Latest TPP Round Locks Out Public Interest Groups Who Flew To New Zealand; Gives Them 15 Minutes Of Access

from the shameful dept

The various government bodies negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) have been criticized repeatedly for their lack of transparency. In the last few negotiating meetings, they've tried to respond to this by arguing that they allowed public interest / civil society groups various ways to meet with and interact with the delegates. For the most part, this interaction was way too limited, but it was something. However, for the latest negotiating round in New Zealand, it appears that these groups have been almost entirely excluded. Representatives from a bunch of groups fighting for the public interest -- including EFF, KEI, OpenMedia.ca, Public Citizen and others flew all the way to New Zealand... only to be barred from the premises where the negotiations are being held, save for a brief 15 minute session for each on one day of the 10 day negotiation.
Academics, experts, consumer groups, Internet freedom organizations, libraries, educational institutions, patients and access to medicines groups have flown a long way from around the world to Auckland, New Zealand, to engage with delegates in the 15th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

For the first time, however, we have been locked out of the entire venue, except for a single day out of the 10 days of negotiations. This not only alienates us as members of public interest groups, but also the hundreds of thousands of innovators, educators, patients, students, and Internet users who have sent messages to government representatives expressing their concerns with the TPP. All of us oppose the complete unjustifiable secrecy around the negotiations, but more importantly, the IP provisions that could potentially threaten our rights, and innovation.

These new physical restrictions on us are reflective of the ongoing lack of transparency that has plagued the TPP negotiations from the very beginning.
This is really shameful behavior on the part of the New Zealand hosts.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 3:25am

    ...Who knew that transparency was so opaque?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 7:43am

      Re:

      I saw a well-known game company claim that its problematic DRM was supposed to be "transparent to the user", and perhaps it would've been had it not fubar'd their computers.

      It was a pretty and devious way to say the customers weren't supposed to *know* about the DRM...if not for those meddling kids with non-functional disk drives!

      This feels like a similar interpretation: transparency = nothing to see here, move along.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 3:47am

    And then they ask why the public doesn't trust those people.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 3:53am

    'These new physical restrictions on us are reflective of the ongoing lack of transparency that has plagued the TPP negotiations from the very beginning.'

    more than anything what this behaviour shows is how afraid the negotiators are of allowing any information out as to what is going on and who is calling the shots! when those that will be affected the most are left out and those that will profit the most are all included and responsible for everything happening in every meeting, it is really frightening. it shows exactly how much power there is in certain areas and the lengths that will be taken to use all of that power against the people.

     

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      anon, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 9:22am

      Re:

      Just as they wasted a lot of money on SOPA and the real true challenges facing trade were ignored so it will happen with TPP everyone will stand against it and everyone will force it to fail, and all those people involved will have wasted there time and investment in the negotiations, Have they not learnt yet that the people have a voice now and the voice is very angry if ignored. Well like SOPA this will go down in history as a waste of time and money and transparency will be the one thing that is demanded more and more in all negotiations in the future.

      I just hope that those that want to resolve real trade problems will in the future bar any Hollywood types any access at all , so they can at least get something done instead of being shot down everywhere.

       

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 3:58am

    If the public are ever to trust an elected representative again, their needs to be much more openness and transparency in all aspects of policy making. The path we are on at the moment leads to mistrust, oppression, dissatisfaction, and ultimately if enough people feel oppressed revolution.

    You may think that revolution would never happen but when enough people feel oppressed it is inevitable.

     

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    Androgynous Cowherd, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 4:22am

    Jet-Setting Negotiations

    Anyone else wondering if the tendency of these big negotiations to not happen in one chosen location, but instead to flit around the globe, is merely the guys with the megabux giving themselves perks in the form of globe-trotting working-vacations or is a calculated, cynical ploy to make it much more difficult for anyone to participate that doesn't belong to "the 1%"? (Though they're really more like the 0.001% or so.)

     

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      ECA (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 5:54am

      Re: Jet-Setting Negotiations

      I agree..

      Do you REALLY want to piss people off..
      SHOW the location of the meetings, and the location WHERE they let representatives of the PEOPLE gathers to talk it out..

      And YOU KNOW they get this as a write-off as a business expense.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 6:23am

      Re: Jet-Setting Negotiations

      It is afaik the same thing as for science conferences: It is more important to appear attractive to the potential participants, than being a good venue. It probably started out as an I host/you host thing, but it has evolved to a competition of showing off. I am almost certain that the reason for the moving negotiations have nothing to do with a ploy to avoid transparence. For that, the tradition is too old, seeing that public interest is a relatively new phenomenon in these circles (70's and foreward).

