WikiLeaks Wants To Crowdsource $100K Reward For Leak Of TPP Text, As Doubts Grow About Agreement's Value

from the fanciful-geopolitics dept

The TPP saga is entering a critical phase. After the excitement of the initial rejection of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA -- "fast track") in the Senate, followed by the vote in its favor shortly afterwards, attention is now focused on the House, where the outcome is still in doubt. Meanwhile, Australian politicians have finally been granted access to the negotiating text -- but under humiliating conditions, as The Guardian reports:

They were told they could view the current TPP negotiating text on Tuesday "subject to certain confidentiality requirements" and were shown a document they would be required to sign before any viewing.
Here are some of the "confidentiality requirements" (pdf) the politicians were obliged to sign up to:
I will not divulge any of the text or information obtained in the briefing to any party.

I will not copy, transcribe or remove the negotiating text.
The following condition is interesting:
I therefore agree that these confidentiality requirements shall apply for four years after entry into force of the TPP, or if no agreement enters into force, for four years after the last round of negotiations.
This confirms what Techdirt wrote back in 2011: that aside from the final agreement, all the other negotiating texts will be kept secret for four years after the conclusion of the talks. And yet, bad as the Australian deal is, it's more than the public gets when it comes to accessing the text being negotiated in its name. Fortunately, we have WikiLeaks, which has already published three chapters of TPP, and now hopes to leak the rest:
Today WikiLeaks has launched a campaign to crowd-source a $100,000 reward for America’s Most Wanted Secret: the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).
As we wait for those leaks, the only thing we have to fall back on are the economic models, which try to predict what effects TPP might have, based on various assumptions. The Economist has been reviewing the results:
The most influential, by Peter Petri, Michael Plummer and Fan Zhai, for the East-West Centre, a research institute, forecasts that the deal would raise the GDP of the 12 signatories by $285 billion, or 0.9%, by 2025. It is their numbers that America's government cites when it says TPP will make the country $77 billion richer.
But other researchers predict far more modest gains from TPP:
[The researchers Ciuriak and Xiao] calculate that TPP will raise the GDP of the 12 countries by just $74 billion by 2035, a mere 0.21% higher than baseline forecasts. Others see an even smaller impact. In a paper for the Asian Development Bank Institute, Inkyo Cheong forecasts that America's GDP will be entirely unchanged by TPP.
Given those small, perhaps non-existent, economic benefits, it's perhaps not surprising that US proponents of TPP have shifted their emphasis, claiming that TPP is not so much about economics, as about geopolitical influence -- President Obama's famous "pivot to Asia." A perceptive analysis in the Boston Globe explains why that makes no sense:
The administration's geopolitical case for TPP is fanciful. In the real world, there is no way that new rules for trans-Pacific trade, written without regard to China and without Chinese participation, will somehow pivot the United States into a lasting position of supremacy in China’s backyard.

Four basic facts explain why that is so: First, China is now everybody's biggest trading partner, including America's prospective partners in TPP. Second, the Chinese market represents the major growth opportunity for all these nations.

Third, whatever their concerns about China's increasing military power, Asian leaders have no interest in distancing themselves economically from China -- or from the supply chains that converge there. Fourth, most economists expect China's economic growth will continue to be much faster than that of the United States.
That means that as well as offering the US marginal economic benefits at best, TPP might also damage its chances of engaging meaningfully with China. Sadly, it's probably too much to hope that US politicians will pay much attention to either point once the next round of Congressional haggling over TPA starts again.

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Filed Under: bounty, crowdfunding, leaks, tpp, trade agreements, wikileaks


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 1:41am

    Short and sweet: It is BAD!

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

  • identicon
    David, 3 Jun 2015 @ 2:13am

    This is not how democracy works.

    Pay $100k in order to find out the laws governing your country from a leaked source?

    It's "division of powers", not "abscondment of powers".

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

  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 3:05am

    Wikileaks crosses the line again

    These guys (and girls) really need better lawyers.

    Paying a "reward" for someone to break the law or violate confidentiality seems to get them very close to enticing someone to break the law and paying them to do it. That could turn into conspiracy charges, and would likely land right on the head of Julian Assange.

    It doesn't matter how good or how bad the agreement is, paying someone to either violate a sworn (or signed) confidentiality agreement or otherwise obtain a copy through illegal means is a really, really bad idea.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 3:21am

      Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

      That confidentiality agreement should be fucking null and void. it is not a bad idea to promote civil disobedience of bad contracts or bad law. So long as the ramifications and concerns are legitimate, I see no problem with this, even if orgs such as Wikileaks get punished for this.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 3:26am

      Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

      When the moral thing to do is now illegal then it takes men and women of integrity to be moral and stand up against the law that makes taking a moral stand illegal.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 5:45am

      Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

      "These guys (and girls) really need better lawyers."

