On Wednesday, seemingly out of nowhere, WikiLeaks released a portion of the biggest, most secretive, most controversial pending trade agreement in the world: the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Internet advocates of all stripes, from the intellectual property experts at the Electronic Frontier Foundation to people who don’t mind getting arrested for climbing government buildings to make TPP-related poop jokes, had been clamoring for that moment since 2011.
The TPP’s controversy stems from three factors. It’s huge: 12 countries, including the U.S. and parts of Latin America and Asia, are trying to agree to the same terms on a wide range of business and trade practices. It’s secretive: like any trade agreement, the details of negotiations are kept from the public, though the TPP’s been heavy handed about how it keeps out journalists and public advocates. And the process itself is biased: the only people given access to government negotiators are corporate lobbyists.
Tuesday’s leak was the most recent draft of the Intellectual property chapter, which deals with copyright and how that’s enforced online. It’s the first time anyone has seen the chapter since a 2011 leak, which included provisions that led Internet freedom activists to call it “the biggest global threat to the Internet since ACTA.”
The Daily Dot spoke with EFF Global Policy Analyst Maira Sutton about decoding the newest draft.