This morning, government officials reported that the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement has been "finalized" after a weekend of closed-door meetings in Atlanta. Fight for the Future, a leading digital rights group that has opposed the deal due to its lack of transparency and extreme copyright provisions that could lead to Internet censorship, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Campaign Director, Evan Greer:
"Government bureaucrats have emerged from their secret meetings claiming they’ve finalized the TPP text, but it’s anything but a done deal. For the Trans-Pacific Partnership to become law, it must first be accepted by each individual country’s elected officials, including U.S. Congress, where it faces fierce resistance from both political parties.
The TPP is a wishlist for monopolistic corporations that inherently benefits giant multinational companies while undermining small businesses and startups. Based on the latest leaks, the TPP contains extreme copyright provisions that will stifle innovation, harm the tech economy, and worst of all, threaten our basic rights to self-expression by paving the way for widespread Internet censorship.
The future of the Internet is far too important to be decided in an agreement that has been negotiated entirely behind closed doors. The public outcry is already rising, but in the coming weeks we will amplify it tenfold. The Internet has proven its ability to defend itself time and time again. U.S. lawmakers are in the spotlight now, and they should know that the public is watching them closely and overwhelmingly expects them to vote down this terrible deal."
Fight for the Future is a digital rights nonprofit that has driven more than 130,000 emails and more than 15,000 phone calls to Congress in recent months, rallied more than 7,500 websites for an online protest, and helped coordinate a letter to Congress from more than 250 tech companies expressing transparency and tech related concerns about Fast Track legislation.
The group made headlines in March when they flew a 30’ blimp over several of Senator Ron Wyden’s town hall meetings calling for him to "Save the Internet" by opposing Fast Track for the TPP, and then parked a Jumbotron on capitol hill to display the viral video they made about the stunt. More recently, Fight for the Future made a splash on the hill when they delivered actual rubber stamps to every house Republican’s office with a mock letter from President Obama asking Congress to "please rubber stamp my secret trade agenda.
Fight for the Future works to defend the Internet as a free and open platform for expression and creativity, and is best known for their role organizing the massive online protests against SOPA, the Internet Slowdown for net neutrality, and the Reset The Net campaign for online privacy, which was endorsed by Edward Snowden.