      Like the disingenuous fool whose name I haven't seen darken this site for a while, you're a better lawyer?

      Welcome back! I see you have developed the ability to state an coherent argument and a real concern while straying away from personal attacks and fictions! Glad the holiday did you some good!

      "Paying a "reward" for someone to break the law..."

      This is true, and a person would have to be rather stupid not to realise that, especially if the documents have specific classified status (which is rather likely). However, such a reward may sway someone who is morally conflicted but not in a financial position to fight any fallout of leaking them to do what they feel is right.

      That's actually the point of a reward. Whether it's returning a lost dog, giving information to the police about a serious crime or something like this, a reward is meant as an incentive for someone who wouldn't/couldn't do it for free. It's still down to that person to work out whether they feel the risk is worth it.

      The staff at Wikileaks will also have determined they're willing to take the risk before posting the offer. Just because you don't understand why they would do such a thing, that doesn't mean they are ignorant of the potential consequences.

      "...and would likely land right on the head of Julian Assange."

      Yeah, I'm sure he's quaking in his current predicament. At least you strayed away from the expected inanity that anyone donating to the fund should be held liable.

      "It doesn't matter how good or how bad the agreement is..."

      Yes, it does. They're called morals, rather than blind obedience to the law. Laws are often bad, faulty, or counter to their intended aim. If the potential positive outcome of releasing the documents is worth the risk, and/or trumps the personal consequences of releasing them, a person may well do so despite knowing they have broken the law (if that is necessary anyway).

      This is one of the reasons you've tended to be so mystified by the more complex arguments here. It's not as simple as "law good, must follow no matter what", there are many shades of grey.

      The line needs to be crossed occasionally.

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

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 5:37pm

        Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

        Oh Wise Paul, the man with an answer for everything...

        So why not just shoot them? Clearly you have no issue with breaking the law to "get them", so why not shoot them? Car bomb? Nuclear device? Hold their families for ransom? Poison the water or perhaps just burning the buildings down with everyone in it. After all, you have already established that since they are not moral people, you don't have to have morals either.

        Are you claiming to be morally superior? How do you measure that, exactly? How do you explain it here on Techdirt when Mike himself repeatedly points out that moral argument are invalid?

        Wikileaks feel that they are above the law, that their "great calling" making them immune from the law. They are in a similar position, which is at what point do they start killing people or holding them for ransom in order to "get the documents"? They are already proving they are willing to bribe people to break the law (that is what this "reward" is), so how long before they go full retard and start posting up "dead or alive"pages?

        That's the funny things about morals and the law. Once you provie you are willing to break the law, it's becomes a subjective question of personal taste. Are you willing to accept that the guy next to you perhaps feels morally superior enough to kill or maim to get the goods on someone?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 5:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

          You're the one who constantly harps on moral superiority, up until the point where your heroes like John Steele and the NSA get challenged. Then everyone's fair game.

          Seriously, go back into hiding for two months. You promised, remember?

          "For that, I will see you in two months"

          It's funny how you think you not posting shit on the site is supposed to be punishment, yet you can't resist coming back to the "junk" you despise like a housefly. Copyright fanboys are nothing if not consistent.

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

          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 8:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

            It has been 1 month. This post was too good to pass up on. It shows just how far the whole thing has sunk, and how close we are to civil war. We are already picking and choosing the laws we will obey and the ones we won't, how long before we start to choose that for others as well, at gunpoint if needed?

            Seriously, you (and your other troll friends) need to just stop worrying about me, and start worrying about yourselves. Clearly you are no longer in control of your own anger and emotions, and feel you must attack anyone who disagrees with you. How long before you start to do that at gun point?

            See you next month, sucker.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 8:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

              Coming from someone who regularly defends spammers, this is a laugh.

              You seem to think that anyone who disagrees with you are part of some collective out to get you. You can't seem to comprehend why people of vastly different backgrounds might see eye to eye on things like privacy, transparency and rationale.

              But then, if you did understand rationale, you wouldn't be posting the things you post, would you?

              Now, run along to your little panic room, and try not to let the imaginary PaulT's bite.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 8:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

              Whatever apparently believes there are only two possible ways to think: either all law is perfect and wonderful, or all law is forfeit.

