The TPP Will Bring SOPA in Through the Back Door


Not long ago, the Internet rose up in protest of SOPA, a corporatists attempt to clamp down on Internet freedoms for the benefit of the 1%. Unfortunately, in our plutocratic system where CEOs mean more to politicians than their own constituents, no bad idea goes away for long. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a “free trade” deal currently under negotiation by the Obama administration, is another chance to essentially make the disastrous SOPA the law, just under a different name.

It is disheartening to see the lack of opposition to SOPA now that it is part of the larger TPP treaty. Shakespeare was on to something when he wrote that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. SOPA, under the name of the TPP, reeks just the same. The groups who fought fiercely to defeat SOPA should stand up now to defeat the TPP, the future TTIP and any other attempt to take away our freedoms on the Internet.

Why has this opposition not yet arisen? The answer seems to be because the name “free trade” gives people a warm, fuzzy feeling, even if it’s costly instead of free, and theft instead of trade.

Obama is using the same basic tactic when he calls the TPP an agreement instead of a treaty. This way, he can obviate the 60% majority he would need to get a treaty passed. And by calling SOPA “free trade,” he thinks he can hoodwink the American public into docilely accepting rigid government and corporate control of the Internet. The scary part is, it looks like he is right.

While the TPP does not seem to have a lot of strong support, its passage is still very much up in the air. Now is the time for all right-thinking citizens to stand up against it. Some are, but we need more. Where is the EFF? Where is Google, who bent over backwards to make sure the public was informed about the dangers of SOPA? The TPP will be much, much worse. Every American should be standing up against it.

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