Coalition says new trade deal could trample Canadian Internet freedoms

Get set for another battle in the war over Internet access and privacy rights.

If Canada officially signs on as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP) trade alliance, it could put the squeeze on Internet freedoms andprivacy in this country, a new global coalition is warning.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced this week that Canada isjoining the TPP negotiations. But the coalition, whose Canadiancontingent is led by the Internet rights group OpenMedia, says proposedTPP statutes on intellectual property rights would criminalize someforms of everyday Internet use and force Internet Service Providers(ISPs) to collect and hand over private user data without privacysafeguards.

“The coalition is calling the TPP an ‘Internet trap’ and argues thatits restrictive copyright measures, and the secretive way they arebeing developed, are undemocratic,” the coalition says in a newsrelease sent out Wednesday.

The coalition, which does not have a name so far, also includes theCouncil of Canadians, the Chilean group ONG Derechos Digitales, PublicCitizen, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge The Vancouver-based Pirate Party of Canada has also raisedconcerns about the potential impact of the TPP on Canadian Internet rights.

The next round of TPP talks starts in San Diego on July 2, the dayafter Canada Day.

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