              (Whatever isn't very bright.)

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

                horse with no name/Just Sayin'/Whatever/The Anti-Mike isn't very bright, but playing to the "law is the law is the law" angle is a little more sympathetic than saying "the law is Whatever I want it to be".

                ...Well, more like a little less unsympathetic. When the positions you have are universally indefensible you don't get a lot of wiggle room.

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

            • icon
              techflaws (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 10:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

              It has been 1 month. This post was too good to pass up on

              Yep, you just couldn't miss out on failing again miserably. Congrats!

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

              "how long before we start to choose that for others as well, at gunpoint if needed?"

              Erm, those laws that you insist must be blindly obeyed whatever the cost? Guess how they're enforced? Do you somehow think that laws don't choose actions for others?

              Look up "civil disobedience" sometime, and learn that not all laws are just, and that people will fight unjust laws even if it means punishment for breaking them. Many, many positive changes in history have been achieved by doing just this.

              "Seriously, you (and your other troll friends) need to just stop worrying about me"

              People who disagree with you are not trolls, especially if all they do is respond to your inane ramblings that you freely spew into a public forum. If you're so afraid to be questioned, why are you commenting at all, let alone in a place where you know that your logical fallacies will never go unquestioned? I'll give credit to you for actually trying to come up with a salient point this time, but people are too familiar with your schtick to leave it unchallenged.

              "feel you must attack anyone who disagrees with you."

              Once again, that's a mirror you keep looking at, not a window.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 6:11pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

          So why not just shoot them? Clearly you have no issue with breaking the law to "get them", so why not shoot them? Car bomb? Nuclear device? Hold their families for ransom? Poison the water or perhaps just burning the buildings down with everyone in it. After all, you have already established that since they are not moral people, you don't have to have morals either.
          This is a pure example of a non sequitur. You are responding to something that has not even been said, stated or even inferred.

          Having morals means that you at times will not obey specific laws. It means that you are willing to stand for specific principles and are fully conscious of the consequences of disobedience to some immoral law.

          However, you (Mr Whatever) show that you appear to be incapable of understanding principles and morals and appear to to believe that a fully compliant law-abiding person is fully moral.

          Your own moniker (Whatever) thoroughly indicates that you actually don't give a damn about anything but your own self and inclinations. I fully expect you to be the first to complain bitterly when your compliant law-abiding mentality brings you to disaster.

          You need to grow up and get a backbone, get some morals and integrity and be a person of actual influence for good to those around you instead of being the sarcastic, immature, ignorant fool that you are.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 6:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

          That's the funny things about morals and the law. Once you provie you are willing to break the law, it's becomes a subjective question of personal taste. Are you willing to accept that the guy next to you perhaps feels morally superior enough to kill or maim to get the goods on someone?This is also another example of a non sequitur.

          You say it is a matter of "subjective taste". You conflate law-keeping with morals, you obviously don't believe in a supreme law and hence that Whatever is the law is moral.

          So I put forward the following scenario. Your government creates a new set of laws that require you to inform them of all actions by your neighbours that indicate that they are not fully in agreement with the government.

          What are you going to do when you hear your neighbours talking behind their fence that the government is wrong about some policy or action that the government has come out with or done?

          Are you going to inform on them as a fully compliant law-abiding person or will you ignore the comments and let the neighbours comments pass? Which, in your opinion, is the moral course of action?

          Of course, you being you, won't answer these questions because you are a moral coward and incapable of debating any topic intelligently. You are worse than a braying donkey or a creaking door.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:26am

          Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

          What the hell are you blathering about now?

          "So why not just.."

          It might be fun to write ridiculous fictions, but reductio ad absurdum is a major logical fallacy, and you'd still be left with trying to explain how killing someone is on the same moral scale as releasing secret documents.

          "How do you explain it here on Techdirt when Mike himself repeatedly points out that moral argument are invalid?"

          Erm, you were the one making a moral argument, in that you believe it's immoral to break the law. I was merely pointing out the reality that the world does not exist on the monochrome scale on which you always address it.

          Besides, so what if Mike argues that? I often agree with him but not every time. Do you want to address my actual arguments, or are you satisfied with just saying that the version of Mike in your head would do X so somehow that ends an argument?

          "That's the funny things about morals and the law. Once you provie you are willing to break the law, it's becomes a subjective question of personal taste"

          Indeed, which is why civil disobedience is a powerful tool that has led to a lot of both social change and major changes to the law itself. We still have to deal with morons who will destroy the rights of others just because a law told them to, but luckily many more do not blindly obey whatever master claims them as you do.

