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Don't Criminalize Our Internet Use

Legal experts are calling it "the biggest global threat to the internet." It's called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and it will essentially criminalize free use of any website that uses copyrighted material. YouTube, Facebook, blogs with links -- all of it potentially blacklisted under this new order.
At-sign on the chain, symbolic image for internet censorship
At-sign on the chain, symbolic image for internet censorship

"The biggest global threat to the Internet." That's how legal experts describe the controversial international agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP agreement threatens to criminalize the use of your favourite websites -- including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, your favourite blog -- and even your online comments.

Provisions in leaked drafts of the TPP could prohibit use of "temporary copies", which according to policy experts at InternetNZ, are crucial to how the Internet works. As the EFF explains, this means that, "anyone who ever views content on their device could potentially be found liable of [copyright] infringement". Legal experts are now warning that under the TPP, normal online activities "could lead you to be cut off from the Internet, have your computer seized, be fined up to $150,000, or even land you in prison."

The TPP negotiators are specifically focused on finalizing the Internet censorship part of the agreement in Peru. The agreement also now includes 40 per cent of the world's economic output and is seen a blueprint for a worldwide agreement.

But you can stop it if you act now. Michael Froman has just been appointed as the new TPP chief negotiator. We have a unique opportunity with the changing of the guard; the world needs to speak out together to put pressure on the U.S.

Froman now has a unique ability either to put this secretive, global Internet criminalization plan to an end -- or to cement it into place for generations.

The question is: who will Michael Froman hear from in his first week on the job? You, or the Big Media conglomerates that see the Internet as a threat?

Will you send a message to Michael Froman at this pivotal moment? We must speak up before Big Media lobbyists convince him to criminalize use of the Internet.

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