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June 28th, 2012

Protect Canadian freedom on the Internet

Trans-Pacific Partnership could curtail freedom on a global scale

OTTAWA - After attempting to undercut individual privacy and freedoms by ramming through their internet snooping bill (C-30), leaked documents now show that the Conservatives are trying to further curtail Canadian personal freedom on the internet as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.

“For most Canadians the internet is part of their daily life. They are understandably very worried about the ease and speed with which the Conservatives are removing basic online freedoms and privacy rights,” said New Democrat Digital Affairs Critic Charmaine Borg (Terrebonne-Blainville). “These continual restrictions on digital freedom aren’t confined to online activities but are restrictions to our overall freedom.”

According to reports, the TPP is looking to create new rules on IP enforcement that would not only give internet service providers powers to lock users out of their own content but also encourage ISPs to collect and hand over private user data without privacy safeguards. These IP restrictions would compromise internet security, inhibit online expression, and slow growth in the technology sector. Taken together, the TPP’s IP provisions would also severely restrict freedom of expression, privacy, and digital rights.

“It seems clear that in their panic to get into the TPP, the Conservatives have committed to many unsavoury aspects of the deal,” said International Trade Critic Don Davies (Vancouver-Kingsway). “Because the Conservatives waited so long to enter these talks, Canada now has no voice on past decisions and no real power to affect future negotiations. How can the interests of all Canadians be met under these conditions?”