          Reality is still a strange, unknown place to you and your arguments, isn't it? Take a step away from the elaborate fictions and comical strawmen you construct, and try and address what actually exists.

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 6:21am

          Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

          Are you claiming to be morally superior? How do you measure that, exactly? How do you explain it here on Techdirt when Mike himself repeatedly points out that moral argument are invalid?

          This is a deliberate misquote. I have *never* claimed that moral arguments are invalid. Not at all.

          What I said, and still believe, is that morality questions involve situations where you need to pick winners and losers. In situations where *everyone* can be better off, then there is no moral question to be dealt with -- and that's why I think making *copyright* into a moral debate doesn't make sense: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20061115/020157.shtml

          Nowhere do I say that all moral arguments don't make sense. I'm just saying that if you have a situation in which everyone can be better off, there is no "moral" argument that everyone should be worse off.

          Good trolling, though.

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

          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 7:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

            Hi Mike, glad to see you never change! Deflection, and not addressing the main point at hand. Do you think wikileaks is crossing the line here?

            As for morality, the problem of you picking winners and losers is that the choices are based on your preferences and your beliefs, and not on the rules of society. In essence, you make the moral judgement to follow only laws and regulations that suit you, and to hell with the rest. When I (or others) try to bring up the questions of morality in relation to living in an orders society, you defect and say "moral arguments are invalid!". Yet, the US (and much of the rest of the free world) only works well when we live under a somewhat common set of laws and a more or less common moral system.

            You choose to ignore certain laws. You don't seem to see a problem with Wikileaks paying people to violate trust or even specifically break the law to obtain documents. How would feel if I said "I want your car, I have no moral issues with theft" or "I want your money, after all, it's just a little black hat hacking". Under the law, each of those situations are the same.

            Ross Ulbricht recently has found out that feeling that he could pick and choose which laws did and did not apply to hime was a bad feeling. His morality of picking winners and losers was a fail.

            "Nowhere do I say that all moral arguments don't make sense. I'm just saying that if you have a situation in which everyone can be better off, there is no "moral" argument that everyone should be worse off."

            Better is an even more slippery concept than morals. Define better? Mark Zuckenberg defines better in giving free internet to the masses, even if it's a limited subset of mostly his own product. Is his version of better morally better than your version? Better is in the end just a moral judgement, and thus any argument for or against is a moral argument. Your real point seems more to be "my morals are better than your morals, so quit complaining!". Your statements as a result are more of less self cancelling. Better is a moral judgement (are Americans better with more guns?). A moral judgement generally needs to stand up to moral arguments.

            Anyway, all the way back... can you answer the simple question: Do you think Wikileaks has gone too far, and if not, why not (without being moral)?

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

            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 7:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

              "you make the moral judgement to follow only laws and regulations that suit you, and to hell with the rest."

              In all fairness, everybody does this. Due to the state of our laws, you pretty much couldn't function in our society if you didn't.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 8:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

              Well, that didn't take very long did it? Has it been a month already?

              Oh, no wait. It's just you being a liar as usual.

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

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:32am

              Tyrany.

              You choose to ignore certain laws. You don't seem to see a problem with Wikileaks paying people to violate trust or even specifically break the law to obtain documents.

              I think a lot of us choose to ignore certain laws, typically when we're speeding (albeit driving flow-of-traffic) through our freeway systems. But in this case, the target of Wikileaks bounty is a document for which there is no good justification (good for the people of the states involved) for the content to remain secret. In fact, it is clearly dangerous to those nations and their people that the document remans under seclusion.

              The TPP trade agreement and the utilization of the fast-track process to bypass US checks and balances is nothing short of a black-hat hack of procedure to put governance in the hands of the people. It is, by definition, tyranny.

              How would feel if I said "I want your car, I have no moral issues with theft" or "I want your money, after all, it's just a little black hat hacking". Under the law, each of those situations are the same.

              Interesting. Then under the law, stealing a car, or revealing secrets or theft by black-hat hacking are worse than the United States' extrajudicial detainment and torture program, worse than the CIA's extramilitary drone-strike program, worse than the NSA mass surveillance programs.

              You seem to hold a regard for law higher than the rest of us disregarding even ethical considerations. Even our Constitutional framers did not regard the letter with such extremism.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 6:02am

      Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

      What happened to "see you in two months", liar?

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

    • icon
      CK20XX (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:50am

      Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

      I rather agree with you, but what else is one supposed to attempt in these desperate times? All other avenues have not only been boobytrapped or decisively closed, but have been that way since we first learned of the existence of this "trade agreement".