      As for the need for this waste of money, I doubt there are any really. The sponsoring on these events are close to bribery in some instances and that is probably the closest we get a true conspiracy on choosing venues.

       

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 4:32am

    "This is really shameful behavior on the part of the New Zealand hosts."

    Like spying on people at the behest of the entertainment cartels?
    Hiding that it was being done, and ineptly trying to ignore it?

    One would think with how embarrassed they are getting over the Dotcom affair, they might have decide to not cave to the cartels once again.

     

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      kenmartin (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 5:18am

      Re: this is really shameful behaviour on the part of the NZ hosts

      Truly appalling and cringe-making. As a NZ citizen, I sure as hell did not vote for our PM's political party, National. Nor the major oppostion party, Labour. They have a bipartisan approach to the TPPA "negotiations" unfortunately. There is some domestic opposition amongst NZ's population to TPPA drawbacks, but it is still weak. Growing though, with business interests standing to gain from TPPA signing a joint letter to some grand poohba whatever promoting TPPA. Most of us are more concerned about our All Black rugby team being pounded by the Poms (Englsh) last weekend....

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 7:27am

        Re: Re: this is really shameful behaviour on the part of the NZ hosts

        Whats mood like, there in new zealand, are new zealanders even aware of this?

         

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        That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 6:42pm

        Re: Re: this is really shameful behaviour on the part of the NZ hosts

        I have a random question for you, I know in OZ they are getting bent over by the cartels on prices... is the same true for NZ?
        I'm trying to ponder why they insist on pretending its harder to push digital content to the upside down parts of the world when it isn't.
        But then I heard a sound bite on the news that iTunes was expanding into more countries and seems to be charging rates based on the market... like 12 cents in India, and a low enough to compete with piracy price in Russia... wondering if this means things will change for you poor upside down people surrounded by sea monsters.

         

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    vegetaman (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 4:49am

    I think I get it!

    But Mike, by creating such artificial scarcity of transparency and access during these negotiations, aren't they really just improving the value of what TPP is offering!?

     

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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 5:04am

    I'm rather surprised those who flew in, on behalf of serving the public, weren't arrested upon arrival, with the Prime Minister turning a blind eye to the whole issue until it's time he has to apologize.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 5:04am

    it shows the contempt that those in the TPP negotiations have for everyone representing the ordinary people and the lengths those same people will go to to give the industries concerned what they want. these 'negotiations' are nothing short of dictatorial orders that the ordinary people are simply expected to adhere to in order to preserve business models and profit levels of companies that refuse to adapt to the digital age. disgraceful and disgusting behaviour!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 5:07am

    Reason for secrecy

    How can governments and their agencies function if they have to listen to the people they are meant to represent. It is much easier, and much the perks are much better if we work with the very rich, as they have to be treated in the style they are used to, and at government expense. Further if the people found out what we are planning, we they would object strongly and disturb our peace.

     

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    The Real Michael, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 6:12am

    These TPP "negotiations" are the rich and the wealthy colluding for another power grab. If what they're doing isn't wicked, if it wouldn't affect the public in a negative way, they would have no reason to hide. The people at the top want to benefit at everyone else's expense. These people are not public servants; they do not represent us.

    When the time is ripe, let's join together to say no.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 6:27am

      Re:

      Can we say no with the barrel of a Kalashnikov?

      Because if not, then I disagree. Because the methods for organising nonviolent protest are becoming increasingly scarce in these "negotiations".

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 7:42am

        Re: Re:

        Is Kalashnikov making P2P software?

        Because you can always just ignore those laws and use the great darknet.

         

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        identicon
        The Real Michael, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 8:16am

        Re: Re:

        The thing is that the authorities look for every excuse to make peaceful protests illegal. (In fact, one of the ITU's goals is to give governments the full ability to censor dissidents, control media and prevent protests from ever taking shape.)

         

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 6:22am

    From The Tough Titty Dept.

    Did any of the piracy apologist groups ask whether the sessions were open? Were they invited or did they simply invite themselves to attend. Did they get sandbagged or simply want to make a spectacle of "being denied access". Seems like another contrived grab at headlines, but at least they get a fun vacation in New Zealand.

     

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      silverscarcat (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 6:39am

      Re: From The Tough Titty Dept.

      Why do you and your ilk call them piracy apologists when they're looking to make sure that the copyright apologists don't screw over the average citizen with details that, when they come out, will be screamed at by the citizens.

      Maybe the copyright apologists should remember that the internet doesn't forget what they did.

       

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        Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 10:03am

        Re: Re: From The Tough Titty Dept.

        Why do you and your ilk call them piracy apologists when they're looking to make sure that the copyright apologists don't screw over the average citizen with details that, when they come out, will be screamed at by the citizens.

