Google Claims TPP Is A “Step Forward For The Internet”

Google / Tech
Image courtesy By Gobierno de Chile - 14.11.2010 Gira a Asia, CC BY 2.0

As we’ve mentioned recently, we stay out of politics here at Techaeris — unless of course it has a tech spin to it. Tech giant Google published a new blog post yesterday about the contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and how it relates to the internet. In short, Google states that the TPP is a “step forward for the internet,” and begins to “recognize the internet’s transformative impact on trade.” The company has outlined three main points about how the TPP will benefit the internet when it comes to global trade.

  • The Internet has revolutionized how people can share and access information, and the TPP promotes the free flow of information in ways that are unprecedented for a binding international agreement. The TPP requires the 12 participating countries to allow cross-border transfers of information and prohibits them from requiring local storage of data. These provisions will support the Internet’s open architecture and make it more difficult for TPP countries to block Internet sites — so that users have access to a web that is global, not just local.
  • The TPP provides strong copyright protections, while also requiring fair and reasonable copyright exceptions and limitations that protect the Internet. It balances the interests of copyright holders with the public’s interest in the wider distribution and use of creative works — enabling innovations like search engines, social networks, video recording, the iPod, cloud computing, and machine learning. The endorsement of balanced copyright is unprecedented for a trade agreement. The TPP similarly requires the kinds of copyright safe harbors that have been critical to the Internet’s success, with allowances for some variation to account for different legal systems.
  • The TPP advances other important Internet policy goals. It prohibits discrimination against foreign Internet services, limits governments’ ability to demand access to encryption keys or other cryptographic methods, requires pro-innovation telecom access policies, prohibits customs duties on digital products, requires proportionality in intellectual property remedies, and advances other key digital goals.

Google also goes on to note that the TPP in its current form isn’t perfect, and will continue to advocate for process reforms and the company is looking “forward to seeing the agreement approved and implemented in a way that promotes a free and open Internet across the Pacific region.” Reaction to Google’s post haven’t been generally favourable, with comments ranging from “this is both disappointing and saddening,” to “I am very disappointed with Google and I will be stop using their products,” and everything in between.

There is no shortage of users who are against parts or all of the TPP which was drafted largely in secret by 12 countries, and both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have come out against the trade agreement in its current form. Many citizens of the countries who are putting the draft together are also opposed to the agreement. Canadian lawyer Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, has quite a few articles breaking down the TPP mostly as it pertains to Canadians, but he does point out some major flaws within the agreement regarding copyright, the internet, and other sections. OpenMedia has been kind enough to break it down into a three part TL;DR series — you can read part 1, part 2, and part 3 on their website.

What do you think about Google’s support for parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Google
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