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 9:15am

      Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

      The government is elected to represent the public. The only thing they are representing here is private interests that offer politicians and regulators a return. Aren't they breaking any laws here? Isn't this treason on their part?

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 10:31am

      This is completely a "Rebellion against tyrants" situation.

      The law is not to be followed if it is ridiculous, odious or in violation of the rights of the people.

      The secrecy behind the TPP is all of these things.

      The TPP is secret law for crying out loud. That's hardcore weapons-grade hazardous-materials-warning tyranny.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 10:41am

      Re: Wikileaks crosses the line again

      what are people supposed to do when those in power are only helping themselves at hundreds of millions of citizens expense instead of doing their jobs to protect the rights of those same citizens?

      Politely ask them to stop acting like criminals and go back to supporting everyone instead of just the wealthy few

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 4:33am

    Sure, Congress will agree to anything (like the TPP) for their masters.

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

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:05am

    Fourth, most economists expect China's economic growth will continue to be much faster than that of the United States.

    Seriously? Have they not been paying attention to what's been going on in China over the last couple years?

    Remember when the US housing bubble burst in 2007, and about a year later, it almost crashed the entire economy? Well, China's got a much bigger housing bubble than the USA ever had, and it's currently in the process of bursting. Right now is a very bad time to be tying your future to hopes of continued Chinese prosperity!

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

  • icon
    Teamchaos (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:10am

    Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

    Unless I'm misunderstanding what Fast Track (TPA) authority is all about, the agreement will become public before congress votes on it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_track_%28trade%29

    You'll get your chance to oppose it before congress votes on it. It's not the "But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it" bill of goods we were sold on Obamacare.

    Trade negotiations are sensitive in nature and trade deals would probably never get done if all the details of the negotiations were made public. I understand that many are against international trade deals and many believe this agreement has nothing to do with trade. Let's wait on see what's in it before going ballistic.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:17am

      Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

      Trade negotiations are sensitive in nature and trade deals would probably never get done if all the details of the negotiations were made public.

      Trade agreements are NOT negotiations for commercial contracts, which are sensitive in nature, but are negotiations about legal issues that affect trade and markets, and as such are of great public interest.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:41am

      Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

      "Unless I'm misunderstanding what Fast Track (TPA) authority is all about, the agreement will become public before congress votes on it. "

      Unless I'm misunderstanding it, once it becomes public, it will become a simple yes/no vote with no amendments allowed based on the feedback received. Also, as I understand it, the voting pool leans heaving Republican, who are historically willing to swallow any old crap as long as it's sold on a profit/business motive and thus vote yes regardless of objections.

      If you affiliate with any other (or no other) party, it seems to be a concerning move, especially since they cannot request any changes to fix the obvious problems they see. At that point, it seems like it will become a shouting match between the two sides, and one has already shown themselves willing to shut down the government rather than concede over issues unrelated to the one used for shutting down the government.

      "It's not the "But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it" bill of goods we were sold on Obamacare. "

      Unless you believe unvarnished bullshit based entirely on a misquoting of an out of context remark, neither was "Obamacare".

      "Let's wait on see what's in it before going ballistic."

      Most agree. However, most do not want to wait to see what's in it until after the negative fallouts from previous things that were kept secret and the fallout from previous treaties. Especially since some people who have already read it are apparently very unhappy about it (but unable to publicly say any specifics about what they object to due to NDAs).

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

      • icon
        Teamchaos (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:54am

        Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

        Unless you believe unvarnished bullshit based entirely on a misquoting of an out of context remark, neither was "Obamacare".

        It's not a misquote and it seems to be very much on point to this discussion.

        "But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."

        Source: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Nancy_Pelosi
        Here's the video: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/11/17/david_gregory_asks_pelosi_about_pass_the_bill_so_y ou_can_find_out_whats_in_it_comment.html

        Also, as I understand it, the voting pool leans heaving Republican, who are historically willing to swallow any old crap as long as it's sold on a profit/business motive and thus vote yes regardless of objections.

        I forget, who is negotiating the deal? Obama? A democrat?

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:20am

          Re: Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

          "It's not a misquote"

          Right wingers who attack "Obamacare" (you usually know which way someone leans by the name the give the PPACA bill) usually quote the statement as this:

          "we have to pass it before you can know what's in it"

          The actual quote as you directly linked is far more nuanced. The misquote is often used to pretend that the act was issued by decree or pushed though without discussion a la the Patriot Act, but in fact it was just a response to the utter bullshit being spread about the PPACA such as "death panels" at a time when the text hadn't been agreed upon. Also, the "you" in the quote is referring to Congress, not the general public (as it's often erroneously presumed by people depending on the misquote).