        Actually most of the groups concerned are even much more concerned about the question of access to medicines. But the fool you're replying to would prefer people die, apparently.

         

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        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
           
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 11:36am

          Re: Re: Re: From The Tough Titty Dept.

          Awesome Masnick. That's just what I had in mind. You mention four groups: Eff- the king of piracy apologists; Public Citizen who has made their IP agenda clear (http://www.citizen.org/documents/release-following-last-weeks-damaging-relevations-06-18-12.pdf). Openmedia.ca- Canadian piracy apologists and Knowledge Ecology International. So you cite four groups deeply invested in the IP space and go on to claim that they're more concerned with access to medicine and suggest that I prefer people to die. You really are a dishonest, loathsome douchenozzle Masnick.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: From The Tough Titty Dept.

            Awesome use of derogatory names!

            And for refuting evidence, well, pretty slim.

            Really good job on the name calling and fail on refuting evidence.. Avg score 4.

            Oh wait.. What were you trying to say?

             

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 1:21pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: From The Tough Titty Dept.

              If you're too stupid to see it for yourself, I doubt I can change that. Maybe ask your helper to explain it to you.

               

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          I see what you did there Mike, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: From The Tough Titty Dept.

          Digital Rights and Health Experts Frustrated by New Rule to Shut Out Civil Society from TPP Negotiation Venue

          Academics, experts, consumer groups, Internet freedom organizations, libraries, educational institutions, patients and access to medicines groups have flown a long way from around the world to Auckland, New Zealand, to engage with delegates in the 15th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

          For the first time, however, we have been locked out of the entire venue, except for a single day out of the 10 days of negotiations. This not only alienates us as members of public interest groups, but also the hundreds of thousands of innovators, educators, patients, students, and Internet users who have sent messages to government representatives expressing their concerns with the TPP. All of us oppose the complete unjustifiable secrecy around the negotiations, but more importantly, the IP provisions that could potentially threaten our rights, and innovation.

          These new physical restrictions on us are reflective of the ongoing lack of transparency that has plagued the TPP negotiations from the very beginning.

          Industry lobbyists looking to protect their outdated business models have, if anything, been provided greater access and influence over the drafting of the agreement than our groups. We are here on the ground in Auckland to ensure that the TPP really levels the playing field for access to knowledge, access to health and medicines, innovation, and economic development around the world. No matter how much they continue to block us from these negotiations, the more determined we become to ensure that citizens and expert voices are heard.

          Consumers International (International)
          Electronic Frontier Foundation (International)
          Electronic Frontiers Australia (Australia)
          InternetNZ (New Zealand)
          Knowledge Ecology International (US)
          Malaysian AIDS Council (Malaysia)
          Malaysian Women’s Action for Tobacco Control and Health – MyWATCH (Malaysia)
          ONG Derechos Digitales (Chile)
          OpenMedia.Ca (Canada)
          Public Citizen (US) [ARRR, PIRATES!]*
          Public Health Association of Australia (Australia)
          Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (International)






          * [Okay okay, there is at least one there]

           

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 7:44am

      Re: From The Tough Titty Dept.

      As a copyright apologist I assume you will be happy under the totalitarian regime required to protect copyright. This means all your devices validate all actions with the copyright holders so thay can block copying of their works, and creation of any derivative works.

       

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        The Real Michael, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 2:37pm

        Re: Re: From The Tough Titty Dept.

        Umm, seriously? Is that what you think I was arguing for? Go back and re-read my original post. I'm 100% opposed to the TPP.

         

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        The Real Michael, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 2:40pm

        Re: Re: From The Tough Titty Dept.

        Ugh, my apologies. I didn't notice the insane post that was marked as spam below mine.

        Carry on.

         

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    toyotabedzrock (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 7:30am

    Cartel or Monopoly

    These are not treaty meetings. They resemble a cartel in their behavior.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 8:21am

    Two Words to the TPP A-Holes
    FUCK YOU !

     

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    slick8086, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 8:30am

    What ever happened to "derived authority from the consent of the governed?"

    Wouldn't a general disregard for rules set forth by such bodies imply a withdraw of consent?

     

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    Adrian Lopez, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 9:19am

    International Conspiracies

    It should be illegal for nations to conduct secret negotiations on matters affecting civil and criminal law, except on matters involving militarily sensitive information and things of that nature.

     

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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

    "Transparency" means "we'll give you 10 minutes to present your issues while we pretend to listen."

     

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    Jess, Dec 12th, 2012 @ 7:10am

    Disgusting

    It's scary how much can be done behind closed doors. And this deal seems to be getting worse all the time.

    http://ash.org/are-we-being-duped-by-our-government-on-trade-negotiations/

     

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