation he doesn't like.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DCX2, 15 May 2012 @ 4:32pm

    Oh, please...

    ...the Obama Administration continues to pursue a secretive...

    Do you really think Rep. Issa would have anything to say if it was a Republican administration that was pushing TPP?

    I really doubt it. Rep. Issa is just trying to score political points.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      gorehound (profile), 15 May 2012 @ 5:06pm

      Re: Oh, please...

      +1

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 15 May 2012 @ 5:46pm

      Re: Oh, please...

      Do you really think Rep. Issa would have anything to say if it was a Republican administration that was pushing TPP?

      Well, it was a Republican who pushed SOPA, and he went against that. So, perhaps.

      No one is claiming Issa is perfect. I specifically have called him out for other things. But if you refuse to cheer on any action by a politician unless they support every single point that you like you're not going to get very far in life.

      This was a good move, at least celebrate that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        DCX2, 15 May 2012 @ 7:44pm

        Re: Re: Oh, please...

        I understand no politician will support every single point I want. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to refuse to cheer on good actions by politicians...so long as they're being honest.

        We should look at the motive before congratulating a politician. And I don't think Rep. Issa has an honest motive here. I am not going to celebrate when someone does something right for the wrong reasons; the ends do not justify the means.

        Think about what he's implying; that TPP is owned by "The Obama Administration". Do you really believe that? Because I believe that TPP would still be happening even if Sen. McCain had won the election. I don't see this as belonging to one party or the other; it belongs to The Federal Government.

        By the way, I'll see your "went against SOPA" and raise you "co-sponsored PRO-IP act".

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Jay (profile), 15 May 2012 @ 8:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: Oh, please...

          I see your PRO-IP Act and raise you a vote for CISPA.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          E. Zachary Knight (profile), 15 May 2012 @ 9:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Oh, please...

          Because I believe that TPP would still be happening even if Sen. McCain had won the election.

          McCain is not interested in trade negotiations. He would much rather subdue those nations currently in the TPP negotiations using the might of our military. The guy is a warmonger. If you think Obama has been bad about war policies and use of the military, it would ahve been far worse the other way.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            DCX2, 16 May 2012 @ 7:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh, please...

            McCain himself might not like trade agreements too much, but a McCain Administration would probably support it anyway. An Administration is a very big thing with a lot of people. And the lobbyists pushing for TPP would still push for it regardless of who was the President. If it wasn't Ron Kirk, it would be whoever was in his stead.

            As far as I'm concerned, there is little difference between which party controls the executive. Taxes always go down. Debt always goes up. Bombs are dropped on nations who did nothing to us.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chargone (profile), 16 May 2012 @ 8:25am

      Re: Oh, please...

      meh, still to be encouraged if he does it by doing something Right, no?

      if you're lucky, it even encourages further good action.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Kevin H (profile), 15 May 2012 @ 4:56pm

    His future job at the BSA depends on it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2012 @ 5:37pm

    Only an utter fool would hope for genuine democracy from a textbook fascist state.

    The fascist state IS the problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Meld, 15 May 2012 @ 5:53pm

    CISPA

    Issa's vote on CISPA informs me that he can't be trusted on the issue that counts the most - government intrusion and/or surveillance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    G Thompson (profile), 15 May 2012 @ 8:40pm

    Chile might have a good bargaining chip in this context.

    All they need to do is say to the USG "look we need to change the text of this bullshit that you are currently trying to force into TPP and if you really refuse to come to the party we will remove ourselves from the negotiations, refuse to sign anything, and though you might jump up and down and threaten use with economical sanctions [they all giggle at the absurdity of USA doing this nowadays] we will also release the full text of the TPP up to and including the current revision we have nw to the world."

    "What that would breach some weird international ethics or code.... and the USA really wants to state this in public? Mwuahahahahahahahahaahahahahahaha"


    Could be a good stick for Chile to beat them over the head with. Since it could be construed to be in the national Interests of Chile to release the text.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2012 @ 1:55am

    i assume he hasn't a copy of the latest 'draft' then? seems naughty when senators cant get copies either. considering the absolute bullshit responses that Ron Kirk gave to questions put to him personally by senator Wyden, i would have thought there would have been more people questioning what was happening here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 16 May 2012 @ 2:40am

      He /might/ but...

      Oh he might have access to the current draft, but considering how this whole debacle is being treated, I'm sure if he tried to put the current draft out there the government would at least try and try him for treason, exposing national secrets or something along those lines.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2012 @ 9:46am

    Article 2 - 1 - scent trademarks?

    Nations must allow trademarks of scents?! Oi. I'd hate to be the jury trying to decide if one stench violates another.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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