          Do you understand the difference? I apologise if I made a poor assumption about your leanings in my previous comment, but it did seem like you were one of those right wingers who based their opinions on the misquote and the fact that the PPACA is "called" Obamacare. I tire of this as much as I tired of the constant lies about healthcare systems in other countries during the "debate" that led to the bill.

          "I forget, who is negotiating the deal? Obama? A democrat?"

          Among others, yes. But, his party is free to disagree with him, and often do, and their voices will most likely be lost by this type of action.

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

    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 8:26am

      Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

      would probably never get done if all the details of the negotiations were made public

      Sure, a lot of things are faster and easier if you don't tell the public about them - same goes for mass surveillance, and torture programs. That's not a good reason to keep it secret (or, well, it is from the government's point of view -- but it's not a reason the public should accept.)

      Let's wait on see what's in it before going ballistic.

      It will be too late. When we see what's in it, it'll be within days of a vote in congress, with barely enough time for people to make their opinion on it heard and virtually no chance of that opinion being considered after all the negotiating work has already been done.

      Plus, that's just a stupid way of looking at it. What if, as you want us to still consider as a possibility, it turns out that lots of this agreement IS really great and promotes trade and we all love it -- but there's also, for example, a big Intellectual Property provision that seems really dangerous and problematic (almost a certainty). You'd rather the public wait until its only choice is between scuttling the entire agreement or swallowing the bad provisions, rather than having input at the stage where the details are still being decided?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 10:16am

        Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

        What if it were the other way around. What if the public spent years negotiating a deal without including business interests and politicians in the process and, last minute, the public allowed these interests to view the deals before voting on it without giving them any time to process the information and respond. Unacceptable right (forget the practical ridiculous nature of it, just hypothetically)? What's happening here isn't any more acceptable. Just because it's politicians and business interests negotiating the deal in secrecy doesn't make it any more acceptable. The public should be involved in the entire process.

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

        • icon
          Leigh Beadon (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 11:43am

          Re: Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

          Are you under the impression that I was saying what's happening is acceptable...? Because I most definitely was not :)

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

    • identicon
      Just Another Anonymous Troll, 3 Jun 2015 @ 8:57am

      Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

      Let's wait on see what's in it before going ballistic.
      If it's going to be good for me, there's no reason for them to hide it from me. The most logical reason why they don't want the public to know what's in it is that it will be bad for the public. For that reason, we must assume it will be bad until it is released and we know otherwise.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 9:24am

      Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

      " trade deals would probably never get done if all the details of the negotiations were made public."

      This is a ridiculous lie.

      Depends on the nature of the deal. If the deal were something the public mostly supports they will get done. If not then they won't. In general the public supports free trade and free market and deals that are publicly beneficial. and who are you or any invited private interest to tell us that you know what's in the best interests of the public better than the public.

      Your only complaint is that deals, like this, not intended for the public interest will never get done if the public got involved. and you want deals that aren't in the public interest to get passed.

      and if it's really the case that the public doesn't want any deals passed then what's wrong with that? but the premise that no deals will ever get done if the public got involved to begin with is a ridiculous lie. That you must base your argument on a lie shows how nonsensical it is. The real problem you have is that certain deals, against the public interest, won't get done. Deals have been done with public support in the past. Just that it's more difficult to pass publicly bad deals intended for certain private interests.

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

      • icon
        Teamchaos (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 9:50am

        Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

        and you want deals that aren't in the public interest to get passed.

        Don't assume that I want the deal to pass. I am reserving judgement until we know the details of it.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 10:01am

          Re: Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

          The fact that we weren't included in the entire negotiation process is enough for us to judge that it shouldn't be passed. This is supposed to be a democracy and we should be involved in the entire process. If it's not good enough to include us in the entire process it's not good enough to be considered at all.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 11:35am

          Re: Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

          By the time you know the details, it's already too late. It's like learning that a tornado is coming when it's literally at your house. At that point, you have no options other than hold on and hope the damage is minimal.

          The entire point of keeping the details away from the public until the very last minute is because they know that the 'trade' agreement is so toxic that the public would never agree with it, and they want to minimize, as much as possible the time the public has to respond to it before it gets voted on. They're making sure that even if the public objects, it will be too late to actually do anything, and that is absolutely intentional.

