The Trans-Pacific Partnership Will Make NSA Spying Easier

Posted in the Chicago Forum

Justin Ling

San Jose, CA

#1 Jul 18, 2014
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Will Make NSA Spying Easier

By Justin Ling, www.motherboard.vice.com
July 18th, 2014

With paranoia over NSA surveillance reaching a fever pitch, foreign governments are making a reasonable plea: bring our data home.

But the Americans are doing their best to ensure that the world’s Internet data stays on U.S. soil, well within the reach of their spies.

To do so, American negotiators are leveraging trade deals with much of the developed world, inserting language to ensure “cross-border data flows”—a euphemism that actually means they want to inhibit foreign governments from keeping data hosted domestically.

The trade deals they’re influencing—the Trans-Atlantic Partnership (TPP), the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)—are all so secretive that nobody but the governments themselves are privy to the details.

But thanks to the Australians and Wikileaks, both of whom have leaked details on TPP, we have a pretty good idea of what’s going on in the latest Trans-Pacific Partnership—a trade agreement that will act as a sort of NAFTA for Asia-Pacific region nations.

America is, essentially, the world’s data server. Since the dawn of the internet itself, every database of import has been hosted in the grand US of A. But now, foreign governments are starting to see the benefit of patriating their citizens’ private information.

Canada was an early adopter of the idea. Federal procurement regulations often require government departments to insert local data requirements, stating that businesses who wish to administer or host Canadians’ information must keep the information within Canadian borders. Most recently, the Canadian Government put out a tender for a company to merge and host the email servers for all their departments. In doing so, they stuck in a national security exemption, forbidding foreign contractors from applying.

Nova Scotia and British Columbia went a step further, flatly requiring any government-hosted personal data to be physically located in Canada.

Australia has taken similar steps, including setting up firm requirements for how companies store offshore data.

But the American government is not having any of it and is using TPP negotiations to strong-arm new provisions that favour American hosted data.

“In today’s information-based economy, particularly where a broad range of services are moving to ‘cloud’ based delivery where U.S. firms are market leaders; this law hinders U.S. exports of a wide array of products and services,” reads a report on Canada from the office of the United States trade commissioner.

The only reason the world is aware of the provisions in TPP on data hosting, is because the Australian negotiators, facing American insistence on the matter, leaked it to the press. Along with the New Zealanders, the Aussies are proposing changes to the agreement to short-circuit America’s proposal.

http://www.popularresistance.org/the-trans-pa...
joey

Mountain View, CA

#2 Jul 18, 2014
Good for the Aussies

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