Secret US-corporate negotiations creating SOPA on steroids?

Pro-SOPA industry giants urged the White House in secretive international trade talks to adopt stronger intellectual property protections. Critics say the negotiations could usher in “draconian” provisions capable of strangling Internet freedom.

Scores of SOPA supporters wrote President Obama this past Tuesday urging that “the United States redouble its efforts to ensure that the final TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement is comprehensive and commercially meaningful and incorporates high standards for the protection and enforcement of IP rights across all industries.”

The letter was signed by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) – all of whom have been accused of clamping down on Internet freedom.

The United States is meeting with representatives of eight other countries in Dallas, Texas, this week for the 12th round of talks on the TPP agreement. Parties to the negotiations seek the further economic liberalization of economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Critics have called TPPS a NAFTA for the Asia-Pacific region. But really, its reach extends far beyond trade and investment.

The non-profit digital rights advocacy organization Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) warns that the secret TPP meetings could “create over-reaching new rules and standards that will choke off the online speech of individuals, websites, and platforms accused of copyright infringement.”

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