          Not only that, but if, as seems likely, the 'trade' agreement has a clause similar to one in others, where even if a country pulls out of the deal they are still bound by it for a set amount of time, then even if/when people protest against it, even if they manage to get the USG to withdraw from it(very unlikely to happen at that point), it will not matter, because we'll still be just as bound to it as though we were still a signatory to it.

          A 'wait and see' approach is absolutely playing right into the hands of the corporations writing the thing, and is the most foolish response you could have in this case. They've done everything possible to keep what's supposed to be a trade agreement secret from the very public it will affect the most, and that right there should tell you all you need to know about how much it actually benefits the public.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 9:25am

      Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

      Trade negotiations are sensitive in nature and trade deals would probably never get done if all the details of the negotiations were made public.

      1. That's not true. WIPO has concluded numerous agreements with all negotiations in public. It's totally possible.

      2. Even if it were true, isn't that a problem? If the public won't approve, then isn't there something wrong?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 9:29am

        Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

        It's not only not true it's a lie. It's been refuted over and over again yet they keep repeating the same lie knowing it's not true. Are they really that stupid that they haven't figured out that it's not true by now despite how many times this lie has been proven wrong. From now on we should call them out on this lie for what it is, a deliberate lie, as evidence to how indefensible their opinion is that it's based on a ridiculous deliberate lie.

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

      • icon
        Teamchaos (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 9:52am

        Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

        To my point. The public will have their say before congress votes on it and Obama signs it.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 10:10am

          Re: Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

          I should have my say right now, it is my right and it is their duty to provide it, and I say this whole thing gets abolished.

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 10:54am

          Re: Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

          To my point. The public will have their say before congress votes on it and Obama signs it.


          Bullshit. The only say is a after the deal can no longer be changed.

          True democracy should require a chance to debate the merits of the various aspects of the agreement -- not a "take it or leave it" on the entire thing. Let us see what's being negotiated so people can point out the real problems with the pieces of it so that it can be fixed. And then people can agree to support the final product.

          There is no good reason whatsoever for keeping it secret. I note that you didn't respond to my points, you just moved onto another talking point. What a hack.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 11:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

            Small fix:

            There is no good reason whatsoever from the general public's point of view for keeping it secret.

            From the point of view of the private interests writing the thing, there are plenty of 'good reasons' to keep it secret, first and foremost being that the know that it's so odious that the public would never accept it if they knew what was in it.

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

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:58pm

              Good reasons.

              If there are no good reasons from the general public's point of view from keeping it secret, then from the state's point of view, any reason for it remaining secret are not good ones.

              The fact that the TPP is still kept secret from the public at this late hour is highly indicative that it does not serve the best interests of the public.

              Which serves as clear evidence that our representatives are serving interests other than those of their constituency. It might be grounds to incriminate, if there was a valid court of law in which they could be tried.

              I think we need to dispense with the fiction that the United States government agencies still serve the best interests of the United States.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 9:27am

      Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

      "Let's wait on see what's in it before going ballistic."

      The fact that they cut me out of the democratic process while allowing certain private interests to attend these negotiations is more than reason enough to go ballistic. They should include us in the entire negotiation process, these deals should represent us and these negotiators have a duty to involve us.

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

      • icon
        Teamchaos (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 9:55am

        Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

        I guess it depends on who you voted for. The people elected Obama, he's there to represent the people's interests. Elections have consequences.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 10:08am

          Re: Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

          Obama promised transparency. That's partly why he got elected. He clearly lied. Democracy is supposed to include transparency. This isn't democracy. A problem occurs when a politician promises one thing during elections and does something else. What's to stop a politician from lying during elections to get elected. The very fact that Obama promised transparency shows that he knows that's what the public wants. Yet, when elected, he does the exact opposite of what he knows the public wants. If secrecy is really the will of the public why didn't he tell us he was going to be secretive when campaigning. That would have got him elected. Oh, that's right, because he knows that's not what the public wants. Better to lie to the public to get elected, telling them what they want to hear, and then do the opposite of what you promised. He deliberately betrayed us. He knows what he's doing isn't the will of the public, the fact that not secrecy but transparency is what he ran his campaign on proves this, yet he turns around and betrays us. Traitor.

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

        • icon
          Leigh Beadon (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 11:50am

          Re: Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

          People say the most irresponsible thing you can do in a democracy is not vote, but that's a lie.

          The most irresponsible thing you can do in a democracy is believe that involvement in the political process starts and ends with voting.

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 12:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

          "The people elected Obama, he's there to represent the people's interests"

          The President's main job isn't to represent the people's interest. That's the job of Congress. The President's job is Chief Manager and to represent the government to other nations. Also, to the extent that the President is supposed to represent the people's interests, almost none have actually done so in my lifetime.

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

    • identicon
      Zonker, 3 Jun 2015 @ 12:56pm

      Re: Not sure what all the hubbub is about...

      Why do over 500 official corporate "trade advisors" have special access to the details of TPP while our own Congress cannot even let their own staff in to see the deal in order to advise them as to what its possible consequences could be?

      Our own Congress can only see the most recent released version of TPP in a closed room without advisors or staff and not allowed to copy or remove the text from the room, but the corporate representatives have full access to the negotiations to influence every detail of the deal at every stage of deliberations.

      The public, who would be directly subject to the terms of this deal which could effectively supersede our own Constitution and constrain our own legislators from passing laws or regulations that would conflict with the terms of the "trade" agreement, are not allowed to participate at all in any way until the deal is final and no changes can be made.

      Even if we manage to convince our representatives to reject the treaty, we could still be subject to terms negotiated prior to ratification that would be triggered by the failure to ratify. Terms we the public had absolutely no representation or influence over.

      This is what all the "hubbub" is about.

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

  • icon
    CK20XX (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:42am

    As prophecized in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    I can't help but think back to what Arthur Dent had to go through to learn about the plans to demolish his house. Douglas Adams is practically an oracle when you reread his stories.

    Mr. Prosser: "You were quite entitled to make any suggestions or protests at the appropriate time you know."
    Arthur: "Appropriate time? Appropriate time? The first I knew about it was when a workman arrived at my home yesterday. I asked him if he'd come to clean the windows and he said no, he'd come to demolish the house. He didn't tell me straight away of course. Oh no. First he wiped a couple of windows and charged me a fiver. Then he told me."
    Mr. Prosser: "But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months."
    Arthur: "Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling anybody or anything."
    Mr. Prosser: "But the plans were on display ..."
    Arthur: "On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."
    Mr. Prosser: "That's the display department."
    Arthur: "With a torch."
    Mr. Prosser: "Ah, well the lights had probably gone."
    Arthur: "So had the stairs."
    Mr. Prosser: "But look, you found the notice didn't you?"
    Arthur: "Yes, yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard."
    Mr. Prosser: "...it's not as if it's a particularly nice house."
    Arthur: "I'm sorry, but I happen to like it."
    Mr. Prosser: "You'll like the bypass."
    Arthur: "Oh shut up. Shut up and go away, and take your bloody bypass with you. You haven't got a leg to stand on and you know it."

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

    • icon
      Jeff Green (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 8:00am

      Re: As prophecized in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

      Now you've posted that Douglas Adams will have been dissuaded from ever writing anything again!


      :D

      On a separate note were I an Australian voter I would message my member of parliament to say that I would guarantee to vote for them at the next election if they read and signed the non-disclosure then stood up in Parliament and read out the whole document. I believe that Australian Parliamentary proceedings are, like UK ones, privileged in such regards. You cannot sue an MP for what he says there, even if he signed a promise not to.

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

  • identicon
    Shmerl, 3 Jun 2015 @ 7:51am

    Sure, go for it.

    Kickstarter or Indiegogo? I don't remember such campaigns in the past, but it's a great idea. It will also a great way to show demand for transparency.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Jun 2015 @ 9:46am

      Re: Sure, go for it.

      What we should do is a kickstarter campaign to stop this negotiation. Perhaps one to start political ads against it. After all political ads are free speech, why not use that to our advantage and start crowdfunding them. People can be hired to pass out flyers, take out an add on T.V. or radio if possible (though that maybe difficult since most of that is gamed), etc... Crowd fund its demise.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 3 Jun 2015 @ 1:18pm

    vERY FUNNY

    "Ignorance of the law, is no excuse"
    Is a very interesting idea, concept..If you could know ALL the laws, rules, regulations, you would be surprised at some of them.

    WHAT in a trade agreement, could there be to HIDE?
    Is trying to change LAWS in other nations, legal?
    Is trying to FORCE another nation, to DO something LEGAL?
    Is Bypassing Legal channels, Legal??
    What is it about independent, individual, state, federal, Country, Rights and Laws...that they want to Overrule??

    These Agreements have been running around for years..and years..and the only thing advancing them, is Paying OUR representatives MONEY to pass this garbage..

    Why does it take YEARS to pass a trade agreement unless its Full of garbage?
    Why are the only ones INVOLVED in the agreement, Highly paid, corporates?

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


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