[IRPCoalition] Fwd: New leaks confirm TiSA proposals that would undermine civil liberties

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Tue Nov 29 17:05:57 EET 2016

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-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	[bestbits] New leaks confirm TiSA proposals that would 
undermine civil liberties
Date: 	Fri, 25 Nov 2016 10:41:17 +0100
From: 	Maryant Fernández <maryant.fernandez-perez at edri.org>
Reply-To: 	Maryant Fernández <maryant.fernandez-perez at edri.org>
To: 	bestbits at lists.bestbits.net

*New leaks confirm TiSA proposals that would undermine civil liberties*

Today, on 25 November 2016, German blog Netzpolitik.org 
<https://netzpolitik.org/> in association with Greenpeace published new 
leaked documents concerning the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), a 
“trade” agreement that is currently being negotiated between 23 members 
of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), including the European Union.

*The new leaks confirm the problems identified in previous leaks, 
including serious threats to freedom of expression and protection of 
personal data of European citizens.*

"The proposals on privatised censorship are particularly worrying", said 
Joe McNamee, Executive Director of European Digital Rights (EDRi). 
"Creating a power to undermine our free speech with no accountability is 
reckless and contrary to literally all relevant provisions of 
international law."

In September 2016, Wikileaks and Greenpeace Netherlands published 
<https://edri.org/tisa-leaks-set-alarm-bells-ringing/> other documents 
on TiSA. In the light of today’s leaks, what’s new from a civil 
liberties perspective?

_*1. Liability protections:*_ while having provisions to promote freedom 
of expression will be a step forward, the latest US made a proposal in 
TiSA which does not respect the rule of law and would remove rights to 
freedom of expression. The proposal is that internet companies would not 
be liable for any damage caused by voluntary restrictions of 
individuals’ free speech if they undertake such restrictions “in good 
faith” because they feel that the communications are “harmful or 
objectionable”. The proposal even extends to when this damage is caused 
implementing regulation-by-algorithm – in other words when using 
technical means, such as automatic filtering, to do so. This would 
privatise the regulation of the human right to receive, impart and seek 
information. It would almost inevitably *lead into privatised censorship 
of completely legal information by governments *(through pressures to 
online companies), or online companies themselves (acting in their own 
commercial interest).

_*2. Net neutrality:*_ The EU had taken a step towards the right 
direction and proposed some improvements to the text on net neutrality, 
the principle that all the internet traffic has to be treated equally, 
which is crucial for fair competition between online services, for 
innovation, and for freedom of expression. The leaks show that the US 
and Colombia proposal officially oppose these improvements.*The US has 
net neutrality rules and this position was taken before the elections. 
Why hasn’t it supported the EU here?*

_*3. Data flows: *_The leaks show that the pressure to include “data 
flows” and “free flow of data” in the agreement is persistent. The 
European Commission announced previously that data protection will be 
left out of TiSA. However, the European Commission Directorate General 
for Trade (DG Trade) has stated that they will ensure free data flows 
and provisions against data localisation. Bringing these topics into the 
discussions will almost inevitably*bring data protection and privacy 
onto the negotiation table.*

A big coalition of organisations around the world is worried about the 
in the draft core text, the e-commerce, telecommunications, financial 
services and localisation annexes of TiSA. These leaks are not reassuring.

TiSA is being negotiated formally since March 2013. A Ministerial 
Meeting to conclude the talks was scheduled on 5-6 December. The meeting 
has been cancelled due to outstanding issues and the recent developments 
in the US.

*Read more:*

TiSA-leaks: Fundamental rights shall be levered out for free trade – 
also in the internet (25.11.2016)

Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), Annex on Electronic Commerce 

Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), Annex on Telecommunications Services 

Global letter on TiSA, data protection and privacy (02.11.2016)

Corporate-sponsored privacy confusion in the EU on trade and data 
protection (12.10.2016)

TiSA leaks set alarm bells ringing (20.09.2016)

EDRi analysis of the TiSA leaks of September 2016 (20.09.2016)

EDRi’s position paper on TiSA (January 2016)

Study launch: The EU can achieve data protection-proof trade agreements 

Maryant Fernandez Perez
Advocacy Manager
European Digital Rights
Rue Belliard 20
B- 1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 274 25 70
PGP: D59A 1D3F 50CC 231B DCFE 3F2C 92FA 6F29 3D74 0B42
@edri | @maryantfp

Donate to EDRi!https://edri.org/donate/  

Subscribe to the EDRi-gram, our fortnightly roundup of digital rights news!http://edri.org/newsletters/

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