Public interest groups fly to Auckland, NZ to meet with TPP negotiators, are only allowed in the building to give a 15-minute joint presentation

Having been promised a chance to meet with the delegates at the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership treaty meeting in New Zealand, a representatives from nonprofit public interest groups around the world flew to Auckland. Once they arrived, the TPP announced that they would be granted 15 minutes, total, for all of the groups to make a statement.

TPP is a sweeping copyright treaty, a kind of ACTA on steroids, being conducted without any public scrutiny or input -- only governments and giant corporations are welcome in the negotiating room. It has profound implications for the future of medicine, Internet regulation, and privacy and surveillance.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is one of the groups that sent a representative to Auckland. They've published an open letter signed by the public interest coalition protesting their shabby treatment at the hands of TPP's administrators.

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.

Digital Rights Groups Shut Out of Secret TPP Negotiations


  1. Utter cowardace. The TPP process is made up of terrified children. I’m thinking we should approach them with disgust and contempt. The negotiators are so afraid of the will of the people they represent that they know if they’re exposed they’ll be strung up in the political and social consciousness.

    If they really believe that they are representing the people’s interests they wouldn’t display such vile acts of utter weakness.

    If their constituents understood they were being sold down the river, the TPP process would never have progressed this far.

  2. This sucks. Here is my question. What kind of leverage can do we have over these people? They just go out and make up rules? Are they basically an unelected cabal? 
    What can be used to stop them? 

    1. There’s no way to stop them other than concerted and sustained public outrage. Treaty negotiators (of the U.S.) are appointed positions within the executive branch of government. We have no way to evict them from office. And if enough people are mad as hell, they may be politically pressured into changing their positions. But there’s no guarantee, and since the TPP is being negotiated in secret, there’s no damning information available to show how they are absolutely prostituted to the copyright industry.

      Technically they are supposed to act in the best interest of the American people. They have been convinced for decades that copyright maximalism is good for the country, which is an unsupported position.

      In this arena, the government serves only the copyright industry to the detriment of American culture.

  3. There is a reason they held it in Auckland and not Oakland. Keeps the rif raff out. If you can’t afford to fly in and whine and dine they don’t want you there.

  4. Don’t you get it. The Canadian govt did the same thing. It’s called PRETENDING you listen to people and have empirical evidence that there was a possibility that you listened to people. Basically these groups taking part shows it has the rubber stamp of the concerned experts, citizens groups and electorate.

    By participating you are validating.

    1. I was just trying to work out how you could stretch a “FUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOOOOOUUUUU!” to last 15 minutes.

      Maybe you could translate it into as many different languages as possible, just to make sure they got the message.

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

    I don’t think they feel plagued.  In fact, the secrecy just might be by design.

  6. “If they really believe that they are representing the people’s interests….”

    They no more believe they are representing the “people” than they believe the Sun goes around the Earth.

    They know *exactly* what they are doing and you and I don’t figure into it. Individual freedom is out of fashion at almost all levels of society and government, it’s not terribly convenient for one thing as it requires individual initiative and responsibility and the bulk of individuals do not want that as opposed to some phantom “security”, that does not and never will, exist if everyone just does what they are told.

    That’s why even Apple which used to trumpet ‘Think Different” now really says “Think our way or hit the highway” and people line up for days to buy their stuff.

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