On Monday, Greenpeace leaked the highly confidential negotiating drafts of the TTIP, a top-secret, big-business-friendly trade agreement between the USA and the EU.
The leak was significant because the drafts have been kept secret from elected Members of the European Parliament (though bureaucrats in the European Commission and EU business leaders have had access to them).
The finished TTIP documents are now available, in theory, for MEPs to see. MEP Luke "Ming" Flanagan, independent Irish MEP, video-recorded the farcical circumstances under which MEPs are allowed to view the documents -- documents which will determine the legislative future of the EU for decades to come.
MEPs are made to relinquish their phones and other electronics, and are supplied with pens and paper, but are forbidden from writing down any verbatim quotations from the documents -- on pain of all future Parliamentary scrutiny of the TTIP being cut off.
The EU establishment calls this "scrutiny" of the documents, but as they cannot be published, debated, or, indeed, altered, it's a pretty thin kind of scrutiny.
If this sounds familiar, it should. This rigmarole is nearly identical to the procedures imposed on Senators and Congress members in the USA who wanted to view the TPP documents. The major difference is that US legislators were threatened with prison if they divulged the text of the TPP documents, while MEPs were merely threatened with being denied all future access.
The European Commission has ordered Flanagan to remove his video. He has refused. I uploaded a copy to Youtube for safekeeping.
John Deere is notorious for arguing that farmers who buy its tractors actually “license” them because Deere still owns the copyright to the tractors’ software; in 2015, the US Copyright Office affirmed that farmers were allowed to jailbreak their tractors to effect repairs and modifications.
Real Alternatives organizes and funds the notorious, deceptive anti-abortion centers (“crisis pregnancy centers”) that pretend to be abortion clinics, luring in women who wish to terminate their pregnancies with deceptive advertising and then lying to them about abortion procedures in an effort to coerce them into carrying their fetuses to term; they got $30,000,000 from […]
Senate Republicans have introduced a bill to ensure that the FCC won’t be able to prevent your ISP from spying on your internet usage and selling your private information. What does that mean in practice?
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]
The forced transition from analog to digital TV signals was probably met with relative indifference from people with Netflix subscriptions and the “I don’t even own a TV” snoots. But anyone living in the vast swaths of the country that don’t have guaranteed high-speed internet, broadcast TV is a perfectly valid (and 100% free) way […]