For Immediate Release

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David Christopher; Communications Manager, OpenMedia; +1-778-232-1858; david@openmedia.org

OpenMedia

Trans Pacific Partnership Countries Announce 'Agreement in Principle' Posing Serious Threat to Global Internet Users

Largest and most secretive agreement in the world’s history covers 40% of global trade and contains provisions to censor the Internet and rob the public domain

WASHINGTON - The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement reached today comes as the result of over five years of negotiations and poses an extreme threat to free expression online, and poses an extreme threat to free expression online.

Although the full text of the deal won’t be available for a month, recent leaks of the Intellectual Property chapter shows participating countries face copyright overhauls, including: copyright term extensions, new provisions that would allow ISPs to block  websites due to alleged infringement, and new criminal penalties for the circumvention of digital locks and rights management information.

“Internet users around the world should be very concerned about this ultra-secret pact,” said OpenMedia’s Digital Rights Specialist Meghan Sali. “What we’re talking about here is global Internet censorship. It will criminalize our online activities, censor the Web, and cost everyday users money. This deal would never pass with the whole world watching – that’s why they’ve negotiated it in total secrecy.”

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National governments can sign the TPP now, but most countries require a formal vote from legislators before the agreement can be ratified and brought into force. Details remain unclear as to when experts and the public will be able to perform a full analysis of the text and what it means for Internet users.

However, under Trade Promotion Authority, U.S. President Barack Obama has committed to releasing the text for public scrutiny 60 days before a final vote in Congress. Despite pressure to complete the deal by the end of the year, analysts suggest that at this late stage the TPP will be impossible to ratify until 2016.

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OpenMedia is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.

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