03 November 2013


Before we even start to find out what TPP is, what it stands for, what it does, or will do, it is necessary to examine where it came from and what it means.

Copyright and censorship – particularly internet censorship – are the issues which affect the major organisations around the world, and we need to bear in mind that these issues arise in the United States of America.

Before TPP there were SOPA, PIPA, CISPA, NAFTA, and also on the horizon a recent discussion involving Europe with something similar to TPP, the TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP.

According to the US government, “On January 1, 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico (NAFTA) came into force. All remaining duties and quantitative restrictions were eliminated, as scheduled, on January 1, 2008.

NAFTA created the world's largest free trade area, which now links 450 million people producing $17 trillion worth of goods and services. Trade between the United States and its NAFTA partners has soared since the agreement entered into force.

With NAFTA U.S. goods and services trade  totaled $1.6 trillion in 2009 (latest data available for goods and services trade combined).  Exports totaled $397 billion. Imports totaled $438 billion.  The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with NAFTA was $41 billion in 2009.

The United States has $918 billion in total (two ways) goods trade with NAFTA countries (Canada and Mexico) during 2010.  Goods exports totaled $412 billion; Goods imports totaled $506 billion.  The U.S. goods trade deficit with NAFTA was $95 billion in 2010.

Trade in services with NAFTA (exports and imports) totaled $99 billion in 2009 (latest data available for services trade).  Services exports were $63.8 billion. Services imports were $35.5 billion.  The U.S. services trade surplus with NAFTA was $28.3 billion in 2009.”

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act   - CISPA[1]

If you read the introductory paragraphs of the following article from PC mag you will get the gist of what the US governments is trying to do and the consequences for all of us:

According to Chloe Albanesius of PC magazine “A controversial cyber-security bill known as CISPA is once again in the news. The US House approved the bill last week, and it now moves to the Senate, but opponents of the measure are not going down without a fight. Today, in fact, hacker collective Anonymous is calling on websites to go dark in protest of CISPA as they did last year against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).”

Why is CISPA being compared to SOPA and PIPA?

What is CISPA? CISPA stands for Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. It would allow for voluntary information sharing between private companies and the government in the event of a cyber attack. If the government detects a cyber attack that might take down Facebook or Google, for example, they could notify those companies. At the same time, Facebook or Google could inform the feds if they notice unusual activity on their networks that might suggest a cyber attack,” Albanesius says.

To understand how the US government is trying to control the whole world, look at all the web sites you can lay your hands on, and be afraid – very afraid![2]


From CISPA, we have had SOPA and PIPA and these on their own are grim and frightening, but we should also examine COICA. Here’s where we start:

COICA is the Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeiting Act.

SOPA is Stop Online Piracy Act

PIPA is Protect IP Act.

On 18 January 2012 an internet blackout occurred after dramatic international collaboration between individuals and organisations who saw the dangers of these draconian bills being passed by the US Congress.

The history of this event is captured in a book called “HACKING POLITICS” which tells the story of how Geeks, Progressives, The Tea Party, Gamers, Anarchists and Suits Teamed Up to Defeat SOPA and save the Internet”. [3]

A young man Aaron Swartz, who was involved with this campaign and who was an initiator of REDDIT, (reddit is a source for what's new and popular on the web. What does the name "reddit" mean?It's (sort of) a play on words -- i.e., "I read it on reddit.") and who committed suicide in January 2013 because the US legal authorities of the Federal government had indicted him for alleged overuse of an online cataloguing service called JSTOR stated after the SOAP/PIPA victory that the US government and Congress will not give up and they will work on something which will make the earlier bills seem like child’s play in comparison.
Welcome to the world of TPP, the Trans –Pacific Partnership.

Australia’s Choice Magazine’s Madison Cartwright reported: Choice recently attended the 18th round of negotiations for the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) in Malaysia and raised concerns the agreement may include provisions that will harm Australian consumers, particularly in the areas of intellectual property and food and health labelling.[4]

The notoriously secretive TPP has been holding its negotiations behind closed doors – the only information available about the TPP have come from leaked drafts.

The TPP currently includes 12 countries – Japan, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US, Vietnam and Australia.

Of real concern for Australians will be the possibility of Internet censorship, restrictions on pharmaceuticals – affecting thousands in Australia and elsewhere because generics may be a thing of the past, and so many other issues about which we are not able to know anything because it is all so secretive and the media are involved in this conspiracy of silence.

There are a few media exceptions but they do not allow us to find out what is involved in the negotiations and who is doing the negotiations on our behalf.

Those locally who have written about TPP are Antony Loewenstein (published in theguardian.com 9 October 2013) and Peter Martin, (Article published in The Age 23 September 2013)  Economics correspondent for Fairfax Media.

Our web pages provide many articles from Australia and overseas, including Loewenstein’s and Martin’s, and these can be found on:




[1] “What is CISPA and Why Should You Care?” http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2417993,00.asp
[2] http://www.cispaisback.org
[3] HACKING POLITICS edited by David Moon,Patrick Ruffini and David Segal, published by OR Books, 2013
[4] TALKING TRADE Item in Choice Magazine, September 